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Hooked on a feeling

By Lauren Smith

It seems Alberta is full of widespread joy come summertime—
and who wouldn’t be?

Many Albertans know the summer as construction season, but for those who know where to look, the summer is also festival season in Alberta! After moving to Alberta five years ago, I quickly fell in love with all the summer festivals our great province has to offer. We’re lucky to live in a beautiful province that hosts a different music festival almost every weekend between June and September.

Photo I took at last year’s Edmonton Folk Music Festival. Pure bliss.

Photo I took at last year’s Edmonton Folk Music Festival. Pure bliss.

Safety-ness is next to happiness

To really appreciate the full festival experience, proper preparation and planning are key. Staying safe and healthy throughout the weekend ensures you can fully enjoy yourself and all the festival has to offer.

In her last blog, Angela discussed the lessons she learned from her first year at the Calgary Stampede: the importance of staying hydrated, limiting exposure to direct sunlight and having nutritious snacks handy to maintain energy levels. These are all crucial points; ignore any of them and you might end up having a bad time at any outdoor event.

All summer festivals require some careful preparation and planning to ensure you stay safe and have a great time, but festivals where camping is involved have many added factors to plan for. So, here are my personal tips for ensuring you have a good time when festin’:

1. Bring clothes for every climate

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

It’s far better to have a bunch of warm sweaters and an abundance of extra socks and never pull them out of your bag, than to be cold with wet feet (I’ve experienced running out of dry socks. It’s not something I wish on anyone). Even if the forecast calls for sun all weekend, be prepared that the weather could shift and a rain poncho may become your saviour.

Appropriate footwear is no laughing matter.

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime

Many festivals require a lot of walking, especially when you’re camped away from all the action. Flip flops can be OK if it’s nice and you’re not walking around too much, but come the night time flip flops will not keep your feet warm against the cold, damp ground and will not protect against those pesky bug bites—boots are a must!

A neighbour is a friend you haven’t met yet.

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime

 Festivals are great places to meet people, so why not start with those camped next to you? Getting know your camping neighbours not only means more people to party with, but you can help each other out by keeping an eye on your camp sites for any suspicious behavior. It’s especially a good idea to get acquainted with those camped near you if you’re flying solo. At some of the more remote festivals, access to supplies can be difficult (if not impossible) if you accidently forget or lose anything. Having some folks who can help you out of a bind can be your first class ticket to a good time.

4. Light up the night

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The beautiful open landscape of the fairgrounds can become very distorted once the sun goes down. Even if you’ve been to the grounds before, it never hurts to carry a flashlight around with you in the evenings to help you find your way around and spot any potential tripping hazards. (Pro tip: I bring glow sticks for me and my friends so we can easily identify each other if we get separated at night. Plus, glow sticks are just a lot of fun).

5. Go with the flow.

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime

The weekend most likely will be full of unexpected events. When you come prepared, it’s easier to let loose and embrace everything as it happens. After all, that’s part of the magic of festivals.

What are your favourite summer festivals? Do you have any summer festival safety tips? Leave a comment or tweet us @HeadsUpAB!

One Response to “Hooked on a feeling”

  1. […] almost anything, safety comes into play when attending any kind of summer festival. Lauren wrote a blog on this very topic a few years ago and offered up some great safety tips, such as bringing extra clothing and the […]

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