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Making the most of summer music festivals and outdoor concerts

Girl making heart sign with hands at outdoor concert

If you're a music lover like me, you rejoice in the summertime. That's because it's a spectacular concert season! Music festivals and outdoor concerts abound, offering some of the best opportunities to experience your favorite music live. But this is no secret. In fact, Billboard recently reported that 32 million people go to at least one U.S. music festival every year, and most of these festivals are in the summer.

If you're planning on checking out a few summertime shows, you probably don't want to think about safety when you're dancing and singing along to your favorite songs. That's why it's important to plan ahead and be prepared. Here are a few ways you can make the most of your summer concert experiences:

Always wear sunscreen.

You should apply sunscreen before you head out for the day, but you should also consistently reapply every two hours. It's easy to forget to take care of your skin when you're experiencing a live show, so carry sunscreen with you at all times. You don't want a bad sunburn to ruin the fun!

Bring plenty of food and water.

The energy and excitement in great live music is uncontainable. Cheering, jumping and dancing during a show is physically exhausting, but you typically don't notice until it's over. That's why it's important to be nourished and hydrated. Drink plenty of water beforehand, and carry water and healthy snacks with you.

Carry the right toiletries.

Concerts are usually sweaty, dirty and smelly…but totally worth it! With toiletries, you should aim to be functional, not glamorous. This is especially true if you will be at a music festival for a few days. Don't worry about hair products or makeup, but consider items like tissues, facial wipes and hand sanitizer.

Think twice about electronics.

You might want to reconsider bringing your tablet or a fancy camera. Outdoor concerts can have mud, heat and rowdy crowds—all increasing the likelihood that your electronics will be broken, lost or stolen. However, it may be useful to bring a watch, flashlight and cell phone with a strong protective case.

Go with a group.

Live music can be much more fun with friends to share it with! Attending shows in a group is also much safer. Concert buddies are extremely helpful in emergency situations and can help if you get lost, sick or injured. If you want to split into small groups, ensure everyone understands the plan.

Be strategic with your vehicle.

Plan ahead about where you'll park so you can choose a convenient location and don't waste any time when you first arrive. If you're camping at a festival, you can use your car as a place to store valuables, but don't leave food, toiletries, medications, electronics or other items that can't withstand great heat.

Keep your eye on the weather.

Be attentive and frequently check weather forecasts both before and during the event. You'll want to pack clothing that's appropriate for the weather, but it never hurts to bring blankets, rain jackets or other alternatives. While at the event, check to ensure there aren't upcoming thunderstorms or heat waves.

Plan your schedule carefully.

If you are going to a music festival or an outdoor concert event, your excitement may cause you to forget that you can't do it all. Shows take a lot of energy, and it's unrealistic to plan on rushing to see every band. Instead, prioritize your favorites and plan for time to eat, sleep and take breaks between shows.

You may not be as jazzed about safety as you are about experiencing an incredible live show, but you can't have one without the other. These tips are just a few ways you can be safe and fully enjoy your time at every concert you attend this summer.

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