The season of shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, swooping lasers, and huge buzzing speakers is here. Unfortunately, dehydration, sunburn and arrests are rarely far behind. A music festival can be the experience of a lifetime, but it can also spell disaster if you’re not careful.

Often, the combination of crowds, the sun, and drugs and alcohol can be too much indulgence for the unprepared festival-goer. If you must indulge (or overindulge), here are some tips for staying safe as you weave to the front of the stage.

Remember What Your Parents Said

Bring more water than you even think you need. Bring gallons of it, and if festival security won’t let you, bring empty gallon jugs, or anything you can fill to the brim once you get past the gates. If you forget everything else, don’t forget this.

If you’re drinking alcohol, match each drink with water. You don’t want to be the person stumbling around the festival, unable to put your flip-flop back on, or worse, the person passed out, awaiting an ambulance for alcohol poisoning. Another thing to consider is the jail time you could face for public intoxication. Even celebrities aren’t safe from this. So make it easier on yourself in the long run: drink water, and don’t drown yourself in alcohol.

This should come as a no-brainer, but in between contributing to heat exhaustion and dehydration, the sun can also burn you and cause sun sickness. To prevent this, make sure you frequently reapply sunscreen during the day. Not only will you have a bad time if you get burnt, you’ll miss out on all the fun if you get sun poisoning.

Of course, you will want plenty of food to keep up your energy levels, so pack what you can or bring cash for the vendors. These simple tips are the easiest ways to stay safe and preserve your own well-being during a music festival.

Choose Your Squad Wisely

In other words, go with friends you trust and stick together. If one of you just happens to be “straight edge,” listen to that person when they doubt you are as coherent and charming as you think you are. There is a reason tribes exist, and it’s an aspect of group-support as much as it is self-control.

Traveling in a trustworthy pack will keep you accountable and safe. It could also help keep you inconspicuous and give you cover for anything you might not want the police to see, if you’re into that sort of thing. If you took something you shouldn’t have taken, your friends can be there to monitor you and keep you under control, making sure you don’t get arrested for acting like a lunatic by yourself. And if you all took something crazy, it’s probably time to find another group who can help or seek a medical tent.

Which brings up another good tip, know what you’re doing and with whom. If your gut is telling you the sketchy guy in a bunny suit is up to no good, be safe instead of sorry and don’t take anything you’re unsure about. The best way to be sure about what you ingest is to know whom it comes from and if it’s tried and true. With dozens of dangerous research chemicals out there, there’s no telling what a stranger could be giving you, and the last thing you want at a festival is a life-threatening overdose from a strange drug.

Don’t Broadcast Illegal Behavior

The tips we’ve mentioned thus far will hopefully keep you as safe from unnecessary arrest as they do from a trip to the hospital. However, one huge piece of advice still remains: Don’t broadcast illegal activities. Keep your activities to yourself or within your friend group, and keep them as inconspicuous as possible. Don’t go blabbing to the whole festival about how good of a time you’re having because of your friend Molly. You never know who’s listening, and if you’re drawing attention to yourself and causing a scene, you’ll be an easy target for law enforcement.

Last year, hundreds were arrested at music festivals, if not thousands. Electronic music festivals in Pomona and San Bernardino alone saw nearly 500 arrested for offenses including public intoxication, possession of illegal drugs, using illegal drugs, using fake identification, public indecency, and operating a business without a license.

Nevertheless, and contrary to popular belief, the police are in fact there to help. So if you see some truly dangerous behavior or have crossed the line yourself and are in need of help, be sure to alert the police to get assistance. This is also the case if you see someone incapacitated, whether by an illegal substance or not: always get them help before it is too late.

If the Festival Goes Wrong, Contact Thiessen Law Firm

Don’t let this festival of music and fun ruin your life with an arrest. If you were one of the unlucky people who got nabbed in the crowd for doing the same thing a hundred other people were doing, contact Mark Thiessen today and get a free consultation. Our aggressive team of criminal defense lawyers will help you understand your case and get you the outcome you deserve. We have the know-how and experience to fight your charges victoriously.

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Thiessen Law Firm

Mark Thiessen is an aggressive trial lawyer best known for his devotion to justice for his clients and high rank as a DWI Super Lawyer in Texas.