Sweaty bodies are pressed up against each other, people are nearly passing out, and the thumping music is so loud you can practically feel it coursing through your veins. Are you back in 2013 and on the set of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” music video? Not exactly. With Vans Warped Tour on the horizon and the band line-up finally being announced along with tickets going on sale, I thought writing up a little crash course for first-time attendees would be helpful. Being a Warped Tour survivor myself I have collected a few tips and tricks along the line
Dress Lightly. The sun is going to be scorching down on you the entire time. It’ll be there when you’re walking to the other side of the venue for the seventh time. It’ll be there when you’re waiting in a line for three hours to meet your favorite band. It’ll be there when you’re jumping up and down in a crowd full of other sweaty people. If I can recommend anything it is to wear as little clothing as possible. A t-shirt or tank-top and a pair of shorts are perfect. If you’re a little more risque where a crop top or a bralette with your shorts. Live your life. Just don’t wear a lot of layers. Remember this is an all day thing. I also recommend sneakers (you will be doing a lot of walking and standing) as well as accessories to shield you from the sun like sunglasses and a hat.
Wear Sunscreen. And a lot of it. I have suffered from far too many sunburns to be foolish enough to slap on some deodorant and head out the door. Bring sunscreen with you if you can and reapply throughout the day. Rays of sunlight can become dangerous and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Bring A Backpack. I feel like this one is a given but you are going to somehow, someway obtain a collection of items. Water bottles, t-shirts, sunglasses, maps, schedules, wallets, etc. Drawstrings work the best in my opinion. They’re light-weight and you can easily feel if someone tries to grab something out of it.
Bring Money. Merch. Merch. Merch. Merch. You’re going to be tempted to buy something from your favorite bands. (Or at least need to buy water. You need to stay hydrated.)
Buy A Schedule. Okay, $5 for a sheet of paper sounds insane but hear me out. That piece of paper will become your holy grail for the day. It shows you the line-up, the different stages the bands are playing at, and at what times. On the other side of the schedule, you also get a handy-dandy little map!
Visit Vendors. Free. Stuff. My first year I came home with t-shirts, stickers, guitar strings and picks, amongst other things. There’s tons of tents to visit and a lot of interesting people to talk to. Last year, I visited the PETA tent and was so encouraged I became a vegan. That lasted two days and I have now been a vegetarian for 9 months!
Band Signings. Another reason to visit all the vendors! Bands do signings all the time throughout the tour. Make sure you find out if your favorite band is having one so you can meet them. It’s a life changing experience, I promise you.
Watch bands you’ve never heard of. You’ll never know what you’ll find. If an artist sounds good stop for a few songs and check them out! My personal favorite that I discovered at Warped 2016 was Too Close To Touch!
Stay Hydrated! For the last time, it gets very hot. Luckily, the fine people who organize Warped Tour are some of the best and they have Cool Gear Hydration Stations. Basically, these are stations where you can get fresh, filtered water for FREE. All you need is a water bottle or cup. The water is completely free! Don’t forget to drink it!
Have Fun! The most important thing to remember is to have a good time and be safe!
I hope these tips are useful and you have an awesome time at Vans Warped Tour 2017!