10 Things to Know Before Setting Foot in a Music Festival

Going to any music festival is an adventure. Thousands of people gather to see dozens of the hottest artists playing several different stages at the same time. Here at clubZone, many of us have learned the hard way how NOT being prepared for a music festival sucks, and we don’t want you to suffer like we did. Here are 10 tips to help you  avoid the pitfalls and be ready to have an amazing time.

#10 Comfortable shoes are a must. You’re going to walk. A lot. From the minute you park your car (possibly miles and miles away from the campsite) it is going to be nonstop walking: jumping from stage to stage, grabbing drinks, heading for the bathroom. And it can always rain, so wear shoes that will protect you from the mud (and that you don’t mind getting a little dirty).

#9 Going to the bathroom is a marathon. Chemical bathrooms (portable toilets) are a piece of work. No matter how many they put in the venue, there will never be enough. Expect long lines, no toilet paper in sight, sticky floors (with who knows what on them), and a not-so-pleasant smell. (It always makes you wonder about whether or not you should have the next beer). Pro tip: Avoid the lines by going before the next big act goes on, or five minutes before your artist is set to end their performance.

#8 You’re going to lose your friends. This usually happens when you’re out to get a drink at the bar, or hurrying to the bathroom thinking, “I’ll be right back.” No, you won’t. And you probably won’t see your friends until the next artist comes onstage, if you’re lucky. These places are usually far, far away from the madness you and you’re friends are, and it’s not easy to spot a familiar face with thousands of people jumping up and down in front of you, especially after that third drink. Pro tip: Make sure you always bring one friend along to join you in any of these excursions, so you’ll at least have each other until you meet back up with your group.

#7 You will make new friends. Festivals open up a whole new world, making it very easy to make friends with random people. Maybe you walk and stumble upon them…you spill a drink, apologize, and BAM–the conversation starts flowing. Or you wait in line for a drink for 20 (long) minutes, and you click over how hard it is to get served in this place (“I know, right?”) Or you freak out about how awesome that DJ is, and the person right next to you is their no. 1 fan, too. There are endless possibilities.

rave

#6 It’s essential to bring a backpack. You’re going to spend the day (or longer) partying hard. Pack your bag with the essentials: a tent, shirt, towel, bottle of water, SUNSCREEN, and toilet paper. If you have no idea where to begin, ask your experienced friends what they usually bring with them. We can’t stress enough how essential is to check the rules for each event before you leave. Sometimes, you can carry a small bottle of water and a few snacks, while other times these items get confiscated. So check their website beforehand. Pro tip: Pack light, because you’re going to be carrying this weight everywhere with you.

#5 Mind your booze ingestion. There’s nothing worse than getting drunk to the point of missing all the fun–or being the party pooper and ruining everyone else’s. Drink moderately, and be sure to have plenty of water in between.

#4 Get the early-birds. The ticket prices increase absurdly as it comes closer to the event, so nab the tickets as soon as they go on sale. That way, you can spend the rest of your money on all the overpriced beer to keep you pumped. Pro tip: Check to see if you can grab pre-sale tickets; you’ll save even more usually.

#3 Read about the event before going. Again, these places are huge, and there are several artists playing at the same time on different stages that are far away from each other. Decide which performances you want to attend before you get there. This will make your life so much easier. Also, there’ll be plenty of other activities taking place onsite. Many of them have hidden gems, such as promotional areas, massage parlors, relaxing lounges, and art expositions. Go explore!

#2 Leave the headliners earlier. Yeah we know who you’re coming to see, and that you struggled 40 minutes just to get THIS close to the stage. But so will everyone else around you. And when the main act finishes the last song, everyone will want to leave at the same time. The result? CHAOS. People pushing you, stumping on your feet… and if you haven’t lost your friends by now, you will at this point. If they’re the last performance, the exit queue will be even worse. So be smart and leave before the sky falls down and you lose your cool.

#1 Put away your phone. Don’t be the douche putting your arms up and disturbing everyone behind you with your phone or tablet every five seconds. Taking a few pictures every once in a while is cool, but don’t make this your priority. Keep in mind the best experiences aren’t captured on film–live in the moment. Music festivals are liberating experiences when done right, so  enjoy your time!

Carolina Galli

How to cure a bad hangover

hangover

We all know the drill, after NYE all we want is to stay in bed forever, with the curtains closed and a big bottle of water to comfort us. If you had one too many last night, like us, and are suffering from a bad hangover, fear not, little fellow, ClubZone has come to the rescue! We’ve collected a few tips that will help easy your pain, check them out.

Make a banana milkshake
Did you know that a banana milkshake can be miraculously handy? The banana contains vitally important electrolytes that are severely depleted during heavy alcohol consumption. The milk soothes the stomach and also rehydrates your body. Sweeten it with honey to build up your blood sugar levels.

Avoid grease food and coffee
We know they are delicious and easy to get and it’s the first thing that comes to mind when you wake up starving, but it’s not good for your body at the time. You should choose veggies and a lot of protein instead. Coffee also might seem like a good idea to wake you up, but it’s not. Caffeine dehydrates you, and all your body is begging for now is water.

Make an omelette 
Eggs contain cysteine, which is a substance that can help break down acetaldehyde, a toxin associated with alcohol metabolism and hangovers. And ask for a sober adult supervision if you’re still feeling drunk – try not to sleep in the middle of your cooking.

