Opinionated Metalhead: Preparing to Rage- Festivals 101
Music Festival Season is fast approaching. We have Las Vegas Death Fest, Las Rageous, Psycho, Punk Rock Bowling and so many more in and out of town. They can be a real blast and something for people to look forward to throughout the rest of the year. That being said, when preparing to go to a music festival for any genre, there are a few rules to live by to make your experience safe and enjoyable.
Read venue/ festival FAQ’s BEFORE the event
Security doesn’t owe you shit if you don’t do your due diligence ahead of time. If your favorite key chain made out of a bullet casing or a pocket knife isn’t allowed in, it will be confiscated and most likely thrown away. Leave these non-essential items at home or in your hotel room instead of risking losing them to security or clumsiness at the venue.
Double check the event web page for information on their bag policy, listed contraband and dress code. Not all festivals are created equal some are more lenient than others. Basically don’t come expecting them to let you in dressed in shoulder pads with daggers and a flask or to be allowed to stroll in wearing only a banana hammock and a bedazzled butt plug up in your shit hole.
Do your research on re-entry details
Not every festival is free re-entry. In some cases if you leave you have to buy a new ticket to get back in. There is nothing worse than leaving a festival to go charge your phone in your car only to come back to footing the bill for another ticket or being too broke to pay it and losing out on the rest of the experience.
Scope out parking / transportation/ lodging in advance
Always scope out near-by parking, ride share, public transportation and lodging well ahead of time.
Parking: Scope out near by parking lots. 2 bucks extra in parking a block or 2 away may save you from hours of trying to leave the parking structure at the end of the night.
Ride Share: If you are planning on drinking or don’t want to deal with pre and post show traffic out of parking garages and everything else under the sun, I recommend using ride share, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area your venue is in. Also keep in mind an exit strategy for IF your phone dies at the show and you are unable to use an app because of it. Have a backup plan.
Public Transportation: If you are familiar with the public transportation system around the venue this is an alternate option to taking a ride share. Not recommended to do while drunk for personal safety in my opinion but if you don’t want to deal with parking this is a potential option.
Lodging: If you know its going to be a long drive home or you are flying in town for the show sometimes getting nearby lodging by the venue can save you a headache. Make sure to book lodging well in advance so that you aren’t subject to last minute price hikes.
DAY OF THE SHOWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!
Be prepared for rain or shine. Shade and sun screen to ponchos. Some festivals are indoors and will be extremely hot just due to the body heat that is given off from a bigger crowd. Dress accordingly.
ALWAYS expect to get patted down and wanded
With a large crowd congregated in one place pat downs, bag searches and wandings are an essential part of ensuring EVERYONE’s safety. If you are one of those people that is gonna bitch and moan about it like you are going through airport security …SHUT THE FUCK UP and DEAL WITH IT.
This is literally to keep everyone safe. Every year you hear about stabbings, shootings and drug overdoses because of assholes who find ways to be devious spawns of shit and sneak shit in or get missed by security check points. Fuck the people who do this. Don’t be a spawn of shit…be a spawn of Satan and rage with me. Its much better and I wont punch you in the balls
If you’re a little dysfunctional … don’t you know .. you’re not Tech N9ne you don’t get away with SHIT.
If you are going to drink, don’t leave your ID at home
Any reputable venue that serves alcohol is going to card your ass. If you don’t have your I.D. don’t expect to drink. If it’s a 21 and up venue don’t expect to get in unless your ass looks like you are 70 (I hear meth is great for that… kidding…) and even then some have a strict policy that wont even allow that.
This is absolutely number 1 in my book for any vegas concert taking place outside during the hotter months. Don’t be a moron and drink rum and cokes all day. Water should be priority over beer.
Heat exhaustion is no joke and can put you in the hospital. 1. Do you honestly want that hospital bill? 2. Do you want to risk missing the show you came to see? 3. Do you want to die? If your answer is yes to any of these 3 questions…shut up and knock it off.
It is almost always a better experience when you bring a battle buddy for the mosh pit or just an overall concert buddy to share in the experience with. Someone to talk to in between sets without that awkwardness of talking to a complete stranger.
That being said even when going with friends to be afraid to bond with others either. Awkwardness only exists for so long. Some of my greatest friends I met randomly while at a festival or a show.
Be A Baller On A Budget
Always try to set a budget for merch and other purchases like booze and food beforehand. No one wants to go too overboard and have to suffer the consequences of not being able to adult and pay bills after a big festival because they bought one of every T-shirt or went a little over the top buying everyone rounds of shots.
I limit myself to either a set number of merch items or a set dollar amount depending on the show. Like for Slayer …I am only allowed to buy 1 tour t-shirt.
Da Plan …Da Plan….
Most festivals will have a giant board , hand out , or social media post with set times. Save a photo/ screen shot of the set times so you can plan which stage to go to when to make sure you don’t miss the bands you were excited to see. This also helps from zapping your phone battery by having to go to the website to re-look up set times if they are only available online. If you are changing stages often pick and chose which acts you want to make the effort to be right up front for. Basically set your priorities, have a plan, but keep it fun instead of a stressful push through a dense crowd every-time you need to move.
Plan to have a meet up point if you came with friends in case one of you gets lost in the crowd. That way you can make sure everyone gets home or to their lodgings safely.
Safety First …Second…Third….all of the numbers ….
How should I put this ….don’t do dumb shit …Darwinism is real. I’m not talking about your standard stage diving, crowd surfing , mosh pits and headbanging (although there is some risk involved with those too). I’m talking about intentionally doing something like jumping off scaffolding or a small building structure that is not meant for that and then expecting people to catch you. There are people who die or get very seriously injured every year from doing stupid shit at shows. Be smart about your antics.
Also if you do go in a mosh pit …make sure you follow Mosh Pit Etiquette. Don’t be that dick that ruins the show for someone by not following this.
Last, But Not Least, Have A BLAST!!!
Have fun …if it stops being fun .. think if the ticket money is worth you staying and being miserable. It is okay to leave early. It is okay to not be there for the entire festival and it is okay to be there for the entire festival. It’s your business which it is and if anyone shames you for it they are elitist dicks that can go sit on one.
Everyone is there to enjoy the music. Have fun. Don’t be a dick. Rage on and Happy Moshing!!! ~Savage Annie