Many of my fondest memories were made at various music festivals and concerts. I’ve experienced a wide array of concert-going events and my friends often ask me to take them to their first big show because I “know the ropes.” Since I’ve introduced several friends to the wonderland of large-scale music events, such as Electric Daisy Carnival and Vans Warped Tour, I know my list of concert do’s and don’ts by heart.
Whether the show features rockin’ bands, upbeat electronic DJs, relaxed reggae or all of the above — it is always important be aware of yourself, your friends and your surroundings. Although the overall experience typically differs by show or music genre, a majority of my concert safety tips remain the same.
Here are my top five safety tips for attending music festivals:
Stay hydrated: Concerts are hot and attendees often don’t realize they’re dehydrated because they’re having so much fun. I recommend buying a water bottle as soon as you enter the venue and refilling it often throughout the night. Water bottles are often overpriced at events but some event companies, like Insomniac Events, sell sustainable aluminum water bottles and offer refills. Although it may be hard to pry away from the music to replenish your water, your safety is worth it.
Buddy system: Large crowds and loud music can separate groups of friends much faster than some may think. Wandering alone around a stadium filled with more than 100,000 people can lead to looking like a target for assault or theft. From the moment you walk through security to the point you get back to your hotel, make sure to have a friend with you at all times.
Charge your phone: Refraining from posting about your amazing festival experience on Instagram and Twitter might be difficult, but it’ll be worth it at the end of the night when you’re looking for the friends who strayed away. One time I waited at a friend’s car for three hours after the show ended because both of our phones died and he forgot where he parked. Stressing out over losing touch with everyone else can definitely damper your fun.
Know the venue: Festivals and concerts are typically hosted in large, confusing venues. This is especially true for festivals that feature multiple stages and require a lot of trekking from stage to stage. Luckily enough, most event promoting companies post a map of the show and set times ahead of time. I recommend taking a screenshot of the map and set times on your phone so it’s with you at all times. This also helps you plan out which artists you would like to see and know where they play ahead of time.
- Designate a driver: Don’t risk getting in a car with an intoxicated driver and don’t drive under the influence. Festivals and concerts often have a hefty police force surrounding the venue before and after events because this has become such an issue. If you can’t find a sober driver, remember that paying for a taxi is always more affordable than getting caught driving under the influence, which can cost thousands of dollars in California.