I’ve been going to traveling rock fest, Van’s Warped Tour for well over a decade. When I was in my 20s, I never prepared properly for outdoor events and by the end of the day, often found myself miserable with battle wounds, an empty stomach and scorching sunburns. Have you ever had sunburn on your scalp and blisters on your shoulders? I do NOT recommend it. I also got stranded one time because my cell phone battery died. I have since wised-up, got some smarts about me and know how to better prepare myself for an all-day music festival. After seeing 5 different people either pulled from the crowd or being taken out in wheelchairs from heat exhaustion at this year’s event in Charlotte, NC, I knew the following list had to be made.
To help beat the heat and make your time at Warped Tour (or any outdoor event) more fun & less strenuous, use my below list of must-haves to survive the day.
1. A portable ‘necklace’ fan: A good friend of mine told me about this trick and it is an absolute MUST. Even when the actual wind wasn’t blowing, I had a cool breeze on my face and neck throughout most of the day thank to this bad boy. It really was my lifesaver.
2. WATER. Because it is crucial to stay hydrated when you’re outside in the heat and because most venues won’t allow you to bring in any outside beverages, always remember this rule: Before you go to any stage or buy any merch, go buy the biggest water you can find. Instead of the $5 regular bottle of water, I got a liter for the extra $2 that I sipped on all day. If you’re going to spend money, do it wisely, right?
3. Sunscreen. You’ve GOT to stay healthy (short & long-term). One of my favorites is Banana Boat CoolZone because as a cooling spray, it’s refreshing and light while protecting you from damaging UV rays.
4. Backpack, Hat & Sunglasses. On top of your phone, your car keys and other essentials, you need to carry around any awesomeness you acquire during the day. Backpacks are super convenient and stay out of the way while dancing, moshing or jumping. Plus, remember that whole staying healthy thing? Protect your head from harmful sun rays as well as your eyes. (Throw some crackers or a small bag of chips in your backpack as well to keep something on your stomach. Festival food, while often super delicious, can also be super expensive.)
5. Sharpie. You never know who you’ll run into simply walking around the venue. Be ready to have them sign your shirt, your foot or WHATEVER with the writing instrument of the rock and roll gods.
6. Phone Charger. Most outdoor venues have plugs where you can charge your phone. If you’re anything like me and take a lot of photos, videos or do a lot of live streaming, throw a charger in your bag just to be on the safe side. You definitely don’t want to run outta juice during your favorite song (or be left stranded)!
Are there other must-have items that YOU take to outdoor events? Let us know and perhaps we’ll add them to the list!
Check out the quick recap below of a few highlight performances from the July 6, 2017 show at PNC Music Pavillion in Charlotte, NC including Memphis May Fire, William Control, Andy Black and Hands Like Houses.
Other bands that rocked the day were Beartooth, Barb Wire Dolls and of course, old-skool favorites Save Ferris and The Ataris. Even though the line-ups have changed and I’m a bit more mature in age (and can’t last as long as I used to), the love of the music and the connection it brings to a crowd of strangers still remains the same.
See you next year, Warped Tour. I’ll be armed with TWO portable fans!