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Beacon Senior News

Tips for returning to summer music festivals

May 24, 2021 12:41PM ● By Michael Murphy
Outdoor summer music concert or festival

After a yearlong hiatus from live music performances, music festivals will once again be held across the country this summer. 

That’s great news since I enjoy nothing more than sitting in my lawn chair on a warm summer day, sipping a beer, listening to music, and taking naps between sets. For seniors who may not be veteran attendees of such events, here are some helpful suggestions.


Leave the dog home

Based on experience, I suspect that dogs do not enjoy the thundering sound put out by some bands as much as their owners do. Even that canine with the purple mohawk and dreadlock tail I saw at a Korn concert appeared a bit distressed by the noise level.

There was a time when summer music festivals welcomed attendees to bring their dogs. The variety of dogs on display was incredible, but they were all apparently deaf from attending previous music festivals. I personally witnessed dogs running out of control all over the festival grounds with complete disregard for their owners’ commands to “come,” “sit,” “drop that man’s leg,” etc.

Wisely, now most music festivals ban dogs. That’s a good thing for all the humans there who want to relax and enjoy the entertainment, but even better for the dogs, I’m sure. If you insist on taking your dog, check the music festival’s website carefully to confirm its dog policy. That way you can avoid a long drive with the dog only to be denied entry upon arrival. It happened to me once.


Bring a flashlight

Another thing to consider when attending an outdoor music festival is to always bring a flashlight. It’ll really come in handy when it’s pitch dark and you’re trying to weave your way through the crowd as you exit. But a flashlight is even more essential for porta-potty trips throughout the evening—something I find myself doing more frequently with each passing year.

Of course, the flashlight makes it safer and simpler to first find the location with people lined up and waiting. But once it’s finally your turn and you’re inside the satellite toilet, the flashlight is quite a lifesaver. 

For guys, the light allows us to locate the spot we’re aiming for rather than just taking a potshot, so to speak. In total darkness, it can also be difficult to find and unlock the door handle, enabling you to make a cool and calm exit.

In contrast, it can be very embarrassing when you’re blindly stumbling and fumbling around inside the porta-potty trying to do all these things while everyone waiting outside is wondering what on earth is going on in there.


Check the rules

Each festival has its own special set of rules, and those rules can change without any notice. Some festivals have tighter security than an airport on high alert, while others will wave you through without giving any thought to the fact that you’re wearing a ski mask in July (I guess COVID helped with that, too).

Sometimes a festival’s security simply depends on the people manning the entrance. If they happen to be other seniors, don’t even think of sneaking in a drop of alcohol. They’ll sniff it out like bloodhounds. But if young people are working the gate, chances are you can put a baby bonnet on a keg and pass through the entrance undetected.

Finally, regarding hula hoops at summer music festivals, just don’t bring them. It’s a fact that hula hoops are the second leading cause of music festival injuries for seniors...right after porta-potty accidents.


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