It is summer and that means Warped Tour. In the past 11 years, I have been an attendee, a volunteer worker, and now part of the press for my absolute favorite music event. I have learned a few lessons (some the hard way) and found there are 10 must-have items that everyone should take to Warped Tour.
10. Sharpie – black is best (if you like metal music bring a silver one for the black t-shirts), but having your own Sharpie means always being ready for autograph opportunities!
9. Sunscreen – It gets hot, even when the temperature outside is mild. The spray-on kind is easiest to use in a crowd and sharing a little protection from the elements with the person next to you can be the start of a beautiful relationship.
8. Cereal Bars– Lines for food can be long and slow moving. The best ones are Cocoa Puffs or Cinnamon Toast Crunch and having a couple in your backpack can keep you from starving as you rush from one stage to the other. Cereal bars are best because they still taste yummy if they get crushed in the mosh pit.
7. Flip-Flops – They are lightweight and give your feet a break from hot shoes. I would not suggest them for all day, but during the hottest weather flip-flops can actually make you feel cooler.
6. Bandages – No one expects to get hurt, but there is headbanging and all sorts of crazy crowds. One year I scraped my hand on a post and it irritated me all day. Just a few bandages in your pocket can make all the difference if you do get a boo-boo.
5. Water Bottle – Staying hydrated throughout the day can literally save your life. Water is available all day at no charge. Save your money for the CD you have been waiting to buy! And remember to bring an unopened bottle.
4. Map – The first thing I get when I clear the gate is a map of the venue with a list of times and locations of every artist that will perform that day. No one wants to miss the bands they came to see because they could not find the right place, or arrived just in time to see the musicians leaving the stage. Get organized and you will not miss a thing!
3. Ear Protection – From the inexpensive foam ear plugs to costly, high-tech noise filters, you have to protect your ears! Music is primarily an audio experience and if the metal bands play first, you will not be able to hear the pop bands later. Ear plugs can muffle the sound a bit, but better to have a little less sound than no hearing at all by the end of the day.
2. A Friend – A day filled with music is exciting, but so much better when you can share it with someone. If your friends at home do not attend, make a friend when you get there. It takes so long to get in that I have made friendships while standing in line that have lasted for years. Even if your musical tastes are opposite, you share the common goal of being there for the same reason: to have fun!
1. Positive Mental Attitude – Make up your mind that you are going to have the best time ever and you will! Leave the drama at home, because Warped Tour is tailor-made for an amazing day of the music you want to hear!