Pro-Tips for Festival Stamina and Festi-Blues Prevention 3.0
Liza Piza Bailstein and Hal Bailstein are the creators and proprietors of Rising Light, the community outreach program of The Illumi-Nation Project, a 501. c3 non-profit. Their team of volunteers and volunteer educators set up The Illumi-Nation Station and provide free or low-cost interactive classes and PLAYshops that promote sustainability, higher consciousness, social empowerment, community enrichment, and happy, healthy living at music festivals and events. They have been an important partner at festivals such as Hometeam New Year’s Rally and Orange Blossom Jamboree. Liza, Hal and their compatriots tirelessly support wellness, art, music, consciousness, and much more.
Liza has been creating this superb set of guidelines for those of us ready to head off for several days in the woods or the fields or the sun or wherever the music takes us, and we are pleased to share it with you. She created this with Suwannee Hulaween in mind, but you may adapt it to any festival you attend.
Pro-Tips for Festival Stamina and Festi-Blues Prevention 3.0
* Eat lots of citruses or take 2000 mg of vitamin C and/or oil of oregano every day the week or two before, during, and after the festival. This will help keep your brain juices fresh, enhance all experiences, and boost your immune system. TRUST ME, your brain will thank you.
* Drink more water and coconut water than anything else. Dancing, playing, campsite wandering, and/or imbibing various concoctions in the hot sun all day and all night will dehydrate you. Dehydration gives you headaches, hangovers, bloating, and cramps and eventually wears you out or even passes you out. Drinking more alcohol does not prevent this from happening, it only partially delays some of the effects and makes the hangover worse later. Also, drinking non-stop puts you at risk for blackout, and blackout puts you at serious risk of becoming that one asshole. Don’t be that one asshole!
* If you’re dabbling in recreational chemistry– avoid doing too much too fast. There is no rush to the fucked-up finish line. Festivals are created for communally experiencing music, art, and atmosphere with thousands of kind, silly folks, not to blast off onto another planet and escape completely. Remember: You can always eat more, but you can’t eat less. And the higher you go, the further you have to drop back down. That’s just basic science.
* Test before you purchase or consume: Anyone who doesn’t want to let you test isn’t worth doing business with. You can order tester kits online or look for DanceSafe. Unfortunately, there are people willing to put your life at risk for a few bucks. Your life/brain/organs are worth looking out for!
* Bring a first aid kit: Along with the basics (band-aids, condoms, tampons, alcohol wipes, anti-bacterial ointment), include Gold Bond powder for sweaty nethers, an ACE bandage for sprained ankles, anti-itch cream for bug bites, and ibuprofen. You may not need it, but someone in your vicinity will, and you will be a hero!
* Layer your clothes: Florida is really moist and humid. That means when it’s hot out, it’s extra sweaty-hot. When it’s cold out, it’s ice water-cold. Temperatures change rapidly. Keep in mind, the dance floor is wayyy warmer than the walk to and from camp. So even though that onesie is adorable, heat exhaustion isn’t. And booty shorts are rad but hypothermia — not so much. Bringing a long-sleeve pullover and a pair of fuzzy jammy pants in your pack is CLUTCH. We also have sudden downpours even in October, so bring extra towels and thick socks, too.
* Make wise shoe and sock selections: Find shoes and socks that are comfortable to do lots of walking and dancing in. Blisters are a bummer. Personally, I’m not a shoe wearer, but if you’re not used to being barefoot, festivals aren’t always your best place to try it out. Tender feet can step on something sharp, you could stub your toe, or someone with boots might stomp on your foot. Plus, barefootin’ in port-o-potties is not recommended.
* Pre-make easy-to-eat nutrient-rich food, i.e., whole grains, veggies, fruits, and proteins. Avoid eating and drinking a bunch of processed sugary food. Processed sugar gives you short bursts of energy, while vitamin-rich food gives you all-day, steady energy. I’ve got killer recipes if you want any.
* Stretch all your muscles: use a foam roller and/or do yoga before, in between sets, and after the festival. Staying limber is key to preventing soreness and stiffness and getting loooose on the dance floor all weekend long.
* Clean thy self: Brush your teeth and use anti-bacterial & anti-fungal soap and water to wash your face and other important, sweaty regions daily. This will keep you feeling fresh, and all of us will appreciate your efforts!
* Sleep at least 6 hours at some point during the day or night. Your health and happiness are worth looking out for. Really, it’s ok if you miss some things. Afternoon naps are fantastically refreshing. Also, many interactions had after 6-7 a.m. aren’t remembered, and the conversations are rarely inspirational. (Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, and you can refer back to the nap part.)
* Surround yourself with a tribe of trustworthy, fun, lovely Hulagans with the same vibe and energy level as you have. Your fest-family is your best source of steady, external energy. They look out for you and you look out for them. If these people happen not to be in your campsite, go out and find them! Herds of us friendly-freaky-folk migrate to festivals across the country, you will find us and be glad you did!
* Be a trustworthy, fun, lovely Hulaigan: If you find out you’re being a Mr. or Ms. Crabby Pants, you’re probably cranky because you haven’t been taking care of yourself. Drink some water, take a nap, a bath, and some vitamin c, eat some healthy food, do some stretching, and slow yo roll. See if that doesn’t do the trick. You’re worth the effort it takes to love yourself.
I believe everyone should make the choices they think are best for their own wellbeing. But if you find any of these tips helpful, please take them and pass them on to your loved ones!