Tips to stay safe at festivals this summer

December 2, 2018| Health and Wellbeing /

Summer not only marks the return of great weather, long nights and stunning beach days in Victoria—it’s also festival season. Music, art, culture and food abound as a range of festivals kick off around the state. To help you have a safe and productive festival season this year, follow these tips.

  • Be sun smart
    This maxim is a tried and true method for avoiding sunburn, heat exhaustion and sunstroke. Wear a hat, sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 (meaning it filters out around 96.7% of ultra violet radiation), and keep arms and legs covered with breathable clothes or scarves. Limit time in direct sunlight and seek out shade when you can, or by heading to designated chill out zones like those at NYE On The Hill.

  • Stay hydrated
    There are many factors at summer festivals that can lead to dehydration, or an absence of water in the body. Carry a water bottle with you at festivals to prompt hydration at regularly intervals and be on the lookout for symptoms of dehydration like headaches, dry or cracked lips, or sudden lethargy. Use festival staff, volunteers and maps to seek out taps or hydration stations nearest you.

  • Eat regularly and healthily
    Though chips and burgers are a known staple for festival goers, these events offer increasingly diverse food options to punters to keep them truly satiated. There are Italian chickpea pancakes at Laneway Festival, banh mi and fresh juice at Meredith Music Festival, and Philly cheesesteaks at Sugar Mountain, to name just a few exciting options. Better yet, most food stands cater to dietary requirements as well.

  • Alcohol and drugs
    Alcohol can go part and parcel with summer festivals, so make sure you consume it safely. Know your limits and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or haven’t seen open or pour the drink yourself.
    As Golden Plains Festival advises, “Mixing alcohol and drugs greatly increases the possibility of overdose or accidents, as does mixing two or more drugs, even if taken hours apart. Do not use drugs on your own. If you are feeling unwell, tell someone.”

    Remember, always seek out medical support or call 000 in an emergency, even if you or someone with you has taken illegal substances. Paramedics protect patient confidentiality and are not required to engage police, so put health and safety first.

  • Be aware of crowds
    Across Victoria, there are festivals of all sizes. Some, like New Year’s Evie in Tallarook, cater for only a few thousand patrons. Others, like Falls Festival in Lorne hosts around 25,000 people annually. But at both festivals the reality is the same—large numbers of people in one location can pose a safety risk if not managed well. Be aware of crowds and those around you at a festival, look out for other patrons, and know where exits are in case you need to use them.

  • Stay with mates
    Friends both old and new are definitely a highlight of Victoria’s festival season, so make sure you stick close to a mate as your cruise around taking in the sights and sounds. At the beginning of the festival, set a central meeting spot where you can go to if you become separated from friends. Whether it’s a day session at St Kilda Festival or something longer like Rainbow Serpent (which spans four days in late January), keep friends close to help you have a healthy, happy and utterly memorable festival this summer.

Izzy Tolhurst


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