Are You Ready For Outdoor Concerts?
So, the big festival, rock concert, or another great outdoor event is coming up. You and maybe your family are excited to go. Maybe it's even free.
It's that time of year and, with endless fine days sprawling ahead, what's not to enjoy about Southern California's regular summer of celebrations?
Well, hang on for just one minute. If you want to be sure of your fun in the sun, it'll pay you handsomely to plan ahead, especially if you're taking the kids, and to stick to a number of important safety routines.
Here's our list of 15 outside concerts safety tips.
- If you have to buy tickets, do so as far in advance as possible. That ensures you won’t get price-gouged later on. And don’t assume you can "pay at the door" -- check first. Take a printed copy of your ticket in case you have problems with your phone.
- If you're traveling by car, allow extra time. Get there early if you can, to secure a good parking spot. Make a note or take a photo of your parking location.
- Get hydrated -- and stay that way. Dehydration is the most common medical emergency at concerts. Take a couple of bottles of water per person. If the venue doesn’t allow you to bring in bottles, buy some as early as possible, before the crowds arrive; if you wait till you need it, that may be too late. Rehydrate again when you get home.
- Stay nourished -- that means having a light meal before you go and avoiding fried food on concession stands. If you're allowed to take your own food, do so, and make it fruit and nutrition bars.
- Stay sober. Just don't overdo the alcohol thing. It can dehydrate you or cause other behavioral problems. And if there's an emergency, you'll be badly placed to deal with it.
- Once in the venue look out for key reference points that should include:
- A meeting point that you or any family member can go to if you get separated.
- The location of restrooms. You may not want to be positioned right outside but you want to be near enough to get there fairly quickly.
- The location of barriers and security personnel. If you get near a barrier, you can easily hop over it if there's a crowd surge. And if you're near a security person, you'll be close to help if needed.
- The location of the medical tent or cabin.
- The location of speakers so you don’t deafen yourself (see #9 below).
- Your security exposure. Look around and think how safe you would be in the event of a security incident. Could a vehicle jump the curb or crash a barrier nearby? Then move away. Try to be as security aware as you can.
- Protect your skin. Concerts are not sunbathing opportunities -- because you may not be able to control how long you're exposed for. So, cover up with light, protective clothing and wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15. Look after your feet too, with comfortable, protective shoes. Sandals may look cool but not from the perspective of your crushed toes. Packing some ant-bacterial wipes or gel will also help protect you, especially if you have to use temporary restrooms.
- Protect your eyes. Wear sunglasses that can filter out both UVA and UVB rays. On the other hand, if you wear regular glasses and can go without them or wear contacts, do so. Broken glasses are one of the big casualties of lively outdoor concerts.
- Protect your ears. Most music concerts rock out at between 95 decibels (dB) to 112 dB. That's like standing 300 yards away from a jet taking off. Noise at this level for more than a couple of hours can cause permanent hearing damage. Use ear protection (especially for little ones) if this is going to be a noisy event. For around $20, you can buy hi-fi ear plugs that reduce the sound level without affecting its quality. The kids may protest but this is one of those times when you have to put your foot down!
- Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion (dizziness, nausea, headache, clammy skin, heavy sweating) and heat stroke (confusion, delirium, hot but dry skin, even convulsions). Heat stroke can be fatal. Seek immediate medical help.
- Keep in touch. Take a fully charged cell phone with you (but concealed from would-be thieves). If you have teens, make sure they have a phone, especially if you're not going to the concert, and arrange to make regular contact. Put a data plan on their phones so they're not dependent on Wi-Fi. It's a good idea for you and your kids to carry a small, printed identity card with relevant contact info.
- Know how to behave if there's a security alert. The most important action is not to panic. Take three deep breaths, holding each for a few seconds, to keep calm. Try to identify the source of the alert and seek shelter.
- Watch out for pickpockets. You may need to carry cash because a lot of concert venues don’t accept cards -- so leave your wallet at home and store your cash somewhere safe on your body. Did you know your homeowners insurance or renters insurance can protect you against theft? Contact us if you'd like to know more.
- Don't rush to leave. As impatient as you may be to hit the road, there are security and personal safety risks from joining in the crush as soon as the concert ends. If time is that important to you, leave before the end. Otherwise, wait 10 or 15 minutes before making your move.
- If you detect trouble nearby, try to move away. If it looks like BIG trouble, leave.
We don't want to spoil the fun for you and your family, and you don’t need to tell everyone you're playing it safe by learning and following these outside concerts safety tips. But you'll feel a whole lot better about security for you and your family.
Just make sure you don’t spark a panic when you try out your Mom or Dad Dance moves! Aldrich Taylor Insurance is your trusted insurance agency, serving all of Southern California.