Music festivals are exhilarating experiences that often draw thousands of attendees. There’s nothing like the high of watching your favorite acts perform with people who love them just as fervently as you do.
However, things can take a dark turn quickly at these events. Bad things and accidents can happen anywhere, even in an environment that’s meant to promote good vibes. If you’re planning to attend a music festival, take note of these tips on how you can stay safe while partying:
Keep your identification on
Nowadays, music festival attendees will receive some form of identification upon entry. These usually take the form of a silicone wristband or a non-removable paper or cloth wristband that helps event organizers keep track of the number of people on the grounds. These bands provide an added layer of security by preventing fraud and unauthorized access to the location. Some of them are equipped with additional features such as RFID technology, which enables the band wearer to check into certain areas in a snap. This technology can also be used in cashless payment systems so that attendees can buy food, drinks, and merchandise without having to carry cash or their cards around with them. This, in turn, lowers incidences of theft and loss at the event.
Festival rules often include wearing these identification items at all times while on the grounds, and you would do well to heed them.
Know your limits
Some music festivals allow the consumption of alcohol while on the premises; the ones that do will often have vendor booths set up where these beverages can be bought. Such easy access to liquor can lead you to overshoot your limits and drink to excess, making you vulnerable.
Keep tabs on how many drinks you’re consuming, and make an effort to pace yourself. It’s also a good idea to go for bites of food between drinks. Staying hydrated is also very important. The combination of alcohol, physical activity, and spending a lot of time out under the sun can lead to dehydration, so keep a refillable bottle of water with you and chug that down throughout the day.
Don’t accept food or drinks from strangers
This one should be a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. Music festivals are also events for socializing, but you never know if someone bears malicious intent towards you. Date rape drugs come in a variety of forms that make them easy to slip into a drink or over food. The most common ones are tasteless, odorless, and can only be detected for a short time after ingestion. Some are also used in such small doses that they can be rapidly metabolized, rendering them virtually undetectable save by specialized laboratories. They can make you feel dizzy, drowsy, nauseous and uncoordinated, and most victims are unable to remember what happened to them while drugged.
At a music festival, never accept food or drinks from strangers, even if they seem friendly and affable. Only accept open-container drinks from bartenders or servers working the event, and keep an eye on it. Keep others safe by watching out for uncommon behavior, and if you suspect that someone has ingested a date rape drug, alert the authorities and seek medical attention immediately.
Have a list of emergency contacts handy
Should anything untoward happen to you, you’ll want someone to know who to call. This is especially important if you have a pre-existing medical condition; a close friend or family member will be able to relay your history to medical personnel in an emergency.
You can also use your smartphone to display critical medical information to help first responders. iPhone’s Health app allows you to set up a Medical ID that can be accessed from the lock screen without requiring your passcode. For Android phones using Nougat and newer, you can set up your Emergency Info in the Contacts app. This can also be accessed from your lock screen without the need for an unlock code. Both features allow you to list your name, date of birth, blood type, allergies, medications, and the number of your emergency contact person.
Encourage safety at your music festival by speaking out against any behavior you find odd, creepy, or suspicious, even if that makes you seem like a downer. Staying aware can save someone’s life and helps keep the good vibes going all around.