Planning on having some summer fun and jamming out to your favorite bands at Warped Tour this year? If so, make sure you read this guide for the need-to-know's and tips on how to make your trip one you'll never forget!
I know that I'm not the only one who is pumped for Vans Warped Tour 2011 this year. The lineup is sick, the crowd is going to be huge and the sun is going to be blazing. There is nothing quite like hearing your favorite band and knowing that they are only a few yards away! No matter where you are in North America, there are definitely some basics you NEED to know in order for you to have a great time and stay safe.
Weather is a major point during Warped Tour. Dress comfortably. Don't be worrying about your hair or if you are sweating or if you're make up is running. It really doesn't matter! You came to see and hear your favorite music, it is NOT a fashion show. If you're uncomfortable, you'll only have a lousy time. Light clothing with light colors are the best, such as a pair of shorts and a tee shirt. Make sure you're wearing sneakers, not flip-flops or boots. Excessive and studded jewelry are also a big no-no. People can get hurt from the studs on your belts and bracelets, so it may be best to leave those at home. No matter where you are, ALWAYS remember to bring water. Some venues only allow 1 bottle of water per person at a time, so make sure you bring some money for later. Water can be expensive, too, depending on where you are.
Speaking of money, make sure you bring extra, about $100 to $150. Other than staying hydrated, you'll probably get hungry. You want to make sure your energy stays high. You may also want to buy merch, such as posters, t-shirts and albums. There is no better place to buy them than at your favorite band's merch table. You may even get it signed!
Now you may be asking, "Other than money and water, what else should I bring?" Do not leave the house without your ticket, that is one of the most important things you'll need. If you're planning on buying your ticket at the venue, don't forget your money. If you do pre-purchase your ticket, however, you may get to go in earlier than everyone else. If you are in a city that you're unsure of where the venue is, don't forget to print off your venue directions. You don't want to end up late or lost.
A small, lightweight backpack is great to bring as well. You can carry your water, sunscreen, chap stick (with SPF!) and a change of clothes. If you have cash, it may be best to carry that in your pockets just in case your backpack gets stolen. Same goes for your camera and cell phone. ALWAYS have your cell phone in case of emergencies. Disposable and small digital cameras are allowed, but professional cameras may have to be left behind. I always bring a pair of earplugs, too, just in case my ears grow sensitive to all of the noise. If you're planning on getting autographs, bring a sharpie! They're always handy.
To go along with what you should bring, there are also some things you should not bring. Chains, firearms, weapons, knives, etc. will be confiscated at the gate for obvious reasons. Purses, wallets, MP3 players and credit cards should be left at home. Anywhere you go that has a large crowd will also have thieves, you wouldn't want anything valuable to be stolen. Illegal substances such as drugs and alcohol are never allowed, once again for obvious reasons. If there is anything you don't want to lose or break, you should leave that behind as well. You don't want to spend your whole time worrying about little things like that.
Ah, now that we have the what and what not's out of the way, we can move on to the major Do's and Dont's.
DO: Make a list of band you want to see the night before in order of importance. Organization is great for events like this. Check the weather and plan accordingly. If it is rainy, bring a poncho! Get plenty of rest and pack everything you need for the next day. Get to the venue early. If you don't, you will be waiting for a long time. Once you get in, check the set times. That way, you'll know when your favorite bands are playing. You also will want to scan the merch booths early for band signing times. If you are planning on moshing, watch the pit before you get in. If it looks too rough for you, don't enter. Your safety is much more important. If you didn't come alone, make sure to drop your parents off at the Reverse Day Care. If you came with friends, set up a meeting place so if you get separated, you'll be able to find each other easily. KEEP HYDRATED AND TAKE BREAKS. I cannot stress this enough. Your health and well-being is more important than anything else. If you do end up injured, locate and visit the medical tents that are inside the venue.
DON'T: Disrespect others. There is no need to make fun of people for listening to a band you don't like. That is rude and will only cause tension. Also, don't be upset if you're made fun of for listening to a band you like. Other peoples attitudes shouldn't affect your fun! Save your energy throughout the day, don't exert it all at once. Remember to apply sunscreen throughout the day, especially on tattoos. Don't avoid food or water because the price or how long the line is. Stay together, don't abandon your group. It's dangerous and someone can end up hurt. Watch out for others in the mosh pit, don't let crowd surfers fall!
The last don't is don't forget to have fun! Stay safe and stay cool, brohas!
Author's Note: This article was brought to you by http://www.flickr.com/photos/warpedtour/3637291450/sizes/o/ - The Warped Tour Survival Guide!