7 Tips for Attending a Music Concert or Festival
Music festivals are great fun, and can create memories that last a lifetime. Being able to see your favourite bands, going crazy with excitement, and checking out the on-site food and beer between moshing out are just a few of the things you'll get up to on your day or weekend of music, making friends, camping, and rocking out to your favourite musicians.
These great events are even better when you're well-prepared. To avoid trouble and get the most out of your experience, here are some top tips.
1. Drink Lots of Water
It might sound boring to down water between cups of beer, but it's worth staying hydrated. You'll be doing all sorts of exercise at a rock festival such as walking around, dancing, and jumping with like-minded sweaty people doing the exact same thing.
Dehydration during a festival, especially if the weather is hot, can lead to fainting, nausea, headaches, or even heat stroke, and the last thing you want to have to do is have someone call an ambulance for you. If possible, drink a pint of water when you wake up, before going to the bathroom, and keep a bottle on you throughout the day.
Drinking enough water is especially important if you're drinking alcohol. Take a big bottle with you in your backpack. If the authorities don't let you take it inside with you, drink as much of it as you can before entering.
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2. Have a Designated Meeting Spot
It sucks to get separated from your friends, but with big crowds and distractions, it's easy to get lost. Music festivals are noisy places, and sometimes calling your friends on their mobile phones is impossible; either they don't hear their phone ringing, or you can't hear each other's voices if they do pick up.
As soon as you enter the park or venue, organise a designated meeting spot for you and your friends to head to if you get separated. This can save a lot of hassle and time.
3. Book the Taxi or Bus Tickets Way in Advance
You're tired, you've had fun, it's dark, and you're trudging out of the venue in search for a taxi home. Yeah, so are a thousand other people. Booking a taxi well in advance is advisable. Look online to see what the local taxi companies are in the area, and book at least a few days in advance.
The only problem is that you'll have to know exactly what time you're going to leave the venue, which can be a problem. Weigh up the downsides to not booking a taxi (such as having to wait a long time or even falling prey to rogue taxis), and, if your group agrees, book one in advance and enjoy the festival with the confidence of knowing you'll be getting home, or to your hotel, in good time.
4. Book Your Hotel in Advance
Many music festivals, especially for full-weekend ticket holders, will offer camping spots next to the venue to ensure you don't have to get a taxi or pay for a hotel. Although camping is definitely cheaper, getting a hotel is sometimes worth the extra money.
Leeds Festival 2013 was one of the muddiest festivals ever, and countless tents and equipment was ruined by the rain and the grime. In the dark, covered in mud, wet and cold in the evening, the last thing you want to do is slide into a tent with drunk people and noise outside. Research nearby hotels and book way in advance for the best deals.
Some people may argue that camping is part of the experience, and it also means you're there at night, not just until the last band has finished playing. There's also the chance that the weather will be great, and that camping will be fun. It's up to you.
5. Check Out Your Favourite Band's Merchandise
Seeing your favourite band live is really exciting, and so is grabbing a t-shirt, hoodie, or bag featuring their logo or name! Always check stalls to see what cool merchandise is on offer. It can really add to the experience.
6. Work Out Your Budget in Advance and Stick to it
Money is important, and music festivals aren't cheap if you're planning to make the most of them. Aside from the ticket itself, you'll want money for drinks, food, merchandise, the taxi back to the hotel, and some aside in case of an emergency.
Work out exactly how much money you're taking with you and work out how much you want to spend. Most venues have a cash machine nearby, but if you want to skip the queues and carry cash, make sure it's in a safe place, such your tight front jeans pocket, as opposed to in your backpack.
7. Wear Comfortable Clothing
Being at a festival is all well and good, but if you're wearing uncomfortable clothes, tight shoes or you're too hot or cold, it can sap the enjoyment out of it. Plan your outfit for your festival sensibly. The weather is never guaranteed, so make sure you plan appropriately.
Most importantly are your shoes, which are the most important item of clothing you'll be wearing. You'll be walking around a lot so flip flops and sandals aren't advised. Consider comfortable sneakers, boots, or even wellies if you're expecting a lot of mud and rain. A great pair of shoes can make a huge difference to your comfort.
Most importantly, have fun! For some people, a music festival is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; for some bands, it might be their last show, or money or time constraints may stop you being able to attend another festival for a long time. Take pictures, sing loudly, buy stuff, and have a great time, as well as staying safe and happy with these helpful tips.