Friends, romans, and music lovers; lend me your ears! Music festival season is among us! Whether you’re rolling tits at EDC, dropping acid at Bonaroo, or spending an absurd amount of money at any other festival; this article is for you! You see, every year these festivals are plagued with certain indivudals who come unprepared, irresponsible, and ruin everyone else’s good time. I myself have been guilty of visiting the medical tent as a young lad. So to prevent any accidents, and maybe save a life or two, here’s a check list of neccessary items to ensure your festival experience is a good one!
1. Sunscreen is your best friend
You spend all year multiplying cancerous cells in your gym’s tanning bed so by the time EDC arrives you have a “healthy, glowing, natural complexion.” So there’s no excuse for skipping out on the sunscreen! I know, its a pain in the ass to have to carry around a tube of thick, white, cream that protects you; but I guarantee the minute you notice you’re getting that awkward tank top sunburn that you’ll be happy your mom made you bring that Coppertone! Sun poisoning is no fun and is a definite sure fire way to ensure your festival experience will suck (and burn!!) Seriously, skin cancer is no laughing matter and long term exposure to heat and sunlight can do some serious damage to your beautiful young skin. Another bright idea, bring some Aloe Vera, in case you do manage to get a sunburn.
2. Sunglasses and hats are important too
Ladies and fans of AMH: Coven: now is the time to break out those ridiculously big floppy hats you see the Jenner sisters wear to Coachella. But seriously… if there was ever a time to wear oversize sunglasses and hats, it would be at a festival. Back to what I was saying about long term sun exposure above, you need to protect your face and head too!
3. Cool it on the recreational drug (ab)use
We get it, festivals are invariable places where young people take copious amounts of mind altering drugs to “really experience the music.” However, in recent years we’ve seen this become a problem. EZOO was cancelled a few years back due to an overdose that resulted in death, as well as a suspected sexual assault. Part of being a responsible recreational drug user means knowing when and where and how much you can handle. If you know you’re going to be in the heat all day, maybe rolling isn’t such a great idea. Also, please don’t be that asshole who thinks that dropping acid at a festival will change your entire life. Hallucinogens, in my semi-professional opinion, are best enjoyed in the company of close friends who you TRUST. I’ve seen more than one person break down in tears at a festival because they decided to drop acid and freaked out when they realized how many people were around them. My advice: stick to the green stuff, and maybe a cool beer or two (if you’re of age!) If you’re going to take any hard drug at a festival, be very careful and stay hydrated. Going to the hospital for overdosing is NOT cool and you will feel embarrassed and bummed out.
4. WATER IS CRUCIAL
Do I really need to write a whole schpiel about the importance of staying hydrated at an outdoor festival? No, because you’re all adults and should know that water is essential! Passing out from being dehydrated (hello, me at 15), is no bueno. Most festivals will allow you to bring in one unopened bottle of water. Some festivals, like Warped Tour, even have fill-up stations. Take advantage of this because paying 7$ for a luke warm Poland Springs bottle is not worth it. My solution: bring one of those 1.5L Poland Springs water bottles so you spend less time at the fill up stations and more time enjoying the music.
5. This is not a beauty contest, nor is it an excuse to let it all hang out
Every year around festival season, I see women and men alike stress over what they are going to wear. “Does this flower crown match me custom light up bra??” “Should I go for the shirtless, cargo shorts look, with my red bandana??” The answer to both of those questions is no. Keep in mind that, AGAIN, you will be exposed to high temperatures of heat for about 8 hours, so maybe cover up. Shorts, a loose fitting tank top, and some old sneakers are probably your best outfit choices. Ladies, please stop parading around topless with those odd ice-cream shaped nipple pasties. There’s young kids, as well as people your age who didn’t pay to see your knockers flopping around. Save it for the after party. Guys, if you could do the rest of the world a favor and please keep your shirts on and refrain from writing “Free Hugs” on your under-developed and hairless chests, it would be much appreciated. Seriously, leave your nice shit at home, it will get ruined, and you will be upset when your 200$ custom daisy bra gets ripped up in the crowd.
6. Wrap it up!!
If you make the decision of engaging in consensual sweaty festival sex, please be safe. You never know how many people or diseases your partner has come in contact with. Ladies: birth control is not enough. Birth control won’t protect you from every consequence of unprotected sex. Herpes is a real thing in your twenties guys. Always have a condom on you if you’re the type of person whose looking to score big at a festival. The pull-out method is very popular amongst our age demographic, and so is unplanned pregnancy! But seriously, if you’re going to make love to some hot and sweaty stranger in the port-o-otties, be safe.
7. Keep a small bag of toiletries, just in case
Throughout the day you’ll be walking/jumping/dancing around in the heat, so deodorant will come in handy when your stench becomes unbearable. Wet wipes are also a comforting item after you see the conditions the port-o-potties are in. Also, it’s always a good idea to keep some Advil or anti-nausea medication on you in case you find yourself getting sick. Although you don’t need to worry too much about first aid supplies, considering these festivals usually have a medical tent. Another item that has come in handy are those disposable ponchos they sell at Walmart. Two years ago at Skate & Surf it rained heavy all weekend. My mother had strongly suggested that I bring a poncho, just in case; but being the stubborn teenager I was, I refused. I ended up soaked, sour, and regretful that I hadn’t listened to her.