With the 2011 summer season officially upon us, there is no event synonymous with rugged living quite like an outdoor music festival. This is a seemingly simple guide to what you need in order to keep your wits about you while basking in undiluted sunshine, bass, and fanfare.
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Tip Number 1: Location, location, location! Park your entourage camp in an area where you are guaranteed to not get trampled, can still see/hear the stage without much obstruction or having to plow yourself into a moshpit of reckless abandon, and in relative direct proximity to facilities and/or alcohol serving station. This is the holy trinity of prime real estate.
Tip Number 2: You’re only as strong as your weakest bladder. AKA The key to survival. Scope out the bathroom situation. Get neurotic and attempt to time your binge-drink consumption in accordance with artist set times you know you will not want to miss. There is nothing worse than getting amped up for a set and mid-way being struck with the feeling, having to break through a pack of pissed-off (pun) folk and sprinting to and from your party approximately 10 minutes across the field. You will not be getting back into your prime concert-watching pit spot. Don’t pee in a bottle.
Tip Number 3: Pack light. Do not be that asshole in an over-populated crowd wearing a giant knapsack literally packed for a weekend nap. If you must haul your camping gear and kitchen sink, leave the luggage with a designated reliable babysitter somewhere on the outskirts of traffic. Or, put over-readiness to good use and become an evil genius:
Tip Number 4: Rocking everywhere! I am a passionate advocator of booty shorts in any situation. But if there were ever an appropriate time for the wearing of acid-washed denim cut-offs, this would be it. Lending itself to Tip Number 1, one does not want to have to be ripping off mutiple complicated layers of spandex, chiffon, fringe, etc. in a 2×2 Porta-Potty cubicle, especially toward the end of the day when the charming combination of humidity and sweat has become an adhesive and vision is impaired for a variety of reasons. The less clothing the better (but please, wear some semblance of coverage). This transferable rule also applies to one’s every day public exposure — including cut-offs. Hey, if you’ve got ass-confidence, own it. Below, a selection of festival-acceptable footwear:
Tip Number 5: Protect yourself. This is not in reference to those fornicating on the dance floor, but rather alertness to the elements. Nobody fiends to be dealing with a heat-stroke-ridden passer-outer in the center of a stampede, so stay hydrated (a vodka-water isn’t water) and all that stuff your mother told you. Bring a light sweater, and weather-wary, an umbrella. Protecting oneself also applies to staying conscious of elbows-in-face and the general rowdy trouble makers. For a more mellow experience, plant yourself nearer to the Woodstock demograhic, ifyaknowwhatImean. Mosh at your own risk.
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I will be putting the above TBD-helpful tips to practice in the upcoming weeks, specifically at Toronto’s first edition of Heavy T.O. — a two-day rock extravaganza being held at Downsview Park. Heavy-hitting headliners include Motörhead, Slayer, and Rob Zombie. If preparedness was ever needed, this would be the time. Will report back.
Until then, keep fit and have fun!