Have the best festival season with these dos and don’ts

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It's that time again. Beers on the patio, Frisbee at the park and best of all - OUTDOOR FESTIVAL TIME! Spread out the calendar and grab the felt pen and start circling dates for an epic summer. But more importantly, are you ready? Are you going to the big ones like beer festivals in Squamish or Vancouver? Performance in the Park in Banff? Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose? Or something way off the charts like Astral Harvest Music Fest in Driftpile, Alta. No matter what you pick, you need to be prepared.

Here are our top ideas to make your festival experience stellar.

Bring your dancing shoes but bring spares, too. If the festival goes long into the night, give your tootsies a break in fresh socks and comfy shoes to finish the marathon. And, bring enough clothes so you aren’t the whiny one ruining the event by saying, “I’m cold, let’s gooooooo nooooow.”

Pace your beverage intake. Don’t start the booze until after the crack of noon and promise yourself to toss back lots of water. You don’t want to be the drunk star of this summer’s shaming YouTube season. (Did that poor drunk ever get his flipflop back on?) 

Port-a-potty etiquette. A rose is a rose and no matter how hard the organizers or the sanitation crew tries, an outhouse is an outhouse. By Hour 4 of any festival those steamy containment systems are rank. Do your best to aim with military accuracy. And if you miss, be kind and wipe it down. That goes for the gals that think squatting over the seat is brilliant – it’s sloppy and inconsiderate of the next person. And, bring your own pocket-sized bottle of hand sanitizer.

Be the next viral video – but in a good way. Dance and sing like no one is watching. Enjoy the music, the fresh air, the camaraderie and dance. Your exuberance will be contagious and you won’t be dancing alone for long. 


(The dancer at the Gorge probably was on something but, he was inspirational) 


Speaking of being on something. Don’t take any substance from someone you don’t know. Flipping out on Molly may be confused with a dance and EMS help may be awkward to find.

Want to attend but don’t have the coins? Consider volunteering. Sure, you’ll do a shift or two of taking tickets or selling programs but you get in free, end up with a cool T-shirt and if you plan right, you listen to the tunes for free.

A little first-aid goes a long way. Bring protection against the sun, the bugs and STIs.

Keep your stuff safe. Just because you’ve ben chatting with your new neighbour for three hours doesn’t mean they can be trusted to watch purses, phones, backpacks or toddlers. Keep all of those with you at all times.

Speaking of kids. Bring hearing protection. I SAID BRING HEARING PRO….yeah…I bet you wish your parents thought of that.

It's time to make fanny packs cool again. Wait. They were never cool. Just like mini-vans, they serve a purpose. Stuff your phones, cards and coins in there and wear it like you invented it.

Dangle a mini flashlight. What if your phone dies? Bring a keychain light to be on the safe side.

Still want to bring the kids? Bring some mini games. Bubble wands, chalk, glow sticks and snacks. Forget some of the house rules. Let them enjoy the festival. They can eat peas at home. But don’t over- stimulate them, don’t keep them up too late, or your aching head and tired butt will pay the price tomorrow. (Trust me on that one).

Last but definitely NOT LEAST. Do bring your attitude of understanding. Thank those volunteers. Without them, you wouldn’t have a festival to attend. 

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