With Digital Dreams approaching next weekend (June 27 & 28) and expecting upwards of 70,000 attendees over two days, we have no doubt you’ll meet tons of new and interesting people. But because of last year’s deaths at VELD (another EDM Festival run by INK Entertainment), Live Nation has put together a summer concert safety guide to ensure that you enjoy Canada’s largest electronic dance music festival while still being safe.

These tips are especially important for young women and can be applied to all other summer festivals and concerts. Print out a copy and bring it with you if you must! Have a (responsible) blast, ladies.

Prepare in Advance:

  • Dress for the heat. If you’re heading to a festival in the thick of summer, avoid heavy clothing or dress in layers so that items can be removed as necessary. Lightweight clothing that provides sun protection is ideal.
  • Be prepared for rain. Come with a plastic poncho that you can pull out if needed, as well as a small plastic bag for your cell phone, cash, ID, etc. (consider leaving your wallet at home to lighten the load and just bring the essentials!).
  • Wear comfortable footwear. You will be on your feet for most of the day, so it’s best to choose function over fashion. Also, keep potential rain in mind when choosing your footwear — it could get muddy.
  • Don’t forget accessories! Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are all festival must-haves. And want to spend all day front and centre of the stage? That’s awesome. We recommend that you consider using hearing protection.
  • Time-stamp your text messages. It will be loud, and many attendees rely on text messages to communicate with friends onsite, especially if there are multiple stages and their location is constantly shifting. Given the volume of cell activity in the area, messages can be delayed. Time-stamped messages ensure your friends know what time you sent a text message and are not heading to meet you at a location you were at an hour ago and have since moved from.
  • Bring a USB or portable phone charger. Many festivals now have a cell phone charging station, so come prepared with your charger. If you don’t want to get stuck hanging around the charging station, or if there isn’t one onsite, a portable charger will also do the trick!
  • Come well-rested. It helps to get a good night’s sleep before hitting a festival, and don’t forget to eat a big meal beforehand so you can keep your energy level up all day.
  • It’s always better with friends, right? Have a trusted festival friend in tow. Make a plan for how you’ll stay connected throughout the event. Designate a meeting spot, should cell phones get lost or reception fails. Look out for your friends, and have them look out for you!

Getting There:

  • Allow extra time to get there. In many cases, thousands of people are all going to the same place, so it will inevitably be busy. Summer in the city can also mean road closures, so be sure to map out your route in advance and consult toronto.ca to ensure your travel arrangements are as smooth as possible.
  • Expect to wait in line upon arrival. Be patient and make friends with those around you.
  • Be ready for a security check. Some items don’t belong at festivals, and these items can vary by event. Check your ticket confirmation email to find out what items are permitted and which ones are prohibited. Generally, empty water bottles and water containers, including empty CamelBaks, as well as a personal amount of food in a factory sealed package, are welcome. Outside alcohol, drugs and/or drug paraphernalia, weapons, and glass bottles and cans are never allowed!

Once You’re There:

  • Scope out the area. Once you arrive, check out the locations of water stations, washrooms, rest areas and first aid tents so you know where these places are.
  • Stay hydrated. Ensure you drink plenty of water regularly throughout the event. You can mix it up with electrolyte drinks every so often to top up your energy levels, but avoid caffeinated energy drinks, especially if you’re drinking alcohol.
  • Consume alcohol responsibly. Pace yourself. Festivals can mean long days!
  • Stay safe; don’t leave any of your beverages unattended. This is where your festival friend can come in handy!
  • The best way to avoid drug related harms is not to use. Live Nation strongly advises against consuming illicit substances.
  • Quickly seek help when needed. Feeling unwell? Head to the First Aid tent. Disclosing all information about your illness with the medical team helps enormously with treatment. Feeling unsafe? Approach security. Even if you’re not entirely sure if you need help, check in anyway, as safety is of utmost importance. Regardless of what your situation is, health and safety teams are there to help, not judge. And if you see other attendees who look unwell or in danger, it’s always nice to check with them to see if they’re OK, and if they’re not, to help get them medical or safety attention.
  • Take rest breaks. Especially if temperatures are above average or you’re dancing. Know your limits, which will help to ensure you have the energy to make it until the end of the headlining act!
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours. Apply to areas of your skin that will be exposed to the sun. Head for shade frequently, if you can.
  • Remember to eat. Your body is an engine — make sure to keep the tank topped up so you can power through the day. Eating regularly is especially important if you are consuming alcohol.

Heading Home:

  • Know how you are getting home. Don’t drive under the influence of anything. Use the TTC, a taxi or Uber where possible.
  • Know who you are going home with. Remember your festival friend? Leave together or stay safe by keeping in touch to be sure they know where you are, how you are getting home and vice versa.