Keep your Vitamin B levels in check
Apply one patch of Bytox to the forearm forty-five minutes before drinking helps a lot. The patch releases B vitamins, which are low after an extra-messy night.

Good news is: the older you get, the smarter you get at drinking. After all these years fighting off a horrible morning after, you learn that drinking water really does make a big difference, so remember that whenever your raising your glass.

Now, excuse us because, after our banana milkshake, we have to go back to bed to recover for tonight.

ClubZone Guide to NYE in Times Square

times square nye

Despite the love and harmony felt on New Years Eve, planning for NYE in Times Square is fraught with pitfalls, and can turn into a complete disaster if you aren’t prepared. From freezing your balls off in zero degree weather, to dying of thirst as you wait hours for a drink from the open bar – even if it’s included in your ticket price – there are many threats poised to ruin what should be one of the best party nights of the year.

Follow our top tips to ensure you are prepared for when the ball finally drops at midnight.

How to Survive NYE in Times Square

Even though it can be a logistical nightmare, New Year’s Eve in New York just isn’t the same unless it’s celebrated in Times Square. Get proactive and take precautions to ensure that you survive NYE 2013 in style, and charge headfirst into January 1st unscathed.

1. Buy the right ticket
This is by far the most important pre-NYE task. Do you want an exclusive and upscale experience for your New Year’s Eve, or are you looking for fun and freedom with entrance to multiple parties on the Times Square NYE circuit? You’ve got to make this decision in advance; you get this wrong, and you’ll find yourself drinking through your sorrows instead of singing to your dreams.

2. Arriving on time and unscathed
Access to Times Square becomes very restricted at New Years. Transportation is slow, crowds are large, and lines are long. Plan ahead to minimise delays:

Times Square Access Points
On the big night, you can only access Times Square through certain access points. Be smart and check ahead of time with the venue or party organizer exactly which you need to go through and which streets lead to that access point. Get very specific directions to avoid all difficulties on the night.

Road Closures
The New York Police Department is going to close access to Times Square starting at 43rd Street and Broadway, moving north as soon as the crowds begin to arrive. Be aware that exactly when these roads will be blocked to pedestrians and vehicles all depends on how things go the night before, so be prepared to go with the flow, arrive early, and change plans as necessary.

The Times Square Setup
Before arriving, choose where you want to camp out for the night based on what is important to you to have a good time. Remember, the sound system will be located in the Bowtie area (at the cross of Broadway and 7th Avenue) whilst the video screens will be set up on One Times Square (where the Ball is lowered), so plan your spot based on the experience you want to have. Want to dance to loud beats, or do you want to chat away with your friends and loved ones as the clock ticks overhead?

Public Transportation
By far the best way to get to Times Square is the subway. All subway stations should remain open on New Year’s Eve, but some entrances and exits might be closed as crowds start to take over the area. Be aware that some trains might bypass certain stations, so visit the MTA website  for more information before you set out on your journey.

3. Dealing with crowds
Three very simple, but important tips…

  • Arrive between 1pm-5pm. If you get there too late, you might not be able to see the ball drop at midnight, or even be able to enter Times Square at all if the crowd reaches the limits. That would be a disaster, so get there early!
  • Get out of the area as soon as the ball drops. Millions of people need to get home or back to their hotels and if you hang around for too long after midnight, it might take you hours to get through the crowds.
  • Smile! You will get pushed, you might not get to see all that you would like, and you are going to be in the middle of the madness for many hours in the cold. Remember, you are at one of the worlds biggest NYE celebrations, and the best way to head into 2013 is with a smile on for everyone around you.

4. Having fun
NYE in Times Square is supposed to be fun, but some people can find it overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you have FUN on New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

  • If New Year’s Eve is all about the entertainment for you, then you have to arrive super early and secure a spot close to the stages that are assembled in Times Square.
  • There are NO portable bathrooms in Times Square. This means go to the bathroom before you leave and drink little while you are there.
  • NYE in Times Square is always really cold. If you are standing outside for 10+ hours in low temperatures, you will need lots of layers, a hat, a scarf, gloves and a good pair of boots that have a thick sole. It might help to bring a thermos with a hot drink, and make sure you have plenty to eat, too. New York City winter weather is not to be messed around with.

5. What NOT to do
Here are three big DON’Ts for the evening…

  • Unlicensed alcohol is NOT allowed, so don’t carry it on you. If the police catch you with alcohol, they may well throw you out, and your night would come to an abrupt and lonely end.
  • DON’T arrive late. There might be so many people by 8pm that you’re not even let in through the barriers to Times Square itself. Do not risk it!
  • After you’ve secured your place past the NYPD checkpoints, DON’T take a walk past the barriers. If you decide to leave to grab something to eat or drink, and even pay a visit to the bathroom, you will not be allowed to get back in.

6. The Times Square NYE experience of a lifetime
If the idea of arriving at 1pm in an attempt to secure a good view of the ball drop really doesn’t appeal to you, take advantage of the following NYE exclusive opportunity: clubZone can help you to reserve a ticket in an exclusive ball drop viewing area. You will be guaranteed an excellent view of the ball as it drops without having to camp out in the square the night before!

Written by Kayleigh Lum