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1. Party safely

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Attending a festival, is often seen as a rite of passage, and is a great way to explore your musical interests and make memories with friends and/or family. It is important to have fun, but just as important to stay safe whilst attending said festival. One of the ways to do this, is by partying safely. This refers to monitoring your alcohol/substance intake, keeping an eye out for potentially vulnerable people (and stepping in if they require help), being respectful of others and planning your trip.

2. Stay cool/hydrated

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Another fundamental way of staying safe, is by staying cool and hydrated. It is important to take water with you, and ensure you have enough within your budget to purchase water at the festival. You should monitor your hydration throughout the day, and have water on-hand just in case of emergency. Staying cool is a great method of preventing heat-stroke and sunburn, and can also prevent things like panic attacks etc.

3. Chill out/take a break

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Attending any form of festival is exciting, and can often be overwhelming for the majority of people. This is why it’s important to relax, and take breaks when necessary. Although you will more than likely want to experience as much as the festival has to offer, you should pay attention to your body, and have breaks from walking etc. throughout the day (as this will prevent you from experiencing exhaustion).

4. Practice safe sex

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Festivals are often a great way to meet new people, make new friends and explore the possibility of romantic connections. This is why you should always practice safe sex at a festival, and ensure you pack appropriate protection (and remain prepared at all times). Using condoms is the most effective way of preventing the spread of STDs, and possible pregnancy!

5. Bring your medication

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If you have prescribed medication, you should ensure you pack it into your festival luggage, so you’re not left without it for multiple days. You should also notify your doctor, if you’re going to need extra doses of your medication, as they can ensure you’re prescribed enough for the duration of your festival trip. Any medication should be stored securely, and within some form of airtight container.

6. Learn your way round

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Preparation is a key part of attending a festival, and one of the best ways to do this, is by learning your way around the festival’s location. This can be done by accessing a map of the location, which can often be found on the event’s webpage, so you can print off multiple copies for people who may be attending with you. Studying the map beforehand, also allows you to plan a rough itinerary of activities.

7. Protect your hearing

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Physical safety and health are extremely important when attending a festival, especially your hearing. You should invest in a suitable pair of ear-plugs, so you can protect your hearing, whilst enjoying your favorite artists. Ear-plugs are also a great way to block out any disturbances you may encounter, when sleeping within your tent/camping area.

8. Have a ‘buddy’ system

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If you’re attending a festival with a group of friends and/or family, you should implement a ‘buddy’ system. A ‘buddy’ system is a great way of grouping people within your larger group of attendees, and it allows people with similar musical tastes/interests to explore the event together. It also improves the group’s overall safety and security, as you can take turns returning back to your campsite (when necessary).

9. Watch your drinks

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Whilst at a festival, you’re more than likely going to be drinking some form of alcohol, so it is important to monitor your intake, and switch to non-alcoholic choices if necessary. Another key part of drinking responsibly, is by watching your drinks, as this prevents the risk of you (and others) becoming victims of spiking; the act of illicit substances being placed into an individual’s drink.

10. Download online tools

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One festival essential, is your cell phone. To improve your festival experience, there are certain ‘online’ tools you can download onto your cell phone. For example, a great way to track your friends is via the app Life360 (this is amazing for finding friends that have wandered off/may be lost). Another great tracking app is: Find My Phone, which allows you to track any device’s location (which is great when trying to locate a lost/stolen device).

11. Stick to well-lit/populated areas at night

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The majority of festivals will run from dawn-till-dusk, and into the twilight hours. when the night begins to draw in, it is important to stay close with your group/’buddy’ system, and only travel through well-lit, populated areas. This will reduce the risk of you getting lost/separated from your group, potentially getting attacked and/or getting injured.

12. Be aware of trouble brewing

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Although festivals are a great experience, there can be times when there are physical and verbal altercations between people. This is mainly due, to the amount of people being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, so it is important to remain aware of your surroundings. You should be aware of any potential trouble brewing, move away from the surrounding area (if possible) and alert any available security.

13. Take a personal security alarm

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A great way of improving your personal safety, whilst attending a festival, is by carrying a personal security alarm (commonly referred to as a rape alarm). The majority of safety alarms can be added to your key-ring, or attached to bag. Having a safety alarm is an effective deterrent, especially if you feel unsafe at any point during the event, and you want to alert people that you require help.

14. Carry personal belonging on you at all times

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Another festival essential, is having some form of fanny-pack to carry your personal belongings with you throughout the day. You should use a bag that can be worn across your chest, as this will reduce the possibility of being pick-pocketed, and allows you to have easy access to your personal essentials. Your personal belongings will include things, such as: your cellphone, portable charger, keys, money and ID.

15. Don’t mix substances

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As mentioned previously, you may be planning on drinking and/or experimenting with substances whilst attending a festival. To ensure your safety, you should avoid mixing substances, as it will reduce the risk of you having an adverse reaction to substances you may have taken. If you stick to just one form of substance, you are more likely to have an enjoyable experience, and your body will recover much quicker.

