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As summer swings into action, many people will be heading to festivals around the country. There are many wonderful events happening no matter where you are, and it's easy (and cheap) to travel to the festival you want to attend. Big ones this summer and beyond include Rhythm and Vines, Rhythm and Alps, Laneway, WOMAD, buskers festivals, and more. However, it's important to keep safe before, during and afterwards, so you can stay happy and enjoy your stay in our wonderful country. We've got a few great tips to help with festival safety, and ideas about what to take and how to have the best experience possible.
Before you go and packing the right things
It's a good idea to travel and stay with friends. You'll have fun and be able to look after each other. Organise your travel plans together, whether you're driving, flying or taking a bus. Make sure you tell someone (like a teacher, family member or host) where you're going, who is with you and when you plan to be back. Ensure you have their contact information and give them yours.
If you are travelling by car, make sure the driver has a current driver’s license and knows the road rules of New Zealand, including the speed limits. The car must have a current warrant of fitness (WoF) and be registered. Make sure you have enough petrol and that all passengers wear seat belts.
While you'll mostly have warm, dry weather over the summer, pack a raincoat in your bag – just in case. Don't forget some comfortable shoes and warm clothes too – you may be standing or walking a lot at a festival, and it can get cold during the night. Favourite electronics may be great to have, but it may be better to leave them at home along with other valuable items – just take your phone.
If you're camping or staying on site at a festival, check to see what you need to take. You might need to buy or borrow a tent, sleeping bag or air mattress. Don't forget a hat that is wide-brimmed or covers your whole face, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen!
At the festival
When you arrive, take a look around the area and make sure you know the location of the nearest water source, toilets, first aid tent and security area. If you are with friends, choose a place to meet if you get split up or lost. You should always be security conscious when travelling, so remember to hide valuables and keep bags and tents closed.
Be sensible when drinking alcohol. Know your limits and drink water often to avoid dehydration. Never leave your drink unattended, even just for a couple of minutes.
Make sure you have a charged cell phone with you to keep in contact with others.
When walking between areas at night, stick to well-lit, busy areas or preferably walk with friends. If you see anything dangerous or something happens to you or your belongings, alert the security staff immediately. If you're out in the sun all day, keep hydrated and apply sunscreen every two hours. You need to look after yourself and your friends.
Festivals are all about having fun – see as much as you can, and participate in events or games, even if you're a bit shy. You'll have a great time!
When packing up, be sure to ‘take out what you brought in’, or put your rubbish in the rubbish bins provided. If travelling by car, make sure your driver is safe to travel and knows the road rules of New Zealand.
Staying safe at festivals and events is easy to do, and makes your experience far more enjoyable. Are you planning on going to any festivals this summer? We'd love to hear about where you're going. And don't forget – have fun!