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12 Tips For 21st Century Summer Music Festival Attendees: A Festival Survival Guide

June 18, 2013 8 comments
Downsview Park Summer Music Festival Toronto

VELD 2012 far back from Main Stage on Day 1

We in Toronto are in our first weeks of warm weather and with it comes the parade of summer music festivals. I don’t care what kind of music you’re into, for the purposes of this article they’re all the same.

I saw a bunch of similar posts from various outlets and while some of them, like Notable.ca’s “Festival Season Packing Must Haves,” are really great and super helpful there were still a few things I found to be missing so I decided it was time to write my own. Also, I have kept this as unisex as possible although some of these tips do not make for the most fashionable advice the point of this is utility not fashion.

1 . Set Specific Meeting Times/Places To Regroup:

There’s a strong likelihood you’re going to get separated from your friends over the course of the day/festival. Take a look at the festival schedule before you head out and decide on (a) time(s)/band(s) during which you’re going to definitely regroup. When you get to the festival try to scope out a good rally point relative to each time or band and see it in real life. Places that make great spots for this are – for example – a portapotty/bathroom area or one of the booths selling stuff. Don’t pick a tree or bush unless it is REALLY, REALLY distinctive because you’ll never all be able to find it again. Also, choose a spot where everyone who’s still left standing is going to rally at the end of the day. There will be a rush of people trying to leave the festival area as soon as it’s over so unless you have somewhere super pressing to be that night you’re better off hanging back and meeting up with your friends.

2Bring Cash, ID, & Maybe Some Plastic But Leave Your Wallet At Home:

Unless you know for a certainty that they’re going to take plastic at the venue you’re attending I recommend bringing some cash. Don’t go crazy because you’re going to be quite disappointed if you misplace it but remember that there’s a strong likelihood of there being vendors who won’t take plastic and direct you to an ATM which has a long line up AND charges you an arm and a leg for the privilege of taking out some money.

I very highly doubt you’re going to need your pharmacy’s reward card and your movie theater membership while at a summer music festival so leave your wallet at home. You’ll be fine with the cash, a piece of ID like a license, and a credit and/or bank card. The lighter you travel, the better.

3. Wear Clothes With Lots Of POCKETS! (Like Cargo Shorts/Pants):

6 Front Pockets Cargo Shorts

These trusty cargo shorts of mine have 6 pockets in the front and 2 in the back. 2 of the front pockets fasten with velcro and 2 have zippers…talk about secure!

The more pockets you have, the better. You generally don’t want to be toting a bag around with you all day and if you have clothes which have a whole bunch of pockets  you can stay organized and comfortable. The alternative is to be jumping up and down while wearing a backpack, it’s annoying to say the least! Also, it is unfortunate but some people are jerks and try to pickpocket at these kinds of events. Pants/shorts with pockets that close up are going to make it that much harder to become a target and they also make sure things won’t fall out in general.

4. Bring A Portable Backup Battery & USB Charger:  Read more…

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