Disclaimer: Many of these tips are directed towards hotter states/areas like Arizona and New Mexico, so excuse any huge exaggerations about the heat.
If you do not know what Warped Tour is, it is a very large tour that is held annually throughout the United States (and I believe Europe). This tour consists of mostly post hardcore, pop punk, -some- skaa, and a little bit of hip hop/rap, among a few other genres. Warped Tour is held completely outdoors because it is so huge, and if you are from Arizona there are some things you need to keep in mind before leaving for Warped!
BEFORE YOU READ THIS! Buy a presale. Even if you don’t know if you’re going. Presales are cheaper, and Warped Tour will send you emails about merch and other things wayyyy before the date comes. DO IT.
Things to bring:
This one is a no-brainer, guys. I don’t care how much you want to “mosh” or “throw down”. If you think you’ll get tired of carrying your water, have a buddy hold it for you while you’re in the pit. Don’t be a fool. Arizona is dreadfully hot, and dehydration is killer. Yesterday at Warped 2013 I watched a girl vomit her brains out because she was so dehydrated. Freeze a gallon of water the night before and it will last you the whole day- I promise! Also, if you can sneak in a few Powerades or Gatorades, those are good for when you get sick of chugging water and want something sweet (a great alternative to Monster!)
If you’re pale like me, you will definitely need some sunblock. Ladies, this is not the day to get a tan. You will fry, unless you have some cool superpower that prevents sunburns. Either way, the sun causes UVA/UVB DAMAGE to your skin, and even if you get a sick tan today, years from now it could cause problems. Tanning is better in smaller time slots, and seeing as Warped is over 9 hours long, you are going to NEED sunscreen.
3. Money for food/a small snack
As far as I know, you are now able to bring in a small snack to the tour. Regardless, you should try to sneak one in. Food at these types of events is expensive, and money is better spent at the merch booths, am I right? I encourage you to bring a ziploc bag of pretzels, a clif bar/granola bar, or any kind of carbohydrates you can think of! Also- some people might want to bring a packet or two of EmergenC. It is great for surviving in the heat, and keeping energized in a healthy way.
^^^^^^Put all of these things in a backpack, Jansports are perfect to hold everything you need for the day. It is totally worth all the sweat on your back, trust me. You do not want to be stuck with your hands full all day.
What to do/what not to do:
1. Dress appropriately for the day. Ladies, put your hair up. It’s not gonna look cute in a few hours anyway, sweat will ruin any work you put into your hair the morning before warped. If you can find one, wear a light hat or even bring a parasol. A pair of jean shorts and a tank top are ideal to brave the heat. Some girls go in bikinis, but if you’re not comfortable with that a nice tankini is very nice to wear when it’s 120 degrees outside. Gentlemen have the advantage of being able to go shirtless, yet I still will see some guys (and girls) walking around in all black. @.@ Lastly, jewelry is unnecessary. Makeup is okay on a small scale, and FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE don’t wear heels or flip flops. I do not know how many times I see someone wearing heels to shows. Please be smart about your footwear, you’ll be walking around all day long.
2. Leave early. Sometimes, traffic gets crazy and parking is a hassle. On that note, bring cash for parking, which is usually about $10. Also, people are usually walking around handing out free Warped Tour backpacks with goodies inside. If you get there way too early, try to get your hands on a schedule and map out your day.
3. Plan out the bands you would like to see. SO MANY BANDS play at Warped. Get a schedule (they sell them as you walk in) or pull out your phone and snap a picture of someone elses schedule. If you can’t get your hands on one either of those ways, there is ALWAYS a schedule posted somewhere in the venue. Start with the earliest set times, and bounce to each stage as your favorite bands play. Sometimes they overlap, but compromise is best in order to see every band that you want to. Leave halfway through one set to see the end half of another set, if you have to. First, though, be sure to know exactly what stage you are going to next and know where that stage is. (Another good thing to sort out if you arrive early, or in between bands).
3. Take breaks to rest! Even if you watch bands back to back all day, sometimes it’s good to just sit down in the shade during a set. There are often times places to sit in the shade very close to the stage, so you can still enjoy the music. If you find yourself absolutely exhausted, please please please sit in the shade for a few minutes and try to get some powerade or a small snack into your system, because passing out is not fun!
4. Go say hi to every merch table. You can get so much free crap if you just take like a half hour to walk around and speak to the people at different tents. Every year, someone gives me a pair of sunglasses, a bag, a tshirt, or countless stickers. Seriously- sometimes you’ll even find yourself making a friend or networking with someone who has similar career interests as you. Check out all of the booths, but do it before the sun goes down! Most of the tables break down all of their stuff before/around 6pm.
5. Don’t get in the pit or crowd surf if you’re not prepared to be punched in the face. This is for those people who think they’re tuff. If you do get knocked down or get a busted lip or knee, don’t get mad at the person who hit you. You did that to yourself, 100%. I have skinned my knee after falling down in a circle pit, and I refuse to participate anymore because I believe it is a small form of masochism. This tip is specifically directed to smaller people. If you’re scared of it, then just hang back and enjoy the music without getting curb stomped. It really isn’t worth it to get punched in the face. Girls, you’re not hot if you mosh, or if you crowd surf. Period.
Basically, just go to Warped prepared and you’ll go home happy. This event is not for pansies, simply put. Please take some precautions and you will definitely have a good time!
If there’s anything I missed and you would like to add, comment below and i’ll edit this post with credit to whoever added a tip/detail.
Thanks so much for reading!