It’s finally summertime and Warped Tour time. This all day chaos of back to back bands is a great time, if you know how to handle it. If you’re a new comer, Warped Tour can be a lot to take in, so I’ve put together a survival guide to make sure you have the best time of your life.
What to Wear
- Comfortable shoes. I suggest wearing close-toed shoes that can get trashed. You may be walking through mud and puddles if it’s raining but also, quite frankly, vomit. It’s not the most pleasant part of Warped Tour but sick people will throw up wherever they have to.
- Light-weight clothes. This is probably a given for most people. Dress comfortable. Dress for the weather. Being in the heat all day is not easy and no one wants to get sick and miss the fun.
What to Bring
- A friend. Watch out for each other in the crowd and make sure you have enough sunscreen, water, and food.
- A small light-weight backpack to carry your merch and other necessities in. Last year I even used mine as a place to collect signatures from all of the bands I met!
- Sunscreen. Don’t be the person who comes home looking like a lobster or the person who paints their body with finger paint but forgets the sunscreen at home. (Trust me, you will save yourself from several weeks of embarrassment.)
- One factory sealed water bottle (up to one liter). This will save you from spending money on overpriced bottles of water, plus there is a free Klean Kanteen water refill station.
- Back-up Cell Phone Battery. If you’re always using twitter or even taking pictures all day, the battery pack can be a life saver, especially when it’s time to go and you have to find your friend who wandered off.
- A battery-powered, hand-held fan. You will be thankful you brought it right about the time you’re waiting in line for your favorite band’s autograph and there’s no escaping the heat.
- Snacks. Eating at Warped Tour is always hard if you eat healthy or are vegan/ vegetarian. Usually the best options you can find are pizza or hot dogs, so it’s a good idea to bring trail mix or a sliced apple.
- Ear Plugs. Yes, I know, you may be thinking that ear plugs are for older people, but when you’ve been blasted by loud music all day long, they may come in handy once or twice.
- Money. Bring more than you expect to spend. You don’t want to run out of money for water or food because you bought to much merch.
- Umbrella. Not only will it save you from rain, but it also works as a cover from the sun.
What to Do
- Make your schedule. The set times change every day, so the only one way to know what time your bands will be playing is to find the giant inflatable wall that has all the times and stages listed on it.
- Visit the tents. In addition to merch, there are also fun activities like finger paint and dance contest. Non-profit organizations typically have games designed for the fans to have fun and win free items while learning important facts. Some organizations even give away VIP backstage passes.
- Signings. The best way to know where and when you favorite band is signing is to follow them on twitter for updates.
- Find shade and chill. Take a break from the sun whether it’s under a tree or in an air-conditioned warehouse like the one that was open at the show I went to last year.
Out of all of these, the most important thing is to have fun. If you’re going to Warped Tour for the first time, it can be intimidating, but it is a blast if you stick with your buddy and stay hydrated! For more information on Warped Tour you can visit their FAQ page.