Are you planning to attend a music festival soon? You’re not alone. In fact, recent research indicates 32 million people attend at least one U.S. music festival annually. And with popular music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and others at destinations across the United States, this figure may increase in the years to come.
Music festivals provide attendees of all ages with the chance to see their favorite artists and musicians live and in-person. Yet they also expose attendees to a variety of dangers, including dehydration, excessive heat exposure and loud noise.
For those who plan to attend a music festival in the near future, it helps to plan ahead. That way, you will know how to handle assorted music festival dangers and can enjoy a fun, exciting and, most importantly, safe experience.
Prepping for a music festival can be quick and easy – here are five tips to help you remain safe and healthy during a music festival.
- Stay Hydrated
Dehydration occurs when the body suffers fluid loss to the point that it can no longer function normally. It has been linked to excessive heat exposure – a common problem at summer music festivals where thousands of people gather to watch their favorite artists and musicians. Meanwhile, dehydration can affect children, infants and adults, causing dizziness, headaches, dry mouth and other physical symptoms. Worst of all, dehydration that goes unaddressed can be fatal.
To combat dehydration, drink plenty of water any time you attend a music festival. Don’t wait to feel thirsty; conversely, try to drink regularly throughout a music festival, and you could stop dehydration symptoms before they dampen your event experience.
Additionally, you should wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothing, a hat and sunglasses and apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher to help you stay cool and comfortable outdoors during a music festival. You also should take breaks throughout the day and hang out in shaded areas as much as you can during the event.
- Use the Buddy System
Music festivals often take place at arenas and stadiums that host thousands of people at once, and as a result, it may be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the event. However, if you use the buddy system, you and a buddy can stay connected throughout a music festival and share an unforgettable experience.
With the buddy system, you and a buddy should remain in constant communication with one another. You should organize a central meeting place in the unfortunate event that you and your buddy become separated during a music festival, too.
Don’t rely on your phone to keep in contact with a buddy during a music festival, either. Thousands of people may attend a music festival, which may lead to network overload that prevents you from sending or receiving texts or making phone calls during the event. Or, your phone’s battery may wear down and die over the course of several hours. On the other hand, if you use the buddy system, both you and your buddy can work together to stay safe throughout a music festival.
- Drink Safely
From 1999 to 2014, drug and alcohol overdoses were the most common non-trauma related cause of music festival fatalities, according to a study conducted by researchers at UBC and the University of Victoria. One of the reasons why this may have been the case is “drink spiking,” a problem that continues to plague many music festival attendees worldwide.
Drink spiking occurs when someone intentionally adds alcohol or drugs to a person’s drink without him or her knowing about it. In this instance, the drink may make an individual feel drunk, nauseous or dizzy. It may even cause a person to lose consciousness or make it difficult for him or her to concentrate or communicate.
When it comes to drinking a beverage at a music festival, it is a good idea to be careful. Whenever possible, bring your own drinks to a music festival. If you are attending an outdoor music festival, for example, you may be able to bring a cooler with the beverages of your choice to the event. Of course, you should check out the music festival rules and regulations before the event to ensure you won’t have to leave your beverages outside the front gate.
If you buy beverages at a music festival, purchase drinks in sealed cans or bottles. You should only purchase beverages from arena or stadium vendors as well. And you should NEVER share or accept drinks from people you don’t know during a music festival.
- Bring Your Medication
A music festival may be an all-day event, or it may stretch over several days. As such, if you take any daily medications, you may want to bring them with you to the event.
Oftentimes, it helps to set an alarm on your phone or watch to remind you to take your daily medication at a music festival. If you want a backup plan, you can always ask a friend to remind you to take your medication, too.
You should bring a sufficient amount of any medication with you to a music festival. If you require additional medication, you should refill any prescriptions in the days leading up to the event.
If you lose your medication during a music festival, seek out emergency assistance. Music festivals usually have first aid tents on hand where you can receive immediate medical support. Thus, you should find out where a music festival first aid tent is located so you know exactly where to go in a medical emergency.
Furthermore, in the event that you need to go to an emergency room, notify music festival event staff right away. By doing so, you can get the emergency support you need, exactly when you need it.
- Protect Your Ears
Wearing earplugs during a music festival won’t hinder your event experience. Instead, earplugs protect users against long-term hearing loss – something that otherwise could prevent you from enjoying music festivals in the future.
Music festivals frequently create noise that exceeds a danger zone of 80 dB. At this level, permanent hearing damage may occur if music festival attendees fail to take the proper precautions. Fortunately, earplugs are inexpensive and easy to find, and they can protect your hearing without negatively affecting your music festival experience.
Earplugs lower the volume of a music festival to a typical level. They are designed to fit comfortably inside the ears and can be instantly inserted and removed from the ears. Plus, earplugs come in neutral colors that make the devices virtually invisible.
The Bottom Line on Music Festival Safety
As the aforementioned tips show, there are lots of things you can do to protect yourself and others during a music festival. For those who want to go above and beyond the call of duty, you may want to sign up for a basic first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or another emergency training class as well.
Completing an emergency training class generally won’t require more than just a few hours of your time and will enable you to learn a wide range of life-saving skills. Best of all, you can use the skills you learn in an emergency training class to become a life-saver during any music festival emergency, at any time.