Warped Tour or a headlining show in New York City? Soundwave or an outdoor stage set in Brisbane?

Festivals or venue shows- how do you define the differences and how to prepare for each? Is one better than the other?

Well, that I cannot answer for you although I can try and provide you with the information and tools to come to an answer for yourself.


Vdownloadenue Shows:

Venue shows can be a lot of fun; it just depends on how you handle whatever may happen the day of the show.

What to bring:

Keep it very basic. Money/credit or debit card, phone, ID and ticket. That’s all you’ll need so don’t bring your bedroom in with you.


What time you get there is entirely up to you (or who’s driving). If you want a better spot then get there early. If you don’t care then wait for the doors. Simple enough?

During the show:

Know your limits and don’t put yourself in a position where you feel unsafe (in the mosh pit or in the general crowd). Put your damn phone away and just enjoy the show. Live in the moment because you’re finally seeing and hearing what you’ve been waiting forever for.

After the show:

Want merch? Then go and face the mob and grab it! Or get outside quick and take your chances waiting by the tour buses to see if you can meet anyone (an endeavor that could last late into the night). Above all though, get out of there and find who you came with and get home safe. No drunk driving. No leaving with someone you’ve just met. Use your head.


Festivals are a different world entirely. They last all day, usually in very hot and sometimes inclement weather, and can be either the best or worst experience of someone’s life.

There’s a method to the madness however and if you read carefully taking on the next Warped Tour will be a piece of cake!

What to bring:

First and foremost, keep it light. Don’t bring what you do not need; a form of ID, cash or debit/credit card, cell phone, sun protection (if needed), event ticket, water (if allowed in) and a drawstring bag to throw it all in. At a festival you will most likely be walking or running around all day- going from stage to stage and exploring the complex of merch tents and vendors- so you don’t want to be lugging your entire house around with you.

Plan and have priorities:

It’s usually impossible to see EVERYTHING that you would like to so don’t arrive with unrealistic expectations. You may have to miss one band to see another that plays at the same time on another stage on the opposite side of the grounds. It’s highly unlikely you’ll get wristbands for EVERY signing/meet and greet that you desire. So, go into festival with a priority list of bands that you MUST see and must TRY to meet. The shorter the list, the easier and less stressful your day will be. As soon as a schedule of set times and signings is made available you can start planning your day and actually decide on what comes first and what doesn’t.


Many festivals, such as the well known Vans Warped Tour, are located outdoors and in extreme heat. In cases such as this hydration is a major part of your day. It’s no fun passing out before you see your favorite band so drink up (water that is)!


Attending a live music festival is definitely a science in itself; each one is different and what you’ve been given here is very basic. The best way to learn and get the hang of it is to get out there and be a part of it; so get your ass to a festival this summer!