FreakWeek kicks off tonight with a performance by Mt. Eden at Foundation Night Club
and that means I’ve got FreakNight 2013
on my mind. As a result, I put together a short list of Festival tips and highlighted a couple of important policy changes this year so I can help make your FreakNight fun and safe.
1) Charge your phone.
The festival is 8 hours long both nights, signal strength is low with some cell carriers inside WaMu Theater, and you’ll be taking lots of pictures so you’ll blow through half your battery really easily. If you’re phone is dead at 3:30am and you got separated from your friends, finding them in a crowd of 20,000 people without your phone is next to impossible.
2) Save the schedule and festival map to your phone and set the schedule as your lock screen.
I’ve made a JPEG version of the FreakNight 2013 artists schedule and shared it here
so that you can save it and put it on your phone. Right-click it and hit "save as" if you have a PC. This is a really good tip for any festival schedule that you can read at-a-glance and it worked wonders for me at Paradiso Festival this last summer. If you set this picture as your lock screen, all you have to do is grab your phone and wake it and you can see the artists and set times right in front of you without trying to protect some folded paper schedule that will be sweaty flyer pulp by 10 o-clock. Having a map is equally as important as this is how you will know the locations of the water fill stations, first aid, merch booths, and restrooms among other things. If you have it on your phone, you won’t lose it and it won’t get ruined like a paper flyer would. They haven't released an image of the map yet so I haven't got one for you but they definitely will before Friday night so keep an eye out, download it, and save it to your phone.
3) Hydrate. Seriously.
Everyone tells you this endlessly and there is a reason. You are dancing in a hot room for 8 hours. That’s pretty decent cardio. Could you imagine doing a light cardio class at the gym for 8 hours without water? Come up with a water plan and stick to it. There are some new policy changes this year that are relevant to this:
- No Camelbaks this year. If you had one last year and you were planning to bring it this year, you won’t get it past security.
- The only containers that are allowed per the FreakNight FAQ are “USC reusable water bottles” which you can purchase from a merch booth inside the festival. Do yourself a favor. Just go to the merch booth as soon as you get inside and buy one. Why? Because a 20oz Dasani water bottle from a food vendor inside WaMu theater will cost 3$ (based on past experiences). Spend a little extra to get a refillable bottle and just hit up the H2O fill stations between sets. They had stations exactly like this in the Las Vegas desert this summer during EDC and you could fill a 1L bottle in less than 10 seconds.
- No in and out privileges. In the past you could get an in-and-out bracelet to exit and re-enter the festival. What this means is that once you are inside the festival you are in for good so if you didn’t make a water plan, you’ll be out of luck. Plan to be inside the whole time and you should have at least a Liter of water every 2 hours. More if you’re dancing hard like my friends do.
4) Set a meeting point.
Find any unique spot and use it as a meeting point if you have to separate from your group at any point. Protip from last year: you’ll notice the pillars inside WaMu Theater near the different stages have a letter and number designation on them way up high. Things like “C-3, C-4” etc. This means that each stage has a couple of uniquely labeled pillars at it. You can respond to that text from a friend “Hey where are you?” with a quick “Pillar C4” and you can wait at the base of it while you watch the show on the stage until your friend finds you. You don’t have to leave the stage to find someone and there’s no way to mix up this location with another by mistake. It’s really straightforward.
5) Get there early. Just do it.
Everyone wants to be fashionably late or wants to show up right in time for their favorite artist. The way I see it is you paid a whole lot of money for two 8-hour days of partying. If you show up right when the festival opens, the line is shorter (less time in the cold), it’s easier to find parking, and you can check out some artists you haven’t heard about or just spend some time with your friends exploring the festival itself. There are a lot of activities available besides listening to music. Last year we got there right after the festival opened and we only waited in line for about 20 minutes. I know I don’t have to remind some of you about the absolute catastrophe that happened with entry last year. Friends of mine who arrived half an hour after I did waited an hour and a half in line to get inside. Don’t get stuck waiting outside, get there early and save yourself the headache.
6) Check that you have your ID and ticket before you leave your house.
This should be the last thing you do before you step out the door. Put a sign on your door “Do I have my ID and my ticket?” then physically take them out and see that you have them. If you get all the way down to the theater and then you realize you don’t have a valid photo ID or your ticket you will have to go all the way home and get them. I’ve seen it happen at every single massive. There’re always a few people who were partying too hard beforehand and forgot to do this simple check on their way out the door. Security will not let you in without a state-issued ID of some type. Period.
7) See someone you haven't before.
This ticket cost many of you almost 200$ and for that kind of money USC is furnishing our party with 45 world-class acts and 7 top-quality local Seattle DJs. Even seasoned ravers like me haven’t seen everyone on this list and Festivals are the place you have the chance to get a quick sample of a wide variety of different DJs. Most of these names come through Seattle a couple of times a year and you can see them individually then but a few (New World Punx
for example) very rarely do a DJ set together. Know what kind of opportunities you’re afforded with this lineup and make the choice to catch a couple acts you wouldn't normally go see because this is the best way to expose yourself to new music.