- By Meghan Faiella Contributing Writer
The time has come for Okeechobee Music Festival, the ‘Coachella’ of the East Coast. But before you put on your best fringed outfit and head to the middle of nowhere, there’s some festival etiquette you to need to know.
Lay on that deodorant
A festivalgoer’s best friend is deodorant. If Florida is known for one thing, it’s the heat. Mix that with being outside and dancing all day in large crowds and you’re not just asking for sweat, you’re begging for it. Yep, you’ll be sweating in places you didn’t even know you could sweat!
So do yourself and the rest of us a favor: Keep deodorant on you and apply it often. Your fellow festivalgoers, your clothes -- and even you, yourself -- will thank you.
Getting stupidly drunk is not cute
No, no it’s not. And it’s also not safe. It’s easy to drink all day with readily available beer at these festivals, but be smart and limit your alcohol intake. Sure, getting tipsy makes things more fun, but what’s not fun is the come-down, the hangover or the vomit.
Bottom line: Mixing liquor with the Florida heat is a recipe for disaster. So be smart and chill. I promise you will still have fun.
Comfort over fashion (i.e. skip the flower crowns and closed toed shoes)
Music festivals are my fashion jam, but maybe skip the super cool, yet uncomfortable hipster outfit and choose something a little more practical.
Crop tops are cute, but unless you’re applying sunblock every hour, you could end up with a wicked burn. Save your little toes from the woes of being stomped on in large crowds or mosh pits. Opt for closed-toe shoes like your favorite pair of kicks or boots. And although we love the effort you put forth to look like the next Lana Del Ray, leave the flower crown behind and instead bring a real hat. This is the sunshine state, after all.
Bring your own TP
A girl’s worst nightmare? A porta potty, of course. An even worse nightmare? A porta potty with no toilet paper. I guess this could be a guy’s worst nightmare too -- no judgement. In any case, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so keep a roll of toilet paper in your bag.
Or be a music festival pro and kill two birds (the sweat bird and the potty bird) with one stone: Carry those Charmin wipes in a Ziploc bag.
Sorry if this sounds like a broken record, but we’re in Florida and it’s hot. We all know this, yet still when caught up in the moment, we can forget to keep hydrated. And no, beer does not count. Always make sure to keep a water or Gatorade on you. No one wants a visit to the first aid tent when they should be rocking out.
As simple as this rule could be, it’s probably one of the hardest for people to follow. The heat, the crowds and the long days are perfect ingredients for making a happy concertgoer a grumpy one. Nevertheless, everyone is there to have a good time and enjoy the music, the food and their friends.
So, if you’re having a bad day, please keep it to yourself. And if you see someone in need, like they are getting trampled in the mosh pit, if you can help them, please do.
If you don’t want to be in the pit… get out of it.
The mosh pit is no joke, especially when you’ve got a good band jamming out and a group of intoxicated people dancing. So, if you don’t want to be pushed, kicked or elbowed, stick to the back of the crowd. The pit is hot and a stranger’s sweat is unavoidable, so unless you’re truly up for the experience of moshing, it’s best if you don’t.
Remember the sunscreen
Just like our momma told us, always wear your sunscreen. Don’t worry: It’s cool if you take a break every hour or so to apply it. What’s not cool? Sunburn at a festival where you are stuck outside for four days.
Pack some snacks
There are two things we know about festivals: one, they’re a lot of fun and two, they’re a lot of money. So instead of spending eight bucks on a hotdog every time you get hungry, pack some snacks in your backpack. Not only does it save you money, but it saves you time from standing in those long lines.
Don’t be a litterbug
While snacking is smart, it’s also smart to keep the festival grounds clean. So throw all trash into trash bins and not onto the ground. At this festival where you can camp, who wants to be sleeping next to a bag of Doritos or be dancing and trip over a beer bottle? It takes all of two seconds to find a trash can so just do it.
Put the phone down and enjoy
I promise you the concert looks and sounds way better in person than it does on your Snapchat or Instagram story. Not to mention, you holding up your phone is distracting to the people behind you, who hopefully, have their phones stashed in their pockets. So, put away all the devices and just enjoy the show: live and in concert, just like the good old days.