|Warped Tour 2014 has come to a close, and we are already hearing rumors about the Vans Warped Tour 2015 lineup. 2014 was the first time Koalacore Clothing was given the opportunity to do the entire Vans Warped Tour, and we learned a handful of things that we would like to share with all of you.|
Koalacore Clothing's Vans Warped Tour Survival Guide
The night before:
-Put a sealed bottle of water in the freezer. You’ll need it.
-Hydrate ahead of time. It’s an old pre-race cross-country trick, but you’ll feel great if you down plenty of water the night before. You’ll sweat it out, anyways.
-Get a good night sleep.
-Get a drawstring bag together with a jacket, sunglasses, a Sharpie, and sunscreen.
-Budget. Figure out how much you’re willing to part with on merch before you blow all your hard-earned cash right when you get there.
-Make sure you have your cash and tickets ready to go. I missed Polar Bear Club a few years back because my road trip friend didn’t take cash out the night before, and the bank didn’t open early.
-Print out a POZ Crib Sheet and make a checklist of your can’t-misses.
-Charge your phone. You’ll be off to a bad start with anything less than 100 percent. Fix your settings (brightness, notifications) to eke every last second out of your battery.
-Download Twitter mobile. Bands post about merch table signings, sponsors post meet and greet times, Warped posts about free stuff and giveaways. You can’t go wrong, really.
-MapQuest the venue, and print out directions. I don’t care if you’re some kind of human GPS. Just do it; you’ll be glad you did.
Before you leave:
-That water bottle you put in the freezer? Don’t forget to grab it on your way out. Also make sure you’ve got your ticket, your ID, and other essentials. You don’t want to get halfway to your venue and have to turn around.
-Eat something for breakfast. You’ll get exhausted in the heat on an empty stomach.
-Put on some comfortable shoes. Nothing’s worse than walking around all day in painful kicks. Also recommended: shoes that won’t untie when you’re going crazy in the pit.
-Check the weather, and dress accordingly. Throw some dry clothes in the backseat while you’re at it — you don’t want to get caught in an out-of-the-blue rainstorm and have to drive home soaking wet.
-Bring sunglasses and a hat, no matter what. Unless it’s one of the rare rainy days of tour, it’s going to be hot and sunny.
-Leave early! Traffic gets congested quickly once you get close to certain venues, so plan ahead and don’t miss your favorite band waiting to find a parking spot.
-Put a snack in the car for when the day is over. Odds are, everyone else leaving plan on hightailing it to local fast food joints too, so pack some chips or something to hold yourself over.
Right when you get there:
-Remember where you parked. Don’t be that guy pounding the car alarm button in the lot once Warped is over.
-Make a plan. Find the inflatable set times (or better yet, invest in a paper copy for a buck — it’s worth it, and you won’t waste phone life checking your picture of set times repeatedly) and figure out exactly who you want to see and when. But keep an open mind to check out new bands, too.
-Put on sunscreen. Reapply if you feel like you have to.
-Figure out the map. If this is your first rodeo, you’ll want to make sure you know where each stage is so you don’t stand for ten minutes at the Tilly’s stage wondering where the heck a main stage band is.
-Get acclimated. Looking at the venue on a map is one thing, but it’s always smart to walk a lap around and spot each tent and any other helpful landmarks.
-Scope out the first aid and hydration stations. With any luck, you won’t need the first, but the free water refills will be a godsend as the day goes on.
-Find the shade tents, too. Odds are, you’ll want to take a break at some point.
-Check out to see who’s doing signings and at what tents. Odds are, at least one of your favorite bands will be doing a meet and greet during the day. Twitter is your best friend.
-If you’re with a group, pick a place to meet back up if you’re going to split off to catch different sets. Someone’s phone is going to die, and picking a rendezvous point will keep them from getting incommunicado.
During the day:
-Stay hydrated and eat. You won’t want to get out of the pit, but remember to grab lunch and keep refilling your water bottle. Your body will thank you.
-Take a break or two. Sure, you’re there for nonstop music, but being on your feet the whole entire time will be killer on your legs. Find a comfortable place to sit for a few minutes and soak in the atmosphere.
-Don’t stress out if you miss one of your favorite bands. It happens, but there’s so much music to take in that getting hung up on one missed opportunity isn’t worth it.
-Stick to your budget and don’t go on a wild shopping spree if you don’t plan on one.
-See a few bands you’ve never heard of — the old Warped adage is a good one to follow.
-Don’t be an asshole in the pit, and never, ever drop a crowd surfer.
-If you’re going to crowd surf, hand your valuables over to a friend. You don’t want your phone flying out of your pocket when you’re airborne.
-Speaking of your phone, if you’re watching a band, turn it off for half an hour. You’ll save battery life (which you’ll need for the GPS on the way home if you’re anything like me), and besides, no one likes the tall guy or girl blocking the view with his phone.
-Make friends. When you’re in the pit shouting along with The Story So Far, odds are that the guy or gal next to you is a big a fan as you are. Swap stories, crack a joke when you and another Warped Tour Warrior pass by that band no one likes, tell someone you like their Less Than Jake shirt. Who knows? They might be your new best friend.