By: Jakesepher Hohenheim | Jan. 18th, 2016
Another year and another season of electronic dance music festivals are on the horizon for 2016, whether you live in North America, Europe, Australia, or anywhere else in the world planning your pilgrimage to countless small and massive events in whatever corner of the planet, here are some resources to everything you need to prepare you and your friends for a safe, epic, and hopefully, “No Bullshit” of a time and memory. For Part One, I will just go into some of the essentials before the date of the event and Part Two I will cover some tips for the before, during, and after being at an event or festival.
- Emazing Lights
Now I know what you are thinking. “Really? Light up finger gloves?” Don’t condemn them just yet, even though they get a bad reputation as nothing more than a paraphernalia for rolled out thizz kids, this company has developed these “glove light toys” as something rather compelling and entertaining. And they don’t sell just gloves but also an assortment of other light flow toys such as Poi balls, LED Glowsticks, LED Hoolahoops, LED Wires, various custom made or re-programmable light chips, and even LED glasses. It brings a whole new meaning to “getting lit up”.
Grant it, a number of music festivals have a ban on much of these light toys but there are plenty of events that allow them. Case by case basis. And if lights aren’t your thing, they’ve got batteries, snapback hats, shirts, etc.10% Off Sitewide at EmazingLights
This may favor the female consumers more but there are plenty of tees, bandannas, and other accessories that dudes can find too. iHeartRaves is the sister company of EmazingLights which have much more than just fluffies, pasties, and tutus. There are also a number of hoods, tops, bras, shorts, leggings, socks, headbands, wigs, sweaters, crop tops, costumes, and masks in various styles. Even get yourself one of those Jabbawockeez or Guy Fawkes masks. And don’t think all this is restricted to raves, they are choice in accessories for any event for whatever concert event you like to attend. Sure the attire all seem rather provacative but there are a number of selections that can suit something more casual.15% Off Sitewide at iHeartRaves
- INTO THE AM
Now this is one of those clothing brands that you could say is “artistic” if you were to put it on one word. Whether you like black or colors, they should have something for you. For him and for her. In the past year they have been releasing hoodies, tees, and tanks with these wicked high definition prints that are American made by hand in the state of California. Which will take a few weeks to get to you upon purchase, but that’s the price of quality and value (that’s just for their Print On Demand items).
- Etsy etsy.com/music festival clothing
(source: LINK )
Etsy is a great place to find something that is more handcrafted or vintage that you can’t find anywhere else. And it’s great to contribute to the people who make them. Try using search words like “music festival clothing”, “rave wear”, “rave toys”, “music festival accessories”, or even just “music festival”.
- Stores (CVS | Walgreens | Target | Walmart)
(source: Link )
Now you don’t have to go to any of these stores but just for a sake of convenience and cost let’s just go with these. And if you don’t have any these retailer stores in your area try any other store that has basic essentials like food, drinks, camping gear, travel stuff, clothes, etc. It’s all up to you and depending on what you need.
1.) Your Ticket/Wristband – make sure you and your friends have them before leaving home. At least have some email confirmation or receipt available on your phone via email or screenshot, just in case. This helps to retrieve a ticket from Will Call in case you lost the ticket. That is if someone hasn’t already used that ticket, then you’re nothing short of screwed.
2.) Your I.D. – again make sure you and your friends have them before leaving home. I say “make sure your friends have them too” because it would really suck leaving one of your friends outside the event because they couldn’t get in (most establishments will have “No ID/No Entry” policies). It’s just not fun for anyone. But if you’re going solo, just make sure you got your ID. TIP: Take a picture of your valid ID on your phone. Some security take it, some don’t, better than nothing.
3.) Money – whether it is cash or debit/credit card form. Make sure you got it and make sure you keep it secure.
4.) Sleeping Bag
5.) Blankets – extra doesn’t hurt
7.) Inflatable mattress (w/ electric air pump) – this item is choice for hotel room bunking and camping. Say a total of 4 people are in 1 hotel room with 2 beds, if you and another person have an inflatable mattress, that is 1 bed for each person in the room. So no one has to share so they have the space and comfort they want to sleep.
8.) Cooler – what ever size is to your preference, obviously for holding your drinks and snacks. Most hotels will have ice machines and if you are camping, they may sell bags of ice but don’t quote me.
9.) Drinks – whether it is water, Gatorade, coffee, tea, beer, booze, or juice, bring it. It is always best to stock up just to save you that much more money. And if you want to save money from buying water inside the event, get a hydration pack.
10.) Food/Snacks – for me, if there is any expense I gladly pay is the cost of going out to get food. But if you’re holding tight on your budget, stock up whatever essentials you think you need. I don’t know what you like, you do.
11.) Medication/Vitamins – some essentials are Vitamin C or any other recovery supplements. And if you are required to take medication, just make sure you know you where it is and where to find it. Bring medicine for headaches, nausea, stomach aches, and even band aids along with some antibiotic ointment. First aid kit? No reason not to bring it.
12.) Clothes – you know how much clothes you need. Just make you have an extra set for the days after the festival. Because more than less likely you will sweat, a lot, and you will most likely NOT do your laundry during your trip. And it is just not cool sitting next to someone in a car who stinks. Not cool at all. On that note: Bring and use Deodorant. And shower, please (unless you’re camping).
13.) Jacket and/or Hooded Sweater – might as well bring both.
