It’s that time of year again when all of us concert-goers gather at one of the largest music tours across the United States: Warped Tour. This tour has been a personal favorite for me, as I have been going for many years, starting back when I was in middle school (which feels like an eternity ago). Last year, there were a decent number of instances where I found myself shaking my head at all the stuff that people end up bringing with them to the concert that really does not need to be there. So in light of that, I decided to make a list of personal “do”s and “don’t”s of Warped Tour for Warped Tour 2014!
Feel free to leave comments on your personal “do”s and “don’t”s!
1. Do bring YOUR OWN water. Sometimes they take the caps off the water bottles you bring inside(so they aren’t chucked at the musicians, which I understand better now that I’ve gone there for a few years already), so if that’s the case, at least you still have the bottle to refill at the water station (a station they provide to concert go-ers to keep them hydrated). You’ll be happy you did. In Florida, at least, it is blistering hot and you’re going to be there for at least a couple of hours (I usually stay from opening time to closing), so it’s important to keep this in mind. Let’s be honest, too. You don’t want to pay $4 for a water bottle…That’s enough to buy a pack of ’em.
2. Do wear comfortable clothing (and maybe a bathing suit underneath). It feels pretty lucky when it drizzles at Warped Tour, but rain or shine, having a bathing suit gives the concert go-er the utmost comfort. One year, and I remember this clearly, the rain had poured so hard, and I remember having my clothes soaked through with rain and feeling uncomfortable for hours after. It was a total mess. In hindsight, I really should’ve checked the forecast and dressed accordingly.
3. Bring a camera. It’s always a good thing to be able to record your memories for later viewing. There’s so much that Warped Tour has to offer that it would be a true shame to not remember it in years to come. And who knows! You might run into a band member you’d kill to take a photo with, or win a VIP pass and really want to document the lucky moment (I won 2 meet-and-greets before and was lucky to have a charged and ready camera on hand!!). This one is essential!
4. Check out the band list and plan (at least a little bit) ahead of time so you can attend accordingly. There are going to be many different bands playing at the same time. You need to know which ones you have to see, which ones you’d like to see, and which ones you wouldn’t care if you missed. What I usually do is look on the http://vanswarpedtour.com website and make a list with categories to ensure that I don’t miss a show I NEED to see.
5. Go with someone with similar music interest (if you’re not going alone). You can get so caught up being in the group dynamic that you might end up going with the flow and missing some shows that you would love to see, but that your friends don’t care for. It’s easier going with someone with similar music taste for obvious reasons.
1. DO NOT WEAR FLIP FLOPS OR NEW SHOES. I cannot stress this enough. People step on the back of your flip flop, it snaps apart, and then you have no shoes. Not having shoes at Warped Tour is a horrible risk, with glass and other rubble on the ground. Sneakers (VANS?) are the best option, but well-secured sandals can do too if you don’t mind strange tan lines on your feet (maybe get some fake tan in a bottle to prepare for the aftermath). Oh and new shoes will be obliterated. That’s self-explanatory.
2. DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. I see people getting trashed every year, which is fine, but please make sure that the driver of the car you’re going to be in is sober. You don’t want to lose your life that night out of negligence. Plus, if you’re the driver and you have to remain sober, it’ll still be fun for you too! You don’t need to get drunk to have a good time!
3. DO NOT WEAR LAYERS. It.will.be.so.hot. Light material (light colored shirts are even better) t-shirts or tank tops, bikinis (or swim trunks), and comfortable shorts are crucial. You’re going to have soaked-through clothing regardless, but it will be less uncomfortable if your clothes are breezy.
4. BE A MINIMALIST. DON’T PACK YOUR HOUSE. You only need a backpack, THE TICKETS, your wallet, sunscreen, some water (as noted above), and a place to put merch (if you’re planning on buying some while you’re there) and anything else you need to carry (maybe those broken flip flops?). Only bring the absolute essentials, because you’re going to be carrying everything ALL DAY. Having 20 pounds of bs on your back is going to be brutal as you’re walking from stage to stage.
5. SUNSCREEN MUST BE EVERYWHERE ON YOUR BODY AND REAPPLIED FREQUENTLY. You will burn like overcooked bacon if you don’t take care of your skin. I don’t care if you’re light, dark, somewhere in the middle. You NEED it. Don’t risk getting skin cancer over laziness. It’s easily preventable! Make sure it’s at least SPF 30, and don’t forget to not only put it on the common places you apply sunscreen, but also your chest and feet (as the skin is really thin and vulnerable in those places).
Have fun guys, and make sure you’re prepared to rock because this Warped Tour is going to be a day to remember! Be ready for what’s to come!
Do you have any tips or tricks for other Warped Tour fanatics?