Ah yes, summer music festival season. It’s the sweet, golden elixir of a time where you’ll link up with some of your best mates, probs make some new ones, and similarly get lost 29048 times from your main group in one day. All while some of the best bands in Oz, and the world, fill up ya day with tunes, bangers and sing alongs galore. I mean, who would want it any other way?
But the last few months have been challenging for the wider music festival scene. We’ve had a few tragic circumstances, and politicians like Gladys still oppose modern festival routes like pill testing -despite overwhelming evidence. And look I know come summer festival season, there could be a chance that you might dabble in the world of extra highs and non-alcohol related doozies.
So we’ve teamed up with our buddies at Whatslively to bring you five things you need to remember when turning it up a notch at your fave festy this summer.
#1 Make Sure You Really Trust Your Festival Crew
It goes without saying that this should be a rule regardless of your extra curricular activities. I honestly believe that good crews make festivals. When you’re in the massive arena or show grounds of a festival, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, and your crew will get you through it. And if you’re turning it up a notch, make sure you trust that crew even more. Do you know where you got your stuff from? Have you had it before? Are any of your mates staying sober or just drinking?
Totally get that you probably wont know the answers to all of these types of questions, but the more the better. Even just knowing who you can go to if you’re not feeling ok will reassure you.
#2 Stick To The Waters
In most cases, if you’re dropping or getting pretty wild, don’t mix that with heaps of alcohol. Like anyone who has been in the situation can testify, it’s a bloody dangerous mix. And actually, most fatal overdoses are often the result of mixing multiple drugs (whether it be alcohol or otherwise). But look, I get it. We all want to keep the high going, and it feels weird drinking water when everyone is on the rum and cokes.
But try and stick to good old H20 – you can make small steps too. For example, alternate your alcoholic bevs with water, or even go with soft drinks instead of alcohol so it keeps your hands busy. Sometimes drugs even mask the effect alcohol is having on your body, so it’s best not to get too risky.
#3 Suss Out The Safety Points
Look around. There’s so fkn much going at music festivals that I can guarantee that you’ll forget meeting points, chill areas and where the golzeme stand is for a filthy 10pm feed. So if there is one thing you try to remember, make it the safety and first aid spots. If you’re feeling the effects, head straight there with a friend. If you’ve lost your buddies and you have no reception (likely), also head there to get your bearings back and get some help.
Paramedics are there to ultimately help you, so don’t feel ashamed if you need to swing in. Although none of us ever want to really end up there, play it safe and make sure you know where the safety spots are if it does come to that.
#4 Let Someone Outside Of Your Crew Know
Your crew is solid, good start. But phone a friend who isn’t with you and just cue them in with what’s going down. Even if it’s just a simple text along the lines of “I’m going to Falls this NYE, can you just check on me here and there if you have time?”. Things can often get pretty rowdy at a festival, so having someone on the outside just checking in here and there helps too.
#5 Talk About It
Honestly maybe the thing that makes me really want to see pill testing rolled out asap is the conversation. Because drugs as a whole is such a taboo topic, us younger peeps can be a bit scared to talk to anyone – because like fuck, do I get a criminal record? Will mum disown me? Will people not hire me because I’ve smoked a joint? And those type of thoughts just aren’t fair. So bring it up with your friends, have a chat about it with a sibling who understands or with someone you trust. Understanding drugs, the effect they have and the risks are so important – and it’s worth chatting about.
Whatever you end up doing this festival season, have a sick time and look after your mates! If you’re a music lover like I am (love), and you’re looking to keep across all festivals and gigs in Australia, go and download the Whatslively app. They’ll not only let you know about live music in your exact area, but they’ll sync up with your Spotify and let you know when artists you vibe are playing gigs close to you. Just. Like. Magic. Download it via the App Store and Google Play – and get listening!