Surviving Festival Season
The essential guide to safety, necessities, and discovering new artists.
Festival season is in full swing, and we want to make sure that you enjoy the music to the max while staying safe in the process. Here are a few tips to make sure you can rave away!
1. Be prepared for the weather
Festivals are notorious for having challenging weather — blazing sunshine during the day with temperatures plunging at night. Being adequately prepared for the brutal weather (and looking fly) can make or break your entire experience.
Carry a tiny little sweater or jacket in your drawstring bag or fanny pack for when you leave the festival, so you aren’t freezing. Wearing sunscreen is also a must. Hard Summer, for example, takes place in the Fontana Speedway in August. The suns reflection off of the black asphalt can burn you to a crisp if you aren’t careful.
Many festivals do not allow sunscreen containers into the venue, so throw some on before walking in! Festivals are often dusty, so keeping Visine and face masks on hand are great tools to keep dust out of your eyes, nose, and mouth.
2. Discover new artists
My favorite festival activity is wandering around and finding new artists that I might not have listened to before. I have discovered some incredible acts just from visiting smaller stages. While the headliners might be fun, taking a little bit of time, visit each stage to discover and support new artists is essential.
A great example of an act which was worth seeing when he was still on the rise is Nitti Gritti. I worked an event in San Diego 3 years ago where Nitti Gritti played for a room of 300 people. A year later, I watched him play an art car at EDC to a respectable crowd….this year he played circuit grounds.
Finding an artist that I enjoy, and watching them grow and seeing them succeed is rewarding as a fan. Take 30 minutes of your night and wander. You never know where the night is going to take you!
3. Basic festival necessities
As annoying as it is, having a bag at a festival can be super handy. Fanny packs are in right now, and everybody should be sporting one. Plus, you can buy holographic or cute, patterned fanny packs, so you don’t have to mess up your outfit.
Fanny packs are also slightly more challenging to a pickpocket than a drawstring bag! I always like to carry chapstick with SPF, Visine for festivals such as EDC or Hard Summer to deal with dust in the air, a bandana or a face mask to also protect from dirt and dust, hair bands, and earplugs. I know you are rolling your eyes at me right now about the earplug. However, bring them, use them, and appreciate them when you still have your hearing in 15 years.
The most important thing to do at ANY festival is to hydrate. Bringing a camelback could save you from constant refills, plus saving on plastic. If you don’t have a camelback, however, keep a water bottle on you and keep that sucker filled!
4. Safety First
There are a few simple things you can do to ensure that you and your festival family are safe. For starters, make sure you and your friends have a designated meetup spot. Rarely is there cell phone service, and trying to find your friends in the throngs of people leaving is nearly impossible.
If you plan on splitting apart from your group, pick a great spot and times for everyone to meet up. My crew usually designates multiple times for meetups so that we can check on everyone, go to the main stage together, and so on.
Heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and general dehydration can send you straight to the medical tent. Keep your water bottles full!
Be aware of pickpockets. Unfortunately, when you put thousands of people inside a venue, someone is going to take advantage. Pickpocketing has become an even bigger issue in the past couple of years, and this season has been especially bad.
Make sure your wallets, phones, and keys, are hidden deep in your bag, or in an inside pocket. Be alert, and if you see someone near you diving into people’s bags, say something!