14.) Small Backpack/FannyPack/Drawstring Bag
Festival Camping Supplies
1.) Tents – Take into account if you are sleeping in a tent alone or sharing with other people, and if so, how many? And make sure to check you didn’t end up getting a 4 person child tent instead of the 4 person adult tent. Not saying I have done that……I’m just saying I have done that. Make sure to bring a rain-fly. Weather changes fast and I’ve seen tents get rained out out.
2.) Pop Up Canopy (EZ Up) – These are awesome for the daytime or covering your tent at night so when the sun rises, you’re not completely baking. Particularly for festivals that go on for more than one day. Getting caught under the sun too long is a real easy way throw a wrench in your weekend. Sun burn and dehydration, not the business.
3.) Chair (optional) – I usually use the cooler as a chair if I don’t have one.
5.) Trash Bags – some festival camping may promote a “Leave No Trace” policy, which is cleaning up your mess and leaving nothing behind. It is 1) for consideration for the environment and 2) to “get rid of the evidence”, so to speak. Don’t be the person that ruins it for everyone because you were a slob. And if there happen to be no dumpsters on the grounds, yup, you gotta throw that in your car and toss it in the next dumpster you find on the way home. This is not very common, but just so you know. No littering. Be courteous and considerate.
6.) Body Wipes – It’s not a shower, but it does help to wipe away some of that grime.
7.) Toilet Paper – obvious reasons.
8.) Paper Towels – because trying to wipe something up with toilet paper is complete nonsense.
9.) Light – flashlight, latern, LEDs, smartphone, or what have you. You can never have too much. Unless you enjoy blindly feeling and moving around in the darkness of night while camping. It’s easy having the convenience of electricity NOT being there. Bring plenty of batteries.
10.) Bug Spray
On the Road
1.) Map It – Now if you are one those who just like to “wing it”, I won’t stop you. But it is really helpful to know where you’re going. Take into account where available parking is around the venue, shortcuts to and from , and alternative routes in case of traffic. Waze is a great app for that.
2.) Other Transportation – Now I realize a lot of people don’t travel to music festivals only by car, depending on your situation or desired methods, here are some resources:
3. *Personal Tip*: Try to Avoid putting Decals or Paint on your Car like this.
(source: LINK )
I mean, you do you. But I prefer discretion. I’m sure you don’t have anything illegal in your vehicle but you never know if one of your passengers do. Be strict about that, it’s your life and your safety. For example, EDC: Las Vegas, every drive I have taken from California to Nevada that weekend since 2011 is always the same every year and it is these cars that get pulled over or hauled away on a tow truck (that usually mean the driver got arrested). So take that into consideration. It would really suck to end your trip before it even begins. Initially, drive smart/drive safe.
FYI, Need To Know
I neither condemn nor condone the use of illicit substances. I believe it is the right of everyone to do what they will and consume what they wish so long as it does not endanger others. It’s no different from letting someone go base jumping, there is a variable where something can go seriously wrong but until then, so be it. With that being said, here are some information to keep yourself educated about health, overdoses, and drugs.
DanceSafe is a public health organization that promotes heath and safety awareness in the nightlife and electronic dance music industry. Founded in San Francisco, they have been around since 1998 and have been a great asset to dance music community. Various information includes drug information, tools to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STI’s, as well as providing ear plugs and selling Reagent Testing Kits.
- Pill Reports
Pill Reports is a global database of Ecstasy pills and MDMA based pills as well as related substances like MDA, MDEA, etc. Search criteria of the color, press, symbol, and region where the pill was obtained. It is said this is incredibly reliable and pills reported as dangerous or “bunk” have been, by majority, accurate. It’s a life saver.
- Alcohol Poisoning – Here is a guide for “What to do” in a situation where someones is having alcohol poisoning.
- Erowid: Bad Trip/Hallucinations
The Vaults of Erowid is a member-supported organization that provides access to countless information about psychedelic plants, chemicals, and other related substances. It is a database of personal details accounts and experiences and a great resource to do your research on particular substances.
Bluelight is another web form founded in 1999 that is dedicated to reducing the harm of substances like ecstasy, psychedelic drugs, and other recreational and non-recreational drugs.
“It has been described as “one of the oldest and most important drug discussion forums on the Web” and one of the “cornerstones of the culture itself”” – Bluelight (web forum), Wikipedia
- Stay Hydrated – Given it is summertime for festival season, it is hot. And when it is hot you are dehydrating and it is easy not to drink enough water. It’s even easier getting dehydrated during the winter since you are conditioned to drink water only when you are thirty. A good tip is, if you are thirsty by the time you drink, you’re already dehydrated. There is no reason for being a stickler for money when it comes to getting a bottle of water. Another option is to get a hydration pack as most festivals should provide free water refills (depending on the event and location). Dehydration is the main contributor to deaths at music festivals, mixing alcohol and drugs with that definitely doesn’t do you any favors.
- Porta Potty Tips – It is pretty inevitable that you will most likely need to use the restroom but all there is are porta potties, and it is most definite that you will have to end up using it. One tip is: Do not take anything out of your pockets when you’re in there. It will most likely be dark and you will want light, but remember, you don’t want to drop your phone or money and literally have a shitty situation. You think this would be common sense but I have been a witness to many fails that cannot be unseen.
PART II coming soon….
– 10 music festival must-haves to elevate the experience
– Ultimate Music Festival Packing List
– Festival Camping Checklist – REIFestival Camping Checklist – REI
– The GO Outdoors Guide To A Successful Festival
– 10 safety tips women should know when going to their first music festival