By: Erika Minnix
Instagram feeds will soon be filled with “How did they afford that ticket?” pictures. Summer means it’s time for festival season. Even though you’re sweaty and dehydrated, overpaid for chicken tenders, your feet hurt, and you have no service, nothing compares to a music festival.
Festivals, in general, can become chaotic as well as overwhelming. Large-scale festivals only amplify the chaos that much more. A great festival experience starts the moment from purchasing the ticket to leaving breathless at the end of the night.
Of course, there’s no reason to call any festival out, but since recent incidents at festivals across the board, safety concerns have become a top priority. Festivals may not go as planned, but it’s essential to have a safety plan. As someone who attends multiple festivals throughout the year, these tips and tricks have worked for me to have successful festival experiences.
Excitement and relief build once that confirmation email has been sent to our inboxes. One’s experience can be altered by the type of ticket that they are purchasing. While on the ticketing site, the different tiers are explained. I usually look for differences in benefits. Different things sell different people. However, one of my selling factors is viewing and bathroom areas. I’m sold on buying that ticket option if there is a clean bathroom. Also, look at the payment plan options available. Payment plans for me are great at the moment; automatic pay gets me every time.
Each year summers get hotter, and more tickets get sold. It is crucial to remain hydrated during the day to keep the party going into the night. It may seem small, but investing in a quality hydro pack goes a long way. Another way I stay hydrated is by mixing electrolytes and vitamin C packets in my water. Just remember, if you mix these in your water bladder, clean the bladder out. There is nothing worse than flavored, warm old water. Not only will a hydro pack be financially friendly since you won’t have to pay $12+ for a drink, but packs are also a safe space to place your belongings in. Hydro packs can hold all other necessities fans, water, deodorant, gum, chapstick, and sunscreen.
Point-of-blank festivals are becoming overcrowded. Which also means an increase in pick-pocketers. In a crowd with thousands of others, loose objects such as phones, keys, and wallets are easy to take quickly from someone’s pockets and shift through the crowd before someone realizes their phone is gone. So companies are easing festival attendees with their design of anti-theft bags and phone leashes.
Trust me, having your phone stolen at a festival is a big headache and hassle. Another way nerves can be eased either pre-festival or during is by seeing if there are options to register your phone if it gets found. Also, most venues have become cashless; having the option to pay with your phone means you can leave your wallet at home.
Even though I end up alone at festivals, I frequently get lectured about the importance of being with friends. What’s the point of having all these special memories to reflect on if you don’t have anyone to share them with? On the flip side, being alone is fine, but make sure at least someone knows where you are. That way, they can check in on you if they haven’t heard or seen anything from you in a few days.
Who knows what reason you ended up lost or separated from your group, but one thing I have recently started doing more was writing someone’s phone number in Sharpie on my arm. Sometimes the only safe way home is by taxi. From personal experience of not having a phone, I have learned how having cash in my shoe and my address written down is how I got home.
It would be foolish to deny party favor usage at festivals. Social media has brought beneficial awareness to opioid overdoses that can occur at events. Look for first-aid booths or even booths that offer free drug testing services. Festival planners know what’s up. They also know that heat and dehydration significantly affect how the substances may impact the festival attendees. These judgment-free safe spaces will help prevent any unfortunate mishappens, which means you will not be punished by coming to these spaces to help yourself or someone else.
In today’s world, you never know where something might have come from. That’s why there are organizations out there to keep you safe and protected.
Festivals are supposed to be fun, but magic can only go so far. To have the best experience, it takes all of us working together. So drink your water, wear deodorant, excuse me, and make this summer the summer to remember! Life is short collect those festival wristbands!