Jim Abbott on Travel
Postcards from Florida
May 5, 2012
As much as I love music, looking at this photo of fans crowded against the barriers at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival makes me realize all the aggravation involved in the festival experience.
Fortunately, there are folks thinking about ways to enhance creature comforts in the busy outdoor festival season, which includes such outdoor music events as the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (June 7-10 in Manchester, Tenn.), Lollapalooza (Aug. 3-5 in Chicago) and Florida's own MagnoliaFest Oct. 18-21 at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak.
Here are plenty of good ideas for packing and planning for a pleasant festival experience, courtesy of BioFilm Inc., a maker of personal health-care products:
•Be open-minded to new experiences and meeting new people.
•Comfortable shoes are a must. Bring extra pairs of basic sneakers.
•Be a good Samaritan by helping other festivalgoers. It's good Karma.
•Protect yourself. A big floppy hat can provide cover from the sun and hide hair that might not have been washed for several days. Sunglasses are vital and sunscreen is essential.
•Bring refillable water bottles. Although cocktails might be on the agenda, drinking plenty of water is a must to stay hydrated.
•Carry cash with you in a secure and safe place. Vendors often don't accept credit or debit cards.
•Dress appropriately and leave fancy clothes at home. Also, it gets chilly at night, so bring something along to keep you warm.
•Bring a secure bag. Thousands of cameras, cellphones, car keys and other items are lost each year at festivals. Watch out for pickpockets.
•Be patient. Festivals can become crowded quickly, so stay calm and don't force your way to the front of the stage.
•Designate meeting points and a base camp. In big crowds at fields with limited cell reception, communication can be tough.
•Let there be light. Most festivals are away from the glow of city lights, so download a flashlight app on your smartphone or bring a flashlight or lantern.
•Have a plan. Make a list of the bands you want to see and when they are performing. Be open for surprises.
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