We all remember our first music festival experience.
That rush of adrenaline, the cheers of the crowd – its all we’ve seen on live streams and videos. But a lot of us make some very common mistakes that can sometimes hamper the whole enjoyment of the festival. Now I wouldn’t call myself an expert but there are certain things I’ve learnt over the years that help me out whenever I’m attending a music fest, and I think it would help to take these easy steps into consideration.
Whether it be an electronic music festival or not, there are certain precautions you can easily take to ease your troubles and maximize your fun. Here they are (in some order of personal preference):
It’s of the utmost importance to stay hydrated at festivals. Whether it’s a day event or night, there are thousands of people at these events and if you’re one of those to stand right ahead in the mosh pit of fans near the main stage, you know how important this is. I can confidently say that I’ve seen at least 1 person fainting cos of dehydration, sometimes even before the main act gets onto the stage. The trick is to get lots of water into the system before entering the venue. If you’re allowed to carry water inside that’s perfect, if not there is always a drinks stall located at various points across festival grounds. Generally big festivals such as Ultra have sponsored stalls inside the venue giving out free water to all attendees as well. Also, if you’re worried about having to leave the mosh pit right ahead near the stage, call out to one of the security for water. They’ve generally got water and cups ready cos its always easier to hand you some water that carry you to the first aid booth. I make it a point to have at least 1 bottle of water with me at all times. Trust me, it really helps!
Majority of the people reading this will completely ignore this point. You might as well stop reading if you are going to, because it makes absolutely no sense to damage your ear drums for the sake of a concert. A lot of people have told me “Oh so you pay money to go for a music festival and then wear ear plugs?” Well yes, and no. I’m not asking you to put on noise cancelling headphones and cross out all the noise but just use a decent pair of sound filters that cut out all sounds above a certain dB. You can hear perfectly well with them on and the benefit is that you won’t have your ears ringing for the next full day. It DOES NOT cost a lot. A decent pair of sound filters cost about $20-$30 and upwards. Just FYI… all the performers/artists on stage are wearing it too and they’re not being blasted by even half the sound you are. Maybe buy 2 beers less at the festival and spend it on some protection.
Sunscreen & Clothing
This one’s very dependent on the venue and time of day. If you’re at an Ultra Miami, Tomorrowland or in any tropical country for a day festival make sure to dress light and cover up with sun screen. Get comfy and probably old shoes incase they get too dirty. Nobody gives a crap about your sexy ‘clubbing’ dress with heels for girls or your long sleeve shirt with tight jeans for guys. You might as well dress in a tee with shorts and shades cos that’s what’s gonna let you be comfortable throughout the evening. If you’re in a place like Singapore, just carry one of those foldable ponchos in your pocket or bag. It can rain at any point and if you hate the rain, mud, or have an expensive but non-water resistant phone, your experience is probably gonna get ruined by the weather and you can only blame yourself for it. I think you guys are smart enough to know better in this case.
Carrying too much in bags
Yes, some places don’t let you carry bulky bags and some only allow small ones. Your best bet is to carry a small, transparent, back-pack like bag. It allows you to get in easily and hassle free. Also, the less you carry, the less chances of anything being lost or stolen. All you need are your essentials: shades, water, money, a poncho (yes, I hate the rain).
One of the major complaints faced by festival organizers and the police are reports of theft at music festivals. The best option is to keep your wallet on person at all times. An easier way to party would be to find out if card payments are available at the venue and just go ahead with one card on you. A lot of festivals nowadays have gone one step ahead to attach e-wallet chips to your entrance bands that allow you to top-up cash on the bands itself. Meaning you have no need to carry any cash. Just top-up enough cash on your wrist e-wallet and go right in line to buy your drinks and merchandise.
Pre-Gaming too hard
You’ve had that one friend that always shows up so drunk to a festival, you wonder why he or she even came. A lot of people like to ‘pre-game’ before festivals in order to get all the booze in the system to save money later on. Good idea. However, sometimes pre-gaming too hard can mean you’re gonna be too drunk to remember anything or even worse, pass out and puke at the festival itself. This would not only ruin your experience but your friends’ too. Just a tip, drink till your just feeling the buzz, and continue the rest once you’re at the venue.
Getting in too late
Not everyone’s a die-hard genre fan. Majority of the people are attending the festival to see their favourite ‘big name’ artist. That means you’re okay not showing up for the first 6 hours of the festival and just show up for the final 2-3 acts. Well, you could do that but it just makes no sense, atleast to me. The lines are ALWAYS longer as the time to the main acts closes up. The later you go, the longer you’ve got to stand in lines, the farther away you are from the stage. I’m not telling you to be the first one in. Trust me, I’ve done that and it’s not that fun. A suggestion would be to enter just a few hours after the festival begins if it’s a whole day and night event. That way you move in just in time to be able to skip the long queues. This also gives you time to walk around the festival, meet some new people, grab a drink – basically enjoy the experience and get warmed up for the main event.
Well that’s about the key points I could think about for the ‘mistakes to avoid’ at a festival. Of course it goes without saying that you should NOT DO DRUGS at a music festival (or anywhere for that matter). There are already countless experiences of death due to drug usage at festivals and honestly, you don’t want to be part of that statistic. Let alcohol get you wasted if that’s your ultimate goal. Hope this helps and have fun at your next music festival!
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