Spring in the air and blooms starting to pop! This is time for planting the garden, cleaning the windows and taking note of how different the air smells and feels in your body. It is also the time we bust out our calendars and start looking at summer travel plans and our festival wish list. Just thinking about listening to music outside on a warm summer night makes my tummy glow with happiness.
I have been to festivals in the mountains, the jungles and the deserts, as attendee, as staff, and as a volunteer working alongside medical personnel. Through these years of experience, I have become familiar with the most common (and uncommon and sometimes just weird) problems people tend to have while dancing the day and night away.
Below are some common sense tips and life hacks for the festival goer.
DRINK MORE WATER THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED. Staying hydrated does not mean drinking beer before lunch. Drink good old fashioned water. Bring electrolytes. EmergenC is a good option. They are easy to pack, and not only have essential vitamins and minerals to hydrate, but also contain 1000mg of Vitamin C, which will help keep the immune system strong.
PRO TIP: Get a couple of the single serve water bottles and freeze them. They work as ice packs in the cooler, and you’ll have clean ice water to drink on Day 2 at high noon.
DON'T OVER HEAT. This is the most common problem I have seen at festivals. People overheating, fainting or breaking out in a heat rash. Sure you could dance right in front of the stage in the heat of the day, but pace yourself. Enjoy the day bands under the shade of a tree or umbrella. There will be bands that’ll make you boogie in the evening too. Dress in cool, breathable clothes. If you do overheat try to get a cool shower, bath or swim to bring the temp down, and relax an inflamed heat rash. If you can’t get a shower, take a cool cloth and place it on the neck, wrists, and/or tops of feet. Pack a few Coconut waters and get hydrated and cooled off all at once.
PRO TIP: Take your bandanna/ neck scarf, get it wet and put it in the cooler. Or better yet, wet it, put it in a ziplock and immerse it in ice. Take it out at noon, and instantly cool off and protect your neck from the sun.
BE SUN CONSCIOUS. Seems so obvious, but every festival will see more than one person waddling around, beet red, on Day 2. Don’t be that person. Wear a hat, wear sunscreen, cover your neck, take care of your kissers, and don’t forget the tops of your feet! You’ll enjoy much more of the festival if you respect the power of the Sun. I use Sunscreens by Badger. They are considered safe for the species of the Barrier Reef, so that makes them good enough for me! The only active ingredient is Zinc Oxide.
For my face I love this 40 spf Tinted option by Cotz… It leaves your skin so soft. I use it as a foundation all summer long.
PRO TIP: Keep the Aloe Vera in the cooler for extra relief.
EAT HEALTHY. If you eat a breakfast burrito first thing in the morning, a gyro with fries for lunch, and 2 slices of heavenly, big as your face pizza slices from the favorite foods trucks of the festival you are more likely to feel crummy. We know this. Yet, food plays an important role of most festival experiences. Instead of eating main courses from the vendors, try just finding snacks to wet the whistle with local, festival foods. Maybe you can get your hands on a steamed artichoke or buffalo cauliflower.
If you really want to try that new truck serving Vegan Grilled Cheese, how about splitting it with a friend or two? Then you all get to try a variety of foods and support the local vendors. By eating the main meals at the campsite or with the folks you came with will likely save money and keep it as healthy as you want it. Be sure to pack hydrating foods and snacks like grapes, cucumbers, and apples.
PRO TIP: For multiple day festivals, where you are going with a handful of people, each person can make a meal or two for everyone. It can be pre-made and brought or cooked on the spot, and then you only have to think about cooking a couple of times the whole weekend.
PACK A FIRST AID. This is especially important if you want natural remedies. Cuts, scrapes, bug bites, falls, headaches, cramps can happen anytime, anywhere… And they are more likely (when intoxicated) in unfamiliar territory. Be prepared and have the basics.
Additional items to consider:
If you take daily medication, be sure to pack it. Festivals are no place to “try going off your meds.”
Those are the basics folks. Use common sense and take care of yourself. Nobody wants to spend their festival babysitting adults who should know to wear sunscreen, drink water, and be aware of their environment. That said, accidents do happen, even to the most aware, so come prepared. Festivals can be a place to regroup and recharge in a positive, healthy environment, and I hope that is what your summer festival schedule provides for you!