Gears of Rock

The Rock 'N Roll Sanctuary

Summer Music Festival Survival Guide

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

By Karol Chin

Contributing Writer

You've just got your expensive ticket to musical heaven, be it Bonnaroo, Pitchfork, or Lollapalooza and more, but what to do when you get there? There are a few simple rules to keeping the fun alive, as well as yourselves.   

These festivals usually take place on some barren farm so as not to disturb the neighbors.  It'll be like its own little bubble that sucks you in and drains you of all your assets, with a smile.  Survival can be broken down into a few main categories: Sustenance, Shelter, Entertainment, and Emergency Resources. 

I highly suggest bringing cooking equipment and food since everything at the festival will be ridiculously overpriced.  Don't give in to that $5 lemonade, taunting you with it's pricey juices.  The more money you save on food, the more money you have for other things like band merchandise, odd musical instruments, and hallucinogens. 

If camping on the grounds, you'll need some creature comforts.  At the least, you'll need a tent, air mattress, and a pillow.  You can throw in things like a canopy, lounge chairs, and a table for socializing with your fellow music lovers.

There are a few key items that will make waiting for musicians to come on stage much easier.  Bring a picnic blanket, hat, lots of water bottles, maybe even a camel water pack, and sunscreen.

It's always good to carry cash and avoid the ATM fees, as long as you keep it safe. Be sure to keep a first aid kit around just in case you get pummeled by raging fans of the singer you've just insulted.  Insect repellent and aloe will also keep your sunburned skin in check.

Another way to save money on the hundreds of the dollars these tickets cost is by volunteering.  Volunteers often get free admission in exchange for just a few hours of service.  Quite the deal, I must say so myself.  It was particularly worth it at Bonnaroo.  In exchange for eight hours of volunteering, I got to see almost everyone I mapped out on the schedule.   

Summary of Suggested Items:

Sustenance Shelter TraverseEmergency
Food, Water, Ice Cooler, Electric Grill, Utensils, Dishwashing liquid
Tent, Tarp, Air Mattress, Pillow, Sheets, Foldable Canopy, Lounge Chairs, TablePicnic Blanket, Hat, Sunscreen,Water, Mist FanCash, Medicine, First Aid Kit, Insect Repellant, Alo

These are the basic necessities for surviving the harsh climate known as the music festival.  I'm sure there are plenty more tips you'll gather whilst there. Additional tips: Scope out all the air conditioned facilities, beware the naked people showering in the water stations, try not to die. Enjoy!

The Gears of Rock welcomes Karol Chin to the sanctuary.

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