Are Music Festivals Safe? Read This BEFORE You Attend Another!

“IH, I want to go to my first music festival, but… are music festivals safe? 🤔

There are all kinds of stories about music festivals floating around the world right now. Some are incredible and beautiful and others might make you want to stay home. Like all events, music festivals have their highs and lows, but if you know what you’re doing, they can be one hundred percent safe and fun. 

So let me tell you a little bit about what makes a music festival safe and how you can do your part in ensuring that you and your crew are at their best during any festival.

Are Music Festivals Safe? Read This BEFORE You Attend Another!

What Makes a Festival Safe?

Before even deciding whether or not you want to go to a festival, check out a few things to see if the production team has your own health and safety in mind. Here are a few things that you should be able to easily find in the FAQ that lend toward a festival being a safe place to hang out. 

  • Safety and security policies
  • Health guidelines
  • Medical tent locations
  • Potable water locations
  • Drug policies

You can also look into what the festival has had to deal with in the past, whether that is weather advisories, moshing incidents, drug overdoses, active shooters or anything in between. Knowing that they have the infrastructure to handle and overcome things like this can really calm the nerves of any festival goer. 

Safety And Security Guidelines

Safety And Security Guidelines

Looking into the safety guidelines that a music festival has in place can be a great example of what precautions they take and how they handle issues that come up. Being able to see who and where you can go if you ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable can help you to create your own game plan in the occurrence of an incident. 

Also knowing what can and cannot be brought into the festival can give you some context on the safety precautions that are being taken at the event. 

Some good key phrases to look up in the FAQ regarding this include: Security Policy; What To Bring; Code Of Conduct; Weather Advisory Plans; or Safety.

Health Guidelines And Medical Tents

Especially surrounding the era of Covid-19 it is important to look up what the policies and rules regarding health are. Even though most events are not still requiring masks or proof of Covid vaccinations, some might be. Knowing this will keep you from having any uncomfortable surprises and can calm your nerves in regard to health situations.

Being able to locate medical tents is also an important thing to be able to do at a festival. Knowing where to go and how to get in contact with a medical team can save your or another person’s life. 

To top it off, knowing what other health and safety teams are available can be incredibly important as well. Some festivals, like the ones put on by Insomniac, have teams of people who wander around and ensure the safety and wellbeing of patrons. (Insomniac)

Potable Water Locations

Potable Water Locations

Knowing if a festival has locations to fill up your water bottle on sight is incredibly important. Because of the heat and amount of work it is to simply exist at a festival, let alone dance and party, water is a must. 

Make sure that the festival you are going to offers water for cheap, and has a space for people to fill up their water bottles for free. If they do, then you should make sure to bring an empty, refillable water bottle so that you can utilize their water stations and stay hydrated. 

Drug Policies

Drug Policies

Something that has always made its way into festival culture would be the use and abuse of illegal drugs. If this is something that really makes you uncomfortable, I would suggest sticking to more family friendly festivals. There are definitely still going to be drugs there, but security will be stricter on them.

The fact of the matter is that 21+ festivals tend to be pretty lenient on personal use amounts of drugs. Whether or not you are going to partake in those kinds of things, it is important to know how the staff is expected to react to it. Medical teams should already be stocked and prepared for drug related incidents, but some festivals also have safe spaces for people having bad experiences, teams checking around for people’s well being and other situations. 

Knowing about these things can really make you feel more confident and comfortable in any situation around a festival. 

Now that we have gone over things that festivals can do to make your experience safer and more comfortable, let's go over what you can do to have a safe and fun time at an event. 

How Can You Make A Festival Safe?

There are lots of things that you can do to ensure that your music festival experience is as safe as possible. Here is a quick list of things you can do leading up to the festival and at the event that is going to make all the difference if something does happen to come up. 

  • Do your research
  • Pack the right things
  • Stick with friends
  • Create a plan
  • Make healthy choices

These are just a few umbrella ideas, but they can really go a long way, if you really commit to having a safe time at a festival. 

Do Your Research

Do Your Research

Take the time to look up all of the things that were mentioned in the previous part of this article. Know what the festival map looks like and where to find the important things, like water stations, medical tents and exits. Also, double-check on things regarding the area you’re staying in. Learn the best ways to get to and from the festival and what other precautions people who have gone in the past suggest taking. 

Pack The Right Things

Another thing to do research on is what to bring to the music festival with you. Keeping in mind things like, the festival’s “What to bring” list says, the weather forecast and your own plans, be sure to pack light enough to carry but also to bring enough that you have what you need.

Some good things to bring include: layers, water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, flashlight, chargers, first aid kit, walkie talkies to keep in touch, and a blanket or something comfortable to sit on. (Quora) There are certainly quite a few other things you should bring, but these are some basics.

If you do plan to partake in some less than legal items, come prepared for the worst. This means having test kits for your items, Narcan in case someone were to partake a little too much, and just about anything else you might need in order to have a safe trip. 

Stick With Friends

Stick With Friends

Unless you choose to go to a festival alone, another entirely exciting thing to talk about, be sure to stick with the buddy system. There are two main reasons for this, one being that there are a lot of people at these festivals and unfortunately not all of them are sober and trustworthy. The other is that having that many people in one location turns the cell phone service into a total nightmare. 

Be careful of the people you are around. Making sure there is someone you trust around you at all times can keep you so much safer and more comfortable than going alone, plus it’s way more fun to experience something like that with a fellow festival goer. Staying with someone else also makes things so much easier when you do find yourself in a sticky situation, or unable to get in contact with the rest of your crew. 

Create A Plan

Create A Plan

Like I said before, make sure you know where you’re going to meet with your friends if you do plan to split up. You can plan as little or as much as you’d like, but in the end the more time you put into reacting to things that go wrong, the better off you’re going to be. Having plans like this can make it easier for you to split up for conflicting sets, run to the bathroom without ruining the vibes or do just about anything else without really having to worry about whether or not you’re going to find your way back to your friends.

Make Healthy Choices

The final, most important, and hopefully most obvious suggestion that I have for you is to make healthy choices. Don’t do anything that feels off to you, and certainly don’t hang around anyone that doesn’t feel like a good person. 

The main suggestion I have through this would be to listen to your own body. If you need to sit down, find a place to sit, if you need water or food or shade, go to it. Don’t give up your physical well being for a single show. No matter who it is, it simply isn’t worth it. 

On top of this, remember everything your rave mom tells you. AKA: Don’t take drugs you haven’t tested, don’t put yourself in uncomfortable situations, stay hydrated, let your friends know where you are, and most importantly have fun! 

At the end of the day, you can’t be sure that every event will go exactly as planned. Things happen, and all you can do is try to be prepared. Festivals are fun and usually very accepting and loving environments. If you do your best to make sure that yourself and the people around you are having a good time and being safe, then you should have nothing to worry about.