Every music genre has its netherworld, full of unspoken tricks of the trade and a code that helps keep things alive—no matter how dirty and scandalous it may appear from the outside. Our That's So Ravin' columnists have been down… and get around. Worldwide party purveyors and dancefloor makers offer up some party tips for ya, free of charge.
Pitch a tent, find a tent. When you've been booze-dancing for 12 straight hours, it's hard enough to remember your own name, let alone your tent coordinates. Either buy a tall flag, tall inflatable, or something similar to post in the ground next to your tent to make stumbling home easy. Or, scribble the coordinates on your arm. (Same goes for where you parked your car. Take a picture if you have to!)
Layers. A jacket can serve many purposes: a makeshift blanket for sitting on the ground; an umbrella for unexpected downpours; and, of course, keeping warm. That, or you could share it with a stranger and make a friend.
Be polite. Ask before you drink/snort/eat. It may look like "water" but that bottle being passed around the crowd could be anything really. Which is fine... if you're not thirsty. Don't drink things from a stranger's bottle. You don't want to take home any extra souvenirs to your girlfriend.
Don't climb on things. Getting rushed to the hospital in a penguin onesie isn't the party you had in mind and it's a real buzzkill for your friends, who really don't want to be wacked out in the emergency room when they could be crowd-surfing to Aoki.
Sunscreen. Lobsters are tasty but neither the red Day-Glo look nor skin cancer are trending this season.
Charge your phone. Then stop using it to watch the entire concert. You're there in 3-D. You paid to be there witnessing it all so stop Vine-ing and save the #tagging for post-party. Enjoy the moment!
Hydration is your friend. You're in the sun, you're sweatin' buckets dancing like a maniac and who knows when the last time you had a meal was? DRINK WATER, and lots of it. If there is running water on-site or in the sink in the bathroom, fill up your bottle. It's just city water—unlike dehydration, pretty sure it hasn't killed anyone lately.
Poop shoot. Going #2 is not pleasant, but it's a part of life. You don't want to be caught in the porta-potty without your friend toilet paper. Either bring it in your bag for emergencies, or take some napkins with you from the Taco Bell you ate on your way to the festival. After you've stood in line for 20 minutes for the privilege of usiing the facilities, you could get the short end of the stick... errr, roll.
You suck. Mosquitoes are assholes. They like some of us more than others (don't take it personally, it's just science). So instead of itching yourself raw and returning home with depleted blood levels, bring bug repellent (the non-wack-smelling kind) or pop 100 mL of Vitamin B1 before you set out for the day (it's a natural way to kiss mosquitoes bye-bye).
Vitamins, baby. You're not a machine, but you'll be dancing like one. Pop some vitamins down the shoot before you set out! If not, at least have them waiting when you get home. A complex B vitamin pack works wonders for emotional Tuesday morning comedown.
Sunglass spares. Your retinas are kinda important. Chances are you're gonna drop your sunglasses at least eight times or step on them. Just bring a spare cheap pair. If you don't need them then pass 'em to a friend when theirs fall in the Porta-potty.
Sleep. It does a body good. Pacing yourself is key. If you're going in for a three day tent-pitch of a weekend bender, why blow your load the first night out? You'll be spending the entire next day sweating in your tent while the sun microwaves you inside. Relax, then go hard.
Keep it clean, dummy. Chances are, you're out in nature somewhere. A place where natural things, like, live. Recycle your bottles, throw your food in the bins and don't leave a path of plastic-eruption all over the grass before you head home to your natural habitat.
Yo man, you're sick. If you're sick and the day of the festival draws near, it's not too late to sell that ticket and get comfy with the latest season of Game of Thrones. You're almost definitely gonna do more damage to yourself if you go to the festival. Plus, none of your pals want to keep coming back to your "spot" near the toilets to make sure you're "okay" every half hour.
Nice shoes. Innappropriate footwear is one of my biggest pet peeves. If it's an outdoor festival and it's calling for rain, you wear boots. Puddles + mud = Wellies. If you decide to wear sandals for three straight days, you will get black dirt-toe. That cute boy you wanna take back to your sleeping bag will not be into it, trust me. Don't even get me started on heels.
Easy access. Your outfit should be one that allows you to climb into a dark, smelly box with little or no air inside and carefully hold the sides of your pants, while also holding either 1) Your member 2) The door 3) Both — while relieving yourself. Jumpsuits are out, unless you can pull the pant leg to the side without drizzlin' down your leg.
Hearing is your friend. Earplugs. Sure, they may look dorky, but so does sounding like Hellen Keller trying to say "Water" one too many times in front of the bass bins. You won't even notice them after a few minutes and its great to go home without ringing ears. Tinnitus is no joke, either.
Drink 'em if you got 'em. No one ever never knows how late the party that is you will keep going. Keep a bottle of wine, six-pack or other beverages back at home for that triumphant return. And if you don't drink it? More for another day.
Back to reality. Epic weekend = Back-to-work nightmare. Take the edge off with 200 mg of theanine—it's natural (derived from green tea), will not make you drowsy, has hardly any side effects and is available at most natural supplement stores. its like Xanax but without the addiction.