Festival Season On The Horizon – Here Are Crucial Tips From A Seasoned Festival Medic

Festival season is just on the horizon. It is a time joy for everyone who loves music, that being said at festivals it can be easy to forget about your health and well being by getting wrapped up in the general environment (among other things). The post below was featured in the Electric Forest subreddit almost 2 years ago, but it still is one the most informative and worth reading lists I have stumbled across. Therefore, I try to post this in the beginning every festival season.

In the post below a medical worker notes tips that everyone should practice when attending a festival. These include obvious points like staying hydrated, but also more obscure pieces information that some might not think . Some the highlights include keeping your emergency medical information and contact information on the lock screen your phone as well as reminding folks that they cannot get arrested at medical tents for drug use (unless they become violent). Check out the full list below and stay safe this festival season. Party on!

Note: Some these tips which fer legal advice in medical situations are targeted towards Michigan only (as that is where Forest is located). While most states the same guidelines apply, it is worth noting this should not be an end all be all information. List text can be seen under the embed post.

1. Bring a good, comfy, sturdy, pair shoes!! I can not stress this enough. The biggest continuing problem I have seen while working is the amount blisters people have from walking in sandals or bare footed for days on end. I would recommend sandals for showering and walking around your camp site but you will not regret bringing a good pair shoes to walk in. Also, wear them a little before coming to make sure you don’t have to break them in on your first day. Happy feet=happy camper.

2. We all know the vast majority people who come will ingest some kind drug. In all honesty, we expect it to happen. Us telling people at festivals to not take drugs is like trying to baptize a cat so PLEASE TEST before using. Sadly we get a lot people that think it is fun to give people a drug and say it is another or people that don’t know what they take.

3. If you guys have to visit us voluntarily or not, just know we are here to help and in all reality just want to make you feel better. State law requires us to treat people that we deem too high/drunk to make proper decision if they want help or not. 99% the time that just means you have to sit in our tent for an hour or 2 and have an IV with fluids run through you before we let you back into the venue. The only time I have seen people kicked out is because they are violent towards us and is usually the very last option.

4. Medical care on site is free. FREE! So don’t be afraid to ask for help with anything that you need. The only time you get a charge is if you need to have an ambulance to take you to the hospital.

5. We have medical tents all throughout the venue and camping areas. Come say hi because we are sitting there for 12 hours straight and it can be kind boring if nothing happens. We have bandaids, aspirin, other minor meds, tampons very few, and the ability to help if you need anything or have any questions.

6. If you have an iPhone, go to your “Heath” app and click on the “Medical ID” section at the bottom. FILL THIS OUT. If, for some reason, you come to us unconscious, that information is very helpful and we can access it from your lock screen without attempting to hack your phone. This could potentially save your life.

7. If you come to us asking for medical help because you are having a bad side effect from an illegal drug, you can’t get into legal trouble. This goes for your friend if you come to us asking for help for them. The only way you could get in to trouble is if you are violent. 99% the time this does not happen.

8. If you have a medication that you have to take like Albuterol, Epi-Pens ect. Always carry one on you and always have spare at your camp site in case you lose it. Many people come to use because they run out or they lost their meds. This is a major headache to go through.

9. Sunscreen. Bring lots. Did I mention sun screen?

10. If it is hot out, drink lots water. Also, for every 1-2 water bottles you drink, have 1 gatorade. Your body loses electrolytes ect. when you sweat and water can’t replace that.

HAVE FUN. You bet as soon as my shift ends, I will be out there having the time my life with all you crazy fuckers!

EDIT: See points below:

1. I was asked by someone to post this on the main thread again so here it is. YOU WON’T GET IN TROUBLE FOR ASKING FOR HELP. There is a nifty law in Michigan that says that you will not get in trouble for seeking medical help if you are under the influence drugs or alcohol. This even applies if you are underage.

2. ChiefMcHeath threw out this link that should help with android users to get emergency contact info on your lock screen. Add your emergency contacts to your lock screen: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2489237,00.asp On an Android go to Settings -> Personal -> Security -> Owner info. It will allow you to type text that will scroll across your lock screen any time the screen is turned on. Mine reads “ICE Sister’s Name 123-456-7890 Brother in-law’s name 123-456-7890”

3. It would be wise to carry your ID on you at all times. That helps if we reach you and you are not alert enough to give us info. That goes along with any medical alert jewelry you might have.

4. If you manage to get cell phone reception and need help. Call 911. Once they find out you are in the festival grounds they will contact the medical, police, fire department on site to get help to you. We work very close with the county.