It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! Festival season time!!! There have been a lot of festivals announced for this Spring/Summer and also a lot of great tours. Today, I will be giving you some pro tips and tricks as how to survive a metal show or festival. I have had my fair share of both metal festivals and indoor/outdoor metal shows. Whether you are a first-time goer or a veteran (like myself), it is always good to keep these tips in the back of your mind.
Tips and tricks to make your metal show experience better
What to bring:
Okay, I know this one is obvious, BUT you won’t believe how many people I see that are sunburnt at festivals (myself included). If you’re going to a weekend festival, you really don’t want to get sunburnt on the first day because for the rest of the festival you will be in pain. If you have tattoos, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE USE SUNCREEN! WE DON’T NEED THOSE BAD BOYS FADING ON US, OKAY?
A water bottle
It’s hot outside, you’ll be walking around, moshing, and rubbing up against people. You’re going to need some water. For one, it is very refreshing and two, we don’t need anyone passing out at a show. I know that at most festivals you can buy a water, BUT those are $$$$ and we are trying to save our cash money, so we can get some band merch. At Warped Tour and Carolina Rebellion, you can bring in a sealed water bottle with you. They have refill stations, so you don’t have to buy one of those expensive bottled waters. You’re welcome in advance.
A portable charger
Let’s face it: We will all be taking pictures, videos, and snapchatting the festivals/shows for all of our friends to see. That can really take a toll on your battery. Instead of panicking and conserving your battery (which I suggest you be conservative with your phone life regardless), invest in a portable charger! They are very convenient, so when your phone is on low battery, you can just charge it up and still be able to use your phone! Some festivals are creating charging stations, and if the festival you are going to has that, I would hop on that before your phone dies.
If your phone does end up dying even with a portable charger (because those things die too), I would suggest writing down your friends’ numbers, so you can find them after the show. Or make a plan with them that after a band you all meet somewhere. This will help you have a less stressful night when trying to look for or get in contact with your friends. You’re welcome in advance.
A drawstring bag
What are you going to put your sunscreen, water bottle, portable charger, band merch, keys, wallet, and sunglasses, etc. in? A bag of course! Who would want to carry all their stuff around? These are also very convenient for my homies who like to bring a lot of stuff with them to festivals (aka me). They can be a pain when walking around, crowdsurfing, and moshing but you will be able to have all of your stuff in one place. They also have drawstring bags from your favorite bands! You can also buy one from the festival itself! I wouldn’t suggest a backpack or a purse because some festivals (like the Carolina Rebellion) won’t allow it in. However, they do allow drawstring bags, so I would suggest purchasing one.
What to wear:
Ladies, I know that we all want to look cute when we are going out BUT at a metal show/festival, one can look cute but comfortable. Don’t wear something that you would hate to get ruined and for the love of metal, DO NOT WEAR A DRESS OR A SKIRT. If you are crowdsurfing, wearing one of these two options can leave you in a bad situation. People like to take cheap shots and it is far easier to take a cheap shot when someone is wearing a dress or a skirt. My go-to outfit for metal shows/festivals is either ripped jeans, or if its warm enough, high waisted shorts. I pair these with a brutal band shirt and tie it up so it looks like a crop top. Some girls will wear a bathing suit top, if you do this, make sure the back is tied really good unless you’re okay with your girls being out in the open. And also, don’t wear heels or flips. Basically, anything open toed isn’t going to be your friend at a metal show/festival. I would suggest wearing either sneakers, Vans, or combat boots. These will not only make it easier to walk but it will also keep your feet protected from mud, dirt, and other people stepping on them. But make sure you’re okay getting them dirty because it will happen.
Fellas, the only thing I can say to y’all is to wear sneakers, Vans, or combat boots. And to either wear jeans or if its warm enough, shorts. Some guys will wear basketball shorts and if you do, PLEASE wear compression shorts. Keep everything contained so you and others can enjoy the show. I don’t want to see you jumping around if you’re not wearing compression shorts underneath your basketball shorts. As far as shirts goes; bands shirts are great. Some guys also go shirtless but if you do, refer back to tip No. 1.
CAUTION!!!!! Do not and I repeat DO NOT wear a band shirt of the band that you are seeing. This is like an unspoken rule that metalheads know. We get it, you’re here to see that band. Guess what? SO AM I!!! I use shows as free advertisement for other bands. So, if we both like this band, you might like the band that I am wearing. The only band that you can see and wear their own merch is Metallica. Don’t @ me.
BONUS: Some people at festivals wear costumes and run around in them. These are very entertaining to see, and I GUARANTEE you will be in every picture. At some of the shows I have been to, some guy has dressed up like Jesus and will crowdsurf to the stage, and stage dive like he is being crucified. Another dude was dressed up like Moses and he would split the crowd for a wall of death (type of mosh pit where the crowd splits into two sides and then run towards each other), and act like he is parting the Red Sea. At the Carolina Rebellion, I have seen people wear horse masks, dress up like Power Rangers, hamburgers, hot dogs, and ketchup bottles.
What to expect:
There is a lot that goes on at metal shows/festivals, but I’m only going to name the main things that you need to be aware of when seeing bands.
There will be drunk/stoned people everywhere.
There will be crowdsurfers. Don’t whine and complain about crowdsurfers because no matter where you stand, there will always be someone going by you in the air or asking if you can lift them up.
There will be moshpits. These are what make metal shows. Again, don’t start whining and complaining about the pits. They will happen and if you don’t like it THEN GO TO THE DAMN BACK.
Given that some people will get mad about crowdsurfers and moshpits, don’t be surprised if they drop you when you go by crowdsurfing or try to fight you in the pit.
It will be crowded. Everyone is trying to get to the front and think they can push by you. It’s annoying but that’s the way it goes. Stand your ground and stick your elbows out while standing there when people go by. Make them fight for their spot in front of you. And for my homies trying to get to the front: Haul ass. Don’t stop for nobody.
Ladies, you will get hit on and people will flirt with you. It becomes the norm so just smile and wave when they cat call you from across the lawn.
There will most likely be a fight or two at the show/festival. Just stay out of the way and try not to get hit. If you’re the one in the fight just remember, we all have to either give or receive an ass whoopin’ ( at least) once in our lives.
Lots of boobs will be seen during the show/festival. Not only from girls, guys will get on their boy’s shoulders and flash the crowd. Also, if they are cocky, some people will strip. You have been warned.
Be safe and have fun moshing to your favorite bands!!