Four tips that will help you avoid becoming fodder for the mosh pits.
By: Ashley Cline
When sweat outnumbers skinny jeans a million to one and intense guitar riffs slither through the $2 earplugs available for purchase, you can only be at one concert event: Warped Tour. It’s loud, it’s hot and it’s crowded; yet it’s what avid show-goers look forward to every year.
Considered the official start to summer by many, the Van’s Warped Tour treks across the country in an effort to provide the necessary breakdowns, bass drops and head-bang inducing tunes necessary to survive the dog days. The musicians are not the only ones that must learn to cope with the blistering heat, however. Warped veterans and rookies alike suffer from foolish mistakes— all of which have simple, quick fixes. The highlighted tips, tricks and solutions will guarantee you a day to remember.
Breakfast of Champions
The Vans Warped Tour starts well before the first band hits the stage and, just as bands have pre-show rituals, you too, should fall into the habit of carrying out several pre-show traditions. Before considering what song your favorite band will open their set with, ask yourself, “What am I going to eat before Warped?” According to Rick Hong MD, FACEP, the head of Cooper University Hospital’s Division of EMS/Disaster Medication you should, eat a healthy meal in preparation of excessive heat and avoid salts and sweets. Yes, that means the Reese’s cup and Monster Energy drink you bought as a quick meal do not qualify.
Cute is Not What We Aim For
Warped Tour is not a fashion show. Forgo pairing your favorite band-t with skinny jeans. Forget about wearing your treasured beanie with that new flannel shirt you bought last week. Leave that cute new pair of flip-flops at home. Instead, opt for shorts, a comfortable, loose fitting shirt and sensible shoes. “You’re in large crowds and are so close to other people that, by the time you get out, you don’t know if you’re sweating or if it’s somebody else’s sweat [on you],” says Ashley Mahala, a four-year Warped veteran.
Hotter than Texas in July
As a show-goer, the pits and crowd surfers are not your biggest adversaries. A product of the unforgiving summer heat, dehydration and other heat related illnesses leave many whimpering “woe, is me.” Your biggest obstacle has a simple solution, however and, according to Dr. Hong, to prevent falling victim to the summer heat, maintain hydration prior to symptoms. “Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages,” he says. “Also, find a cool, shaded area.”
In addition to drinking often, purchase a map. Not only will it provide you with the show times, as well as the signing times of the bands on the bill, it will also point you in the direction of water stations and water fountains. Maintaining proper hydration is the most important, and perhaps the most overlooked, aspect of attending Warped and, in order to ensure that you are still head-banging until the sun sets, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate after each set.
Reckless and Relentless: Enter at Your Own Risk
There’s nothing quite like being a part of the crowd during your favorite band’s set at Warped Tour. The energy is contagious; you’ll be bobbing your head in time to the bass drops and shredding your vocal chords in an attempt to match the frontman’s performance on stage. Maintaining that sweet position along the front row comes with its healthy share of occupational hazards, however.
Always remain alert; mosh pits open randomly and crowd surfers fall from the sky without warning. Maintain a fighter’s stance, feet shoulder width apart— this will ensure that your center of gravity does not betray you when the crowd surges in every direction— and when in doubt, elbows out. As Mahala attains, “It’s not fun getting kicked in the head.”
August burns red during the Vans Warped Tour, but if you adhere to the basics, you will avoid an all time low.