Now that 2019 is upon us, it is time to start planning for festival season this year. Whether you are headed to a multi-day music festival or watching the jousters at the Renaissance Faire, you'll want to take some basic precautions to make sure your festival-going experience is fun instead of infuriating.
Do Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration is no joke!
Not getting enough water throughout the day can cause dizziness, fainting, rapid heartbeat, and other serious side effects. Being outside in the heat or in a crowded theater or conference center can make it difficult to get enough fluids to stay safe.
Whenever you are at a festival you need to make sure to drink plenty of water, but sometimes that is easier said than done. You may need to check the website for the festival you are attending and check on the water situation - will they let you bring a bottle of water? Where are the water fountains? Can you bring an empty cup or will you be forced to buy a bottle there and refill it all day?
Each festival will have its own rules that will largely be dependent on the behavior of past guests, so if previous attendees tried to sneak a bunch of liquor into the place in water bottles and then got so drunk they tried to fight the performers you're more likely to find limitations on what you can bring in from outside. Be safe and check out the rules ahead of time.
Don't Bring a Giant Purse or Backpack
No matter what kind of festival you are attending, you aren't going to want to be weighed down by a huge bag or backpack. You don't need a big bag full of everything you might possibly want during the festival, and carrying it with you will just make you uncomfortable the whole time and leave you open to thieves and pickpockets.
You can find travel size versions of anything you might want to bring with you, from sunblock to migraine medication, so figure out what you need to bring and find a tiny version of it instead. You'll also want to leave your huge wallet at home and only bring your ID, a credit card, and some cash instead of hauling every library card and grocery store membership card you've ever had around with you the whole day.
If you can't manage with just your pockets, consider bringing a small purse or wristlet instead of your normal purse. If you need even more space than that you might want to consider something like a fanny pack or an anti-theft cross body bag.
Do Protect Yourself From The Elements
If you are going to an outdoor festival you'll want to protect yourself from the sun, whether that means a hat and a long-sleeved shirt or SPF 50. Getting a sunburn can also exacerbate any dehydration you may be experiencing, making it especially important to protect yourself from those UV rays.
The sun isn't the only thing you'll want to consider, though. Going to the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal? Just because it is in July doesn't mean it can't get cold in Canada. Check the weather and bring a hoodie if necessary.
You might consider a poncho for a rainy event or a sweater for a blustery day. You might also consider bringing things like bug spray for an outdoor festival to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes all day.
Don't Wear Uncomfortable Clothes
If you are going to a Renaissance festival you will totally want to wear a corset, and that is perfectly fine. Wearing a full coat with tails to a steampunk event is fine, too! However, you need to make sure that what you're wearing is comfortable if you are going to make it through the entire festival.
Make sure anything you wear to a festival fits you properly, perhaps even going so far as to wear it for an hour or so a few days before to make sure you can move around comfortably in it at the festival. Double check any costume pieces or heavy clothing to make sure they don't impede your movement or cause you any discomfort.
Being able to move, bend, and breathe normally is an important part of attending any festival. Do the work ahead of time to make sure any outfit you wear will be just as comfortable as it is awesome.
Do Make An Emergency Plan
Sometimes an emergency plan must be for something more complex than an illness or injury. If you are attending the next Fyre Festival or Woodstock '99, you need to know how you are going to get out of the festival and away to someplace safe in the event of a colossal breakdown.
Tell people where you are going. Make sure you have transportation to and from the festival, and plan on backup transportation in case your Plan A falls through. A derailed train or a broken-down vehicle can be enough to leave you stranded for hours, so make sure you know what you will be doing in the event that you need another ride.
Who will you call if your stuff gets stolen? How will you pay for things if you run out of cash? Taking half an hour or so to figure out what to do in your worst-case scenarios can relieve you of a tremendous burden down the road.
Don't Be A Jerk
We've all been to events where someone was a tremendous jerk. Whether they were picking fights with security guards, screaming at the bartender, or refusing to take no for an answer, a single jerk can be enough to ruin the event for everybody.
Make sure that the jerk at the festival this year isn't you. Stay sober enough to control your behavior. Walk away from a fight. Make sure that you aren't the one who ends up with a mugshot as a souvenir of your festival-going experience.
Festivals are a wonderful way to get out and enjoy yourself this year. With a little bit of fore thought you can guarantee you'll have a great time and make some amazing memories, so plan ahead to make sure your epic adventure doesn't become an epic fail.
What festivals will you be attending this year?