How to Stay Safe During a Music Festival

6 Ways To Stay Safe During Festival Season

Festival season is upon us. Use these tips to make sure you're living your best life.

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With Coachella behind us, it's safe to say that festival season has officially arrived. Young people across the country and spending their hard earned dollars on flights, fringe, and flash tattoos to go spend three magical days listening to music with friends and strangers alike. But it seems like every summer, we hear about another devastating loss from one of these festivals. People don't take care of themselves and some even end up losing their lives. Festivals are all about having a good time, but it shouldn't come at the expense of our safety. Follow these six tips to keep yourself happy, healthy, and living your best life.

1. Make Eating and Drinking Water a Priority

It's easy to forget your body's basic needs when you're in a festival setting. Maybe you're staking out at a stage all day to be at the front when a headliner comes on, or maybe you're moving around so much you don't want to carry a hefty water bottle around. But when you're out in the sun and the heat, it's critical to keep yourself hydrated and well-fed -- especially if you're drinking or doing drugs. Dehydration and fatigue are how many people end up in the medic tent.

2. Stay Out of Off-Limits Areas

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This one should go without saying but many adventure seekers don't always oblige. Safety parameters are set up for a reason, that is to keep you safe. If an area says do not enter or is roped off, don't cross those boundaries. An employee was killed after falling from a roof while setting up the Coachella stages this year. A lot of stuff behind the scenes isn't safe for festival goers. Personal injury attorneys say concert venues are a hotbed for slip and fall and negligent security claims. If something looks closed off, don't try to explore. Curiosity killed the cat.

3. Find Safety in Numbers

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Always travel with a group when you're in an unfamiliar setting or unknown location. Even if you've been to festival grounds before, landmarks can change location from year to year or new installations can be added to switch up the landscape. It's always best to walk around with a buddy or move in groups. And while part of the fun at festivals is making new friends, beware of stranger danger.

4. Test Your Drugs

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If you choose to take drugs at a festival, make sure you know what's really in them. You can buy quality drug testing kits on Amazon to make sure you really got what you paid for. Often drugs like MDMA and cocaine are cut with meth or potentially fatal substances like Fentanyl. Be especially careful if you're choosing to take drugs from strangers at a festival.

5. Know Your Limits

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It's important to keep your wits about you whenever you're drinking or doing drugs. If you overindulge and get too drunk, you won't be having fun anymore. No one wants to spend their festival experience with their head in a trashcan ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ This goes back to making sure you eat and drink water throughout the day. If you need assistance, find a way to the medic tent or ask a friend for help.

6. Have a Backup Plan

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Select a meeting spot or landmark for your group in case you get separated. And don't push yourself too hard -- It's more than ok to take breaks throughout the day. Hopefully, you'll never get to the point where you need medical help, but if you or a friend are feeling unsafe or sick, find the medic or cool down tent. In most cases, the people staffing these areas are trained to help you and maintain confidentiality. Don't be afraid to be honest about what you put in your body.

Ultimately, use your good judgment whenever you're gallivanting around a music festival and you'll be sure to have a great time. Happy festival season!

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A Survival Guide For Electric Forest

A list of things to bring, the most important being a positive attitude.
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With summer festival season in full swing, and one of the most talked about festivals only a few days away, I thought I’d feature an article on how to best prepare yourself for a camping festival, specifically Electric Forest. On June 23-26, thousands of people from all over the country will occupy the small town of Rothbury, Michigan. For many, it is their first year and are quite unsure of what to expect. I was not as prepared as I could have been my first year. You can never be too prepared, but you have to experience something yourself to truly know what to expect. I hope these tips offer insight into how to have the best weekend.

Have a good attitude and be flexible. Be open to the fact that things do not always go as planned. Everyone has a special forest experience meant for them and sometimes that includes doing things you did not expect and meeting people you would not have met otherwise.

Live with and love whatever the weather decides to do. At any festival you have to be ready for anything, especially in Michigan where the weather is unpredictable. One minute it can be sunny and hot, next minute there could be a thunderstorm. It is best to bring multiple pairs of shoes, ones you do not care how muddy or dusty they get. Or you could go barefoot. No one really cares how much clothing you have on in the Forest.

Bring clothes that you love (including extra underwear). I suggest pulling the largest duffel bag out of your closet and filling it with all of your favorite clothes. Keep in mind to pack warm clothes, it gets cold at night. Also, do not forget a rain poncho, jacket or suit and boots.

Bring baby wipes. They are good for just about anything. They provide you with an alternative to soap and running water by cleaning off yesterday’s makeup and glitter and scrubbing away a day’s worth of dirt and sweat. Baby wipes, or some other form of wet wipe, is a must.

