Safety shout-out: Freaky Halloween festival tips for fellow ravers

Dear fellow ravers,

We are all familiar with that pre-festival thrill of anticipation that has your stomach full of excited butterflies and doing flip-flops in nervousness.

We can all relate to the feeling of connection when the bass drops and the entire crowd becomes one in the moment.

However, we are also familiar with that sinking feeling that comes when you see a fellow attendee having a rough time.

As we ramp up for an exciting weekend of thrills and chills (such as at USC Events’ FreakNight Festival 2015, or Insomniac’s Escape Psycho Circus, and Boo! San Francisco), it is crucial that we remain cognizant of safety to ensure the best possible festival experience. When preparing to enter the haunted yet magical festival grounds, don’t forget to keep these tips in mind:

    • Water is your best friend. Free water is available throughout most venues to help keep you hydrated all night long. Staying hydrated before, during, and after a festival is important- make sure to drink at regular intervals, and avoid chugging large amounts of water at once to avoid hyponatremia, over-diluting the sodium levels in the bloodstream.
    • Don’t forget to eat. Passing out and spending the night in the medical tent would not make for a happy Halloween. Make sure to give your body the sustenance it needs to dance all night.
    • Dress appropriately. Sure, high heels make your legs look killer, but the pain you’ll be feeling by the the time the second set starts will be dreadful. In addition, if you plan on spending any time outdoors while in transit or while waiting post-festival: bring layers. The last thing you want is to turn into a human popsicle after the festival glow wears off.
    • Check the festival rules ahead of time! It’d be devastating to arrive at the venue, all pumped for the festival, only to find that you’re not allowed to bring your Camelbak or fancy camera inside. Know the guidelines so you’re not stuck on the sidelines.
    • Buddy up! While half the fun of festivals is making new friends, losing your friends mid-set is never enjoyable. Establish meeting points ahead of time to prevent separation, lack of cell service, or dead phones from your thrilling night into a night of hair-raising horror.
    • Take frequent breaks. While the music can go all night, your body may not be able to – remember to take a break every now and then.
    • Look out for each other. At a festival, everyone is part of one big rave community – we’re all there for each other. Embrace and share PLUR – take care of each other to continue the good vibes. If you do notice someone struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out. You are protected by law, and you could save a life!
    • Get home safely. Whether you crawl, stumble, walk, fly, have a DD, or take a festival shuttle, taxi, Uber, Lyft, or another form of transportation, plan ahead to avoid making decisions that could make your night take ghastly turn.

For those attending FreakNight 2015 in Tacoma, Washington, be sure to visit The Message booth at FreakNight 2015, which will host the Stay Safe Seattle and USC Conscious Crew teams.

This year, USC Events has paired up with Stay Safe Seattle to help increase the harm reduction services available at FreakNight 2015. Stay Safe Seattle has two fundamental operating principles: harm reduction and educating young people so they can make well-informed and educated decisions. They will be providing unbiased informational literature to interested festival attendees, and those looking for a more personal interaction can engage in peer-to-peer, non-judgmental conversational education. They will also be providing free ear plugs and contraceptives while supplies last.

The Conscious Crew is a non-profit, harm reduction organization for health and safety in the Pacific Northwest’s EDM community. Festival-goers can be on the look-out for the Conscious Crew members among the crowds throughout the night. They are there to help out any time you feel ill, need water, directions, or a friend.

Take a moment to conjure up memories about how your parents always made you buckle up when getting in the car… you may have grumbled about it then, but you now recognize that they did it because they cared. Similarly, festival event staff is there for the same reason. They are often fellow ravers who have found a way to turn their passion into a career, and truly care about people’s safety. Just like Aladdin’s genie, if you ever need anything, whether just a hug, water, or medical attention, festival staff members will be readily available to fulfill your needs.

Remember, in order to have a wonderful weekend full of dancing, carnival tricks and treats, and spooky sinister sights, act responsibly and know your limits.

Be sure to check out The Message.

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