A Few Quick Things Before Freaknight
Let’s talk about safety and responsibility for a minute.
I know, I know…that’s not the fun stuff. It’s much more exciting to focus on the costumes and lights and music and friends you’ll get to see and experience this weekend. But before we run ahead at full speed, I want to take a little bit of time and be serious here. A lot of these are points I’ve made before, but they always bare repeating.
I’m not trying to use scare tactics. I’m not trying to be the fun police. I just want to be realistic. Thinking that it can’t happen to you is the easiest way for it happen to you. The best method of staying safe is prevention. And the best method of prevention is education and (a little) common sense.
First, take a look at a question and answer session I had with a gentleman who worked in the medical tent at EDC Las Vegas in June. He has some real, honest answers here and doesn’t sugarcoat anything.
And as for Freaknight…
Transportation and Lodging
The event being located outside of the city requires a little more homework. How are you getting down there? Do you have a designated driver? A place to crash? This is not the kind of thing that you want to be figuring out when the event is over at 2am and its pouring rain. No, you can’t just stay up all night. And even if you are, you need to be doing it someplace warm.
If you don’t have a DD, do not drive home. This shouldn’t even need to be said. You are not just putting yourself at risk, but you are putting everyone else on the road at risk. It is not worth it. No matter how together you think you are or how “good” you are driving drunk (shame), it is not worth it. Use Uber, call a cab, call your mom if you have to. There are too many options out there to make a bad decision.
Bring a Jacket
It’s almost winter. Come on. Either invest in a (transparent) backpack, cough up the five bucks for coat check, or get a burner sweatshirt that you don’t care about, stuff it in a corner, and don’t be heartbroken if it’s not there at the end of the night.
The backpacks are well worth it, just make sure that it meets the size requirements. Watching StaffPro throw away your backpack while you try to figure out what to do with all your stuff isn’t fun. Believe me.
Drink Water (But Water Isn’t Enough)
Everyone knows that they’re supposed drink water, whether or not they actually do it. USC has made some pretty big strides this year and the Tacoma Dome is allowing hydration packs to be brought into the venue. Granted, it’s just the hydration pack (no accompanying backpack) and it has to be completely transparent, but hey…baby steps, right?
First thing you should do after you enter the venue is either fill up that hydration pack or head on over to the vendors and buy a bottle of water or two. For those of you who get a little forgetful, the Conscious Crew does a pretty good job patrolling the dance floor and making sure they remind you. But water only goes so far. You need food too. Get that blood sugar up before you head out for the night. Don’t be so concentrated on getting ready that you forget to have dinner. Consume electrolytes. All of that water you’re drinking will rid your body of electrolytes. Seriously, take a break (that means you, people camping at the front of the mainstage all night), go to the concession stand, and buy a Gatorade.
Take Breaks and Pace Yourself
Leaving the crowd also gives your body a chance to cool down a little bit. Humans are amazingly efficient at conducting heat, especially when there’s a couple thousand of them moving in one room. So take a break. Walk around. Go sit some place cool for a little bit. It’s hours over two days, plus God knows what you end up doing after.
Marathon, not a sprint. You don’t have to do all the drugs. I mean, you don’t have to do any, but since many of you are going to anyway, educate yourself. Do you know what you’re taking physically does to your body? Have you bought a testing kit? Have you taken it before? Do you even know what it really is?
Look Out For Each Other
This is what it really comes down to. Take care of yourself and take care of each other. Spend a few seconds while running in between stages to scan for people who might need a hand. If you see something, say something. Strangers, friends, whoever. Are they doing that thing with their jaw? Do they look like they’ve just seen a ghost? Are their eyes even open at all? Do they look like they can stand? It only takes ten seconds to check in on someone and make sure they’re okay, and that can make all the difference.
If it comes down to it, have a friend stay with someone while you go get help. The medical staff on site are there to help you. They are not cops. They don’t have handcuffs. They will not arrest you. If you still don’t feel comfortable going to a medical professional, find a member of the Conscious Crew and they will do it for you. Responsibility starts with you, but don’t feel like you need to figure everything out on your own. The Conscious Crew is an amazing program, filled with caring, experienced, understanding people who truly have your best interests at heart.
Now go have fun. I mean, it’s Freaknight!
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