Reusable water bottles. Bring at least two, if you don’t have a camelback. It is easy to get dehydrated when out in the sun all day and dancing the night away. Staying hydrated is just as important as eating an ample amount of food each day.

Bring an abundance of food so you can avoid paying high prices from vendors; although, you should indulge in Spice Pie pizza at least once while there. The best food to bring is food that can handle being in a cooler for a few days. Foods like eggs, hot dogs, rice and beans, and fruits such as, apples, oranges and bananas and more. A portable grill is a must, as well as a cooler to keep everything fresh. Ice is sold on site.

Bring towels. They serve multiple purposes like using them to sit on the ground or for drenching up sweat.

Wear sunblock and sunglasses or a hat. The sun beats down during the day and you do not want to have a sunburn by the second day.

Bring trash bags to pick up after yourself and keep the campsite clean.

Although you should try to be minimal on paper products, toilet paper, paper towels, tissue and paper plates are all good things to pack.

Bring miscellaneous toiletries like toothpaste and brush, soup, lotion, face wash, baby powder, body spray, deodorant, Q-tips, cotton balls, hairbrush, razor, hair ties, dry shampoo.

Bring a first aid kit, you never know when you may need it. You are exposed to the elements all day, so if you tend to get sick easily, bring your favorite allergy medication and Emergen-C.

Print out a festival map and schedule since they will not have paper copies there and you do not want to have to rely on the app on your phone.

Bring campground essentials. Canopy, folding chairs, table, tapestry, blankets, pillows, tent, canopy, duct tape, sleeping bag, camping pad or cot.

Don't forget flashlights and a lantern. The campgrounds do not provide any sort of lighting.

Bring your hammock to relax. If you do not have one, they are sold there.

Jumper cables are important, too. It is a guarantee that you or someone near you will need to jumpstart a car at some point during the festival, especially if the car charges phones while it is turned off. If you bring jumper cables, then you have nothing to worry about.

Ear plugs for if you need some shut-eye and can still hear bass thumping from faraway stages or your neighbors are up later than you.

Just for fun things like body paint, kandi supplies, selfie stick, LED toys, Frisbee, hoola hoops, glitter, bubbles -- whatever you can think of that you might want to play with there.

Bring spending money for a variety of things, like buying unique items from the vendors.

Don’t forget to fill your tank up with gas before entering the lines to get in. It takes multiple hours to get in before setting up camp, and your car idles the entire time, moving a few feet every couple minutes. Also, you do not want to wait in a long line to fill up your tank at the only gas station when leaving Monday morning.

Don’t forget to have fun! Check out a set you have never heard of before, or take a break from your friends and go explore on your own. Do not be afraid to lose yourself in the forest.

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Pharrell Williams Lights Up Napa's BottleRock

"Yezzir."

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If we want to take a pair of binoculars and zoom into one specific moment in my most recent trip to California, then the focus should stay onto BottleRock Napa. While the name itself gives away where this was located, it does not elicit the weather, food, music, and vibes – as we all know, I have a soft spot for music.

Day 2, Saturday (May 25th), included artists such as Sir Sly, Gary Clark Jr., Cypress Hill, Juanes, White Panda, and Pharrell Williams. A music festival in Napa Valley lives up to the perceived expectation – Michelin-star chefs and food vendors, wine galore, liquor, craft beers (IPA heaven), and a beautiful landscape. This is quite a difference from Chicago's Lollapalooza or Milwaukee's Summerfest, which mind you, there is no ill will for those festivals – but BottleRock poses its experience in a league of its own. Such a league includes an older age demographic of attendees, a "one-of-a-kind" location (for the US at least), and the non-festival route musicians — many of which are included above - and that was only Saturday.

As far as shows of the day, Pharrell Williams takes the cheesecake with his "mini-N.E.R.D. reunion" with Shay Haley, amongst his vocal featured classics "Gust of Wind," "Get Lucky," "Drop It Like It's Hot" and plenty more. His singing, even at age 46, came with grace and passion; start to finish, with little to no technical difficulties. The band was incredibly tight, note for note, and the all-female supporting singers and dancers added an element to this show, which I had yet ever to witness. The art and focus on a "performance" could not have been more prevalent in this show.

Pharrell's show is one that goes in the books with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Childish Gambino, The Foo Fighters, The Weeknd, J. Cole, Drake, and Disclosure. It is like the Men's Warehouse saying, "you're going to like the way you look," except Pharrell says, "you're going to like the way you feel, after my show." And that my friends, is a wrap.

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