Getting the most out of a music festival

Image via Thinkstock
Image via Thinkstock

Survival tips and tricks

By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer

Summer is officially here, and the festival season is upon us. Whether you’re taking in a one-day outdoor concert, or experiencing a weekend event, music festivals are an amazing and often unique experience.

While fun is almost guaranteed, there are many ways to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone, as well as safer, smoother, and more efficient.

Hydrate. Perhaps the most important and universal rule of any outdoor event, especially in the summer. We all need water. Festivals often lead to things like standing in hot sun for hours, dancing, and consumption of alcohol or other intoxicating substances—all things that lead to dehydration. Bring bottles of water, or face buying a bottle for $8 (and wouldn’t you rather spend that $8 on a bottle of beer?) There’s no such thing as drinking too much water, so do your best to have it whenever possible.

Be responsible. These festivals are often an opportunity to cut loose and do things you wouldn’t normally be doing. Whether you’re going drinking with strangers, or wandering off to an unfamiliar area, stay safe through common sense. Make sure someone knows where you are at all times. Know exactly what you are putting in your body and how much of it. Take a break if you ever feel dizzy or sick, and don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you think you need it. The workers are there to help you and keep you safe, not judge you.

Organize, but not firmly. Plan your day, but don’t let the schedule be too rigid. Figure out when and where you have to be for the bands you absolutely can’t miss, but also take chances. Go to a few artists you haven’t seen before—some of my favourite festival acts have been people I had never heard of, and you never know who might make it big and end up as a headliner in the future. And if something doesn’t go according to plan, roll with it. You’re here to have fun, aren’t you?

Respect people around you. This one should go without saying, but it can be easy to forget you’re there with thousands of other individuals. Don’t touch people without their permission and don’t invade their personal space either. Basically, don’t harass anyone, and use common sense to determine how everyone, not just you, can have a good time.

Pack more than you think you’ll need. This especially applies at a multi-day festival. If you’re on the fence about bringing something, throw it in the bag. As the old saying goes, it’s far better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. A lot of things come in handy at these shows, sometimes in ways you might not expect. You don’t have the luxury of household items available to you, so you may have to MacGyver a situation. And above all, pack wet wipes—they’re like a portable shower.