Attending a music festival is a unique experience and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Being a part of the festival crowd sets you in a very specific state of mind where you can feel incredibly free to act and be yourself. Enjoy your freedom at fest but first.. make sure you cover a couple of basic grounds.
Party In a Group
Despite the fact that you will be surrounded by thousands of people, the safest way of partying is if you do it in a group of ‘your’ people. Having friends around will discourage anyone that could potentially harm you. If something does come up and you need protection, you will certainly get it from your friends. Make sure you do not lose them while you are out there. Set a meeting spot and carry your phones with you. If you end up splitting, make it a rule to check the phone every so often to see whether anyone has tried to get in touch with you. The meeting spot should preferably be a location easy to get to and possibly not the most obvious one as any immediately prominent spots will be used for the same purpose by many. If worst comes to worst and you cannot find your way around the festival, with friends around, you know that there is someone looking for you.
Get your bearings
These festivals usually take place on a vast surface and often it is a valley of some kind. Whatever the layout of the festival is, the place surely looks quite different when there is no festival. Take some time when you first arrive to check out the area and see where your tent is within the camp and where the camp is within the festival. Learn how to get to different stages, bars, and bathroom areas. This will help you find your way around it in the evening when there are more people, less daylight, and shinier, bright lights.
Choose smart gear
Attending a festival means that you will spend hours in crowded outdoors with little or no place to hide, fully exposed. Most festivals are hoping for nice weather, so if the weather truly is nice, you need to take certain precautions and make sure you are protected from the Sun. Wear sunscreen and remember to reapply it. Find a hat that suits you, it is a wonderful accessory and it will keep your head protected from the beaming sun, especially during a hot sunny Summer. Wear sunglasses, not only to protect your eyes from sunlight but also to protect them from getting irritated by all the dust in the air. Speaking of the dust, if you are on a really busy stage you can use a surgical mask to keep yourself from inhaling it.
You can take one step further and get some earplugs to protect your hearing!
Also, please- no backpacks! With a backpack on your back you will take up even more space and everyone will be rubbing against you and pushing and turning you around because they will keep on getting caught in it. A shoulder bag or a messenger bag is more convenient when it comes to the impact it has on others, but it will bother you while you are trying to dance. Believe it or not, a fanny or saddle pack is a right choice for a festival.
The choice of your footwear is crucial. Also, a wise tip for the ladies- please do not wear heels. Wear flat shoes with a thick sole instead if you’re looking for additional height. They will keep you firmly grounded, less likely to twist your ankle on an uneven terrain and protect you from whatever is on the ground that could hurt your feet.
If going solo, get popular!
If you are staying in an Airbnb or a rented room, your hosts will likely be aware of you not showing up. If you are staying in a camp within the festival, make sure you introduce yourself to everyone in the neighboring tents. Get to know the paramedics working on the grounds or people from the a nearby Kombi Mobile Bar. This will help you ensure you made others aware of your presence and they may notice your absence if they see that you are not around. A wise thing would be to have a back-up- arrange with your family or friends back home to talk to them regularly and if you do not get in touch within certain hours they can alert the local authority.
Know your stamina and strength
The excitement and the synergy present at a festival can make you feel like a true superhero. However, every superhero is aware of their Achilles heel. The overwhelming joy can make you ignore the signs your body is sending you so do not rely on your feeling but, by rule, take a moment to relax, hydrate and eat between performances. The strength part refers to you thinking you are stronger than the crowd. This is why you should avoid the first couple of rows and allow the ones who feel strong enough to be there. If fighting through the crowd gets difficult, give up and find a spot which will give you enough space to move around and dance. If you manage to fight through and decide to settle on someone’s toes while they are rubbing their nose in your back, they will end up hating you and elbowing you on purpose. Also, you will find the experience less satisfying as you will not have enough room to dance.