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Music festivals can be fun and liberating events. People from all walks of life come together to enjoy their favourite artists and dance like there’s no tomorrow.

Here are six tips for you to have a good time — and stay safe — at this year’s top festivals.

6 Tips to Stay Safe at a Music Festival

1. Always go with a buddy

Going to a festival with a group of friends helps ensure you have people you know keeping an eye out for you. It also means that you have a support system in case something goes wrong, like getting sick or losing your wallet.

Keeping an eye out for each other will minimize the risk of anything going wrong and will ensure you have someone to share the good times with!

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2. Plan your rides carefully

Festivals tend to be held in remote locations. While this makes it possible for music to played at high volumes, it also means that it’s not always easy to get to and from the festival grounds.

To stay safe, plan who you are going to the festival with and how you’re getting back home after it’s done. Make sure you stick to that plan, avoid getting into cars with people you don’t know or who may have been drinking or doing drugs.

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3. Have a meeting place

Choose a meeting place with your friends and make a plan to meet if anyone gets lost or separated from the group, or if there is an emergency.

It is also important to know where the emergency exits are when you’re at a festival in case you need to use them.

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4. Keep your phone charged (and on vibrate AND on full volume)

Whenever you’re at a festival it’s important to make sure that your phone is always charged, on full volume and on vibrate (so you can feel if someone calls you). This will help make sure that you can reach your friends if needed, and that your friends can reach you.

Pro tip: Bring a portable charger to extend your phone’s battery life.

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5. Take snacks and drink plenty of water

Part of staying safe is learning how to listen to your body.

Eating snacks and drinking plenty of water will help give your body the energy it needs to continue having fun as the day progresses. Also remember to take the occasional break from dancing. This is especially important at outdoor festivals held under the blistering summer sun. Food, water and occasional breaks will help avoid heat-related problems, like heatstroke, and will ensure that you stay safe (and healthy!) while you’re having fun.

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6. Tips for reducing the risk of harm from substance use

You don’t need to use alcohol or other drugs to have a good time but if you choose to do so, here are some tips to reduce your risk of harm.

  • Know what to expect. Research the effects of alcohol and other drugs before you take them. Make sure they won’t mix with any other medications you may be taking at drugcocktails.ca.
  • Be sure you trust your source. There is a risk of having other substances, like fentanyl, in what you are taking. Some music festivals have free testing stations, where you can provide a sample of your substance and they will determine its true contents. Use these if they are available.
  • Go slow. Take a small amount and wait to see what effect it has on you.
  • Use in the company of friends just in case something goes wrong.
  • Don’t share – needles, pipes, or any other equipment. The risk of getting a disease like hepatitis C or HIV is not worth the short lived high.
  • Stick to one substance at a time – mixing can mean trouble.
  • Alcohol, drugs and driving don’t mix – so have a plan for getting home safely.
  • Look out for each other and learn how to recognize the signs and respond to an overdose.

Stay safe, have fun and enjoy the festival!

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Erin knows that getting help for her mental health sooner could have stopped things from spiraling out of control. That’s why she’s on a mission to tell young people to get help as early as possible.

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