Staying Safe at the Coachella Music Festival

In a recent year, 7 people were killed and 45 were injured at an Indiana State Fair concert when the main stage crumbled down just as the band Sugarland was about to take the stage. At Bonaroo, a woman was once found dead in a tent; officials claim she passed from heat-related exhaustion. At least, 14.7 million millennials will go to at least one music festival in the U.S

Every year; countless women and festival attendees are sexually assaulted, or experience an act of violence. In short, where there are crowds, there is danger.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is about to explode in Indio, California. Every year since 1999, the peaceful city of Indio erupts into a music and fashion center for thousands of people. This increasingly popular music festival continues to grow with multiple stages and infamous bands performing over two back-to-back weekends in April. With a new line-up every year Coachella has brought some of today’s biggest names to this small desert town such as Kanye West, Dre/Snoop/ Tupac hologram, Prince and Daft Punk. This years performers are once again creating a craze for music lovers through April 14-16 and April 21-23rd.

With delicious food, beer tents and your favorite bands playing, it’s easy to get lost in the excitement and fun. Unfortunately, there are some precautions for attendees to be aware of. But not to worry, we took the trouble and made a list to bring awareness!

General Considerations:

  • Dress appropriatelyfor a long day walking from one source of entertainment to another. Above all, wear comfortable shoes. Also, don’t forget you are in the desert and there’s little shade so a hat and sunscreen can really save you from burning. A light jacket also goes a long way, during the day it can protect you from the sun and since temperatures drop at night it’s a great way to stay warm. And don’t be forgetting those sunglasses, you will be needing them!
  • Hydrate and hydrateThe sun is a wonderful thing, but you need to drink enough water so you don’t get dehydrated. If the symptoms of dehydration such as headache and dizziness add to your discomfort seek attention at one of the medical stations on the grounds. Dehydration is the number one fun killer at festivals and can become deadly if not treated immediately. Best tip, drink at least a minimum of one cup of water every hour. Stay cool by wearing a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses, and hanging out in shaded areas when you can.
  • The music is going to be great but loud, especially if you’re the type that likes to be right up front. Your ears might need some tender loving care. Bring earplugs. There are some that are adapted for listening to music and can be found at multiple outlets for very low cost.
  • If you plan on drinking be sure to have a way to find friends if you become separated. Have a designated meeting place, be sure to have your phone fully charged and on power save mode. Great tip is to write in permanent marker on your arm with your name and the number of someone that you trust that can come get you in case you get lost
  • Medical Care in the Future: If the probability of future medical care is anticipated, this is usually substantiated by the opinion of a medical expert.

Drugs and Alcohol:

Drugs are often found at festivals, and while efforts are made to keep them out, they are there. Be smart about your choices. Sun and physical exertion plus drugs are a formula for disaster. Common drugs include: ecstasy/ molly’s and LSD. Ecstasy is most commonly used. Unfortunately, the combination of dancing, high temperatures, lack of water and this drug can result in fatalities. In addition, be careful to look out for impaired drivers in parking areas.

  • Do not accept open drinks from strangers. If you accept a drink, make sure the seal is intact even at a bar
  • Do not try any drugs from strangers even if you are looking for aspirin etc.
  • Don’t ignore the fun that can be had at Coachella by getting wasted

Assault:

Whenever you are in a crowd of people, you need to think about your personal safety. Stay near friends or people you know (buddy system); don’t be alone with strangers especially while under the influence. Women are particularly vulnerable. Sexual assault is a commonly reported problem at many events.

  • Stay with friends, if you meet someone new ask them to visit with your group
  • Make sure when the day is done, you and your friends have a plan to leave together. In short, don’t leave unless you all do it together
  • Don’t walk alone
  • Stay clear of isolated areas
  • Carry an item that can alert other people such as a whistle

Theft:

Keep in mind that thefts happen often. You’ll be using your cell phone texting friends, capturing music performances and taking pictures. Make sure you leave with your phone. That goes for all your valuables. Another great idea is to label your phone and wallet in case you lose it but don’t put your address on it. This might give a shady individual an open invitation to visit your home.

  • Store valuables in your car trunk if possible because taking them into the festival is risky.
  • If you are tent camping have a way to lock your tent and belongings.
  • Keep your credit cards, cash and phone on your person, preferably in a pocket that zips or buttons.

After Parties:

After parties abound and invitations are often given. A word of caution here, some are not parties at all but a way to get you alone. If the invitation is not extended to the entire group, don’t go.

What If Something Happens?

Festivals usually take every precaution to make sure you are safe. When something happens, they have security ready to help. Many times, local law enforcement is also there.

However, there are times when security is breached, medical response is slow or food is ill-prepared leading to illness. If this happens to you, the festival coordinator should carry insurance to help patrons recover their loss. Having the advice of an attorney can ensure that your medical or other expenses due to the injury or accident are adequate. David Azizi, an experienced car, truck accident, and personal injury attorney, can answer any questions you may have. He can be reached at (800) 991-5292 for a free consultation to review your case.

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