If you plans to go to one of America’s major upcoming music festivals for the first time this year, such as Hipnic 2013 (May 10-12, Big Sur, Calif.) or the Electric Daisy Festival in New York or Chicago (May, various dates), there are some basic tips you should know.
Heat, sunshine and (if you’re over the age of 21) alcohol can deplete your body of the water it needs to stay hydrated. Mixed that with lack of sleep and the high-energy of the event, inadequate water consumption can cause headache, dizziness, sleepiness, dry mouth and in severe cases delirium or unconsciousness, according to Mayo Clinic.
You can’t have enough water, bring a case to your campsite or hotel room. Check the festival’s rules and guidelines for bottled water. Most do not allow attendees to bring their own water, but some allow empty bottles and the festival provides self-service water stations. Bottled water at the event can cost around $5.
Make a Plan
Before you leave for the day go through the line-up with your friends and figure out who you want to see. This is an attempt to make a schedule, but make it a very loose schedule. Although there are probably 10 or more acts you want to see in a day, pick your top-five musts and try to coordinate their set times with your group of friends. Unexpected things will come up during the day, so let your plans change.
Create a Group Meeting Place
A lot of people go to festivals with a fairly large group of friends, but it’s next to impossible to hang on to everyone throughout the entire event. Not everyone will want to see the same performers. You might split up, you’ll meet new people, get distracted by all the interactive art, activities and rides and before you know it half of the day will go by. Pick a distinctive meeting place that everyone understands how to get to and choose a few times throughout the day to meet there. Phone service is usually bad, and between all of the base from all the different stages it will be hard to hear if your phone does work. Walkie-talkies used to work but now that so many people use them, it’s easy to intercept other signals.
Create a Friend-Finder
Group shirts are a great way to spot friends around the festival and can make for some of the funniest pictures, but if your in a crowd it can be hard to spot someone out by just a t-shirt color. Consider bringing something like an inflatable pool toy, flag or something you can stick out above the crowd so that your friends can find you. It may sound crazy now, but you’ll be amazed by how many blow-up alligators, flags and random things you’ll see bobbing above a crowd.
Don’t Take Drugs From Strangers
You shouldn’t do drugs at all, but definitely don’t buy or take any from a person you do not know at the event. It’s not worth the risk.
Protect Electronics in a Plastic Bag
Whether you keep your phone or camera in a purse, backpack or fanny pack, put it in a water-resistant bag. Music festivals are dirty places. There are lots of opportunities to get wet. It’s best to use caution.
Carry a Fanny Pack
Wallets, phones, cash and cameras can fall out of pockets easily and unfortunately there are people who will try to steal out of a backpack or purse in a tight, large crowd. Fanny packs keep all your belongings safe and where you can see them.
Leaving your card in the hotel or locked in the car at your campsite is the best way to avoid losing it. Bring enough cash for the day, ATM fees are expensive and bringing cash will help you stay on budget.
Know Where You’re Staying
This might seem silly, but know the address and phone numbers to the hotel your staying at incase of the event that you get lost or something happens. The campsites at music festivals are huge, so know exactly where yours is. They usually assign certain areas names and will even label “streets” so pay attention to this.