16. Make use of drug-testing areas

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Staying on the topic of substances, you should make use of any drug-testing areas at a festival. There has been an increase, in the presence of drug-testing areas, and they are a great way for people to feel as though they can experiment without the fear of judgement. Drug-testing areas are made available, for people to check the strength and purity of any substances before they take them, so they can dose responsibly and reduce the risk of an accidental overdose.

17. Make use of medical tents

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When attending a festival, it is important to make note of all the medical tents within the area, as this can be extremely useful information for you and others. Don’t feel as though you won’t need the medical tents during your stay, as festivals can be highly unpredictable. You never know when an accident may occur, and whether you (or another attendee) may require medical attention.

18. Take a list of emergency contacts

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Making a list of emergency contacts is a great way to improve your safety, especially if you’re within a group of attendees. You should have the list on your cell phone, and print out a couple of copies (in case your cell phone runs out of charge, and one of your emergency contacts needs to be contacted). Emergency contacts are just as important if you’re attending solo, as you never know if/when you’re going to require help.

19. Know exit points at stages

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Of course, the main event of any festival, is the list of featured acts. When it comes to watching each act, you should make a note of the ‘exit’ points for each stage/area (especially if you’re planning on getting to the front of the crowd). If you are heading for the front of the crowd, you should aim to stand relatively close to the ‘exit’ points, as this will allow you to move out of the crowd if necessary.

20. Plan what to do if someone gets separated

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When attending within a group, it is important to plan what to do if one or more people become separated, from the group. One of the best ways to do this, is by implementing a ‘buddy’ system (as mentioned previously), and ensuring everyone has each other’s cell phone numbers. You can also implement a unique ‘signalling’ system, which can set aside your group members from other festival attendees.

21. Keep a first-aid kit on-hand

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Another festival essential is a first-aid kit. You can purchase small, travel-size first-aid kits from a range of retailers, and are a great addition to your bag of personal belongings. Having a first-aid kit on-hand, will ensure that you have medical supplies for any minor injuries e.g. bandages, bandaids, antiseptic cream, hand sanitizer, micropore tape etc.

22. Keep your phone charged

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A safety tip that may seem quite obvious, is ensuring your cell phone is charged. Having sufficient charge on your cell phone, will ensure you can contact people if necessary, and notify people of any updates throughout the day. If you’re worried about your cell phone running out of charge, it is best to purchase a portable charger, as you can charge your phone without the need for an electrical outlet.

23. Don’t leave anything valuable in your car/tent

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As mentioned previously, it is best to keep your valuables on you at all times (within a secure bag). A great way of protecting your personal belongings, is by avoiding storing them within your tent and/or car. This reduces the risk of your personal belongings being stolen and/or lost. It can be tempting to padlock your tent when heading out during the day, but this will actually attract potential thieves.

24. Reapply sun protection

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The majority of festivals occur during the summer months, so it is important to stay hydrated, cool and protected. The standard form of protection is sunblock, and this should be one of the main essentials when you’re packing your bag. You should opt for a travel-size bottle of sunblock, so it can be carried throughout the day, and you’re able to re-apply it.

25. Find a unique marker for your tent

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Now, it is extremely easy for your tent to get lost within the sea of tents at a festival, so it is a good idea to find a unique marker for your tent. This could be in the form of certain lights, a flag, bright colorings or symbol. Of course, any form of marker should be made visible from a distance, and should be 100% unique to your camping area!

26. Draw up a schedule

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Whether you’re attending a festival alone, or within a group, it is a good idea to create a rough schedule of activities for each day. By creating a schedule, you can plan out the best use of your time at the festival, and include everything you want to experience. Having a rough schedule, will also give your experience some structure and general planning.

27. Ensure that security are visible

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There will be security dotted around the festival’s grounds, so it is important to ensure some form of security are visible, no matter whereabouts you’re situated. It is also a good idea to form some kind of friendship, with at least one member of security, as it will provide you with a familiar face to look for if trouble does occur. Security are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask them for it.

28. Budget, prioritize and set deadlines

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As well as creating a rough schedule, you should budget, prioritize and set deadlines prior to your festival attendance. Budgeting is particularly important, as you need to ensure that you have enough money to sustain yourself at the festival, especially when purchasing food and drink. Prioritizing and setting deadlines, will allow you to plan out your arrival and departure from the event.

29. Set a meeting place

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Going back to the topic of group separation, you should all decide on at least one meeting place, which is visible from anywhere on the event’s grounds, and is easily accessible for everyone. The meeting place in question should have some form of unique marker e.g. large flag or sign, and should ideally be located within a well-lit and/or populated area of the festival!

30. Consider your baggage

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Finally, and perhaps one of the most important tips, is to consider your baggage for a festival. You should pack appropriately for a festival, and ensure that whatever you pack, will prove to be useful to you. You also want to ensure that you don’t over-pack your bag, and end up carrying around useless weight e.g. unnecessary clothing, excessive toiletries and (perishable) food/drink.

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