The most wonderful and somewhat delusional time of the year is upon us. Partying, raving, two-stepping, glowsticking, gloving—whatever you choose to call it—all of that is important to one's intrinsic well-being. But that's only part of the festival equation.
This is the only time we will suggest you listen to a broken record. It doesn't matter if you're still sporting a decrepit Movement wristband from 2003 or over-packing your gym bag for your first-ever Electric Forest, festival safety is essential.
Last year, few festivals went unaffected by drug-related illness or even deaths. In the aftermath, the mainstream media is quick to seize on these tragedies—be they at VELD, Mad Decent Block Party, EDC, Ultra, or during ADE—as proof of why festivals themselves are bad or dance music as a whole is to blame. We know better. Instead of pointing fingers we think a conversation about drug safety and harm reduction is important. Unfortunately, local and national governments in both Canada and the US disagree. Rather than taking the harm-reduction approach, laws in both Canada and the US favor criminalization and zero-tolerance policies. The US fares worse thanks to the Rave Act—so not PLUR, you guys.
A lot has changed since our last lesson, so THUMP has partnered with three harm reduction non-profit organizations from Canada and the United States— Toronto's party health organization TRIP! Project, ANKORS (AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society), and harm reduction non-profit DanceSafe—to create an ultimate resource for you to help yourself and your friends rave well.
Let's have a safe festival season...and please, for the love of god, drink some water!
The Basics:Drink Water.
You should be drinking eight glasses every damn day as is. Put one of those colour-changing syrupy flavor thingys in your bottle if you have to. Just drink it.
Stick with Friends.
The loner gig only looks cool for so long before you start to creep people out, anyway.
Take the disco nap. Love the disco nap. Live the disco nap. Be the disco nap.
Know Your Rights
Ever wonder what to do if you're confronted by the police at a festival? Or if you're criminally liable for bringing your overdosing friend to the medical tent? California attorney Cameron Bowman, known as the Festival Lawyer, will be on-site at Lightning in a Bottle to discuss what it means to know your rights while at music festivals. This isn't a soapbox moment, it's a chance to play games and win prizes while learning how to legally protect yourself. Although geared for the Americans, Canadians could learn a thing or two about how to properly handle yourself in the presence of the fuzz. In all situations, stay calm, ask if you're permitted to leave, don't consent to a search, and don't resist or interfere with an arrest if it goes there.
Tip: The Festival Lawyer just started his online video series of tips. See here.