What is summer without outdoor rock shows? You can just show up and mosh, or if you’re like me…prepare well!
The last outdoor festival I went to (which wasn’t an overnight camping weekend) had this rules list:
- No coolers, chairs or umbrellas
- No outside food or drink (excluding 1 sealed bottle of water no larger than 750 ml)
- No re-entry
- No weapons
- No professional cameras (still or video)
- No skateboards or bicycles
- No dogs
- All bags will be checked prior to entry
Sounds fun, eh? What is left to bring?
First of all, the same items you’d bring to an indoor show:
- Tickets (printed or on phone)
- Smart phone / cell phone
- Digital camera if not using phone
- Contacts instead of glasses if you push your way to the front
- Ear plugs for loud shows, so you can still hear concerts when you are almost 50 like this writer
- Lighter for old-school sing-alongs
- Money for drinks and snacks, band merchandise, and parking/transit
- Sharpie so band members can sign your gear!
Then, your outdoor kit. This is very dependent on how many bands are playing, and your ability to tolerate discomfort.
Hot weather basics: sun block, sunglasses, hat, another layer to cover up with (or maybe a beach towel)
Wet weather basics: rain poncho, rubber boots or Crocs
If you’re really unlucky when you check the weather forecast, you’ll need to bring all of the above!
My list of allowable outdoor stuff is:
- Bottled water (the only occasion I buy it)
- Tissues, because you know the PortaPotty will not have any TP!
- Hand sanitizer (likewise)
- Seat such as garden kneeler or stadium seat (which all Canadians own for watching hockey games in ice rinks)…or if you are a youngster, just a blanket to sit on
- Everything in: old backpack
Finally, you need some interim entertainment. You will be spending an hour waiting to get in because they are checking everyone’s bag for contraband food, and then you’ll be waiting 45 minutes between every set. You could spend all of the breaks lining up for food or toilets. But if not, you can decide – will you entertain yourself with your phone, or be sociable with the people you are actually with? I like old-fashioned past times like collaborating on a crossword or sudoku, or even playing cards! But in the rain, you can only huddle under your poncho and share your earbuds. If you are maxed out on music, you can bring some pre-loaded podcasts! Now this is assuming you are sober folks. There is always the alternative, in which case, all bets are off.
If you go to rock shows, do you go to outdoor ones? I have friends who say they’re too old! I draw the line at weekend camping festivals, but I go to outdoor gigs. The last one I attended was 3 evenings from 4 pm onward. There are none scheduled so far this summer, other than the Canada Day show I attended which was only 2 hours and not raining, so very easy! I hope there will be some later in the summer, though. I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day and night!