Make the most of the Big Day Out

By Andrew Koubaridis

We'll be covering the Big Day Out today with regular updates, blogs and photos throughout the day at
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Music lovers will descend on Mt Smart Stadium this morning for the biggest musical day of the year.

A sell-out crowd of 45,000 is expected to attend the Big Day Out and enjoy more than 70 acts performing on seven stages.

But a range of pitfalls accompany the fun, as many people arrive ill-prepared for the huge crowds and the heat.

Getting there

This doesn't have to be a major issue. Trains to the Penrose station are a good option but they do leave about a 10-minute walk to the venue.

Return trips from Britomart cost just $7, and if you're transferring to other lines you can get a pass for $10 which gives unlimited same-day travel.

A continuous bus service leaves from Real Groovy Records in Queen St from 9.15am. Return buses leave from 9.30pm and drop people off outside the Civic in Wellesley St.

Getting around

Once you're there, you will need to know where to go. It sounds simple, but with so many stages and bands to choose from, a timetable is necessary.

Print out a copy of the timetable from the BDO website and decide what you want to see and in what order. It's easier said than done to get between stages, so plan carefully.

With so many people all going in different directions, chances are you'll get separated from your group and text messages could be slower than normal.

Best to decide on a place and time and meet there, occasionally checking it to see if one of your group has become lost.

Telecom says it has boosted mobile coverage to ensure customers stay in touch and has introduced so-called hush cones - fibreglass and foam objects that look like large upright commas - around the stadium to provide a quieter place for people to chat away from the bustling crowds.

Weather watch

A hot summer day will be made even less bearable with thousands of sweaty bodies crammed into the stadium, so a hat and sunglasses are a must.

But some respite from the heat may be at hand. MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said a cold front was moving into Waikato and may produce showers in Auckland.

If so, it would be one of the few times rain has fallen on Auckland BDO revellers. But that doesn't mean the sun's rays won't wreck your weekend after the BDO.

A burn time of just a few minutes is still expected so sunscreen is essential. Don't just put it on in the morning - take it with you and keep applying it throughout the day.

You can try to avoid over-heating by taking regular breaks from moshing and drink plenty of water. You can take sealed water bottles in, but nothing that's been opened - it'll get confiscated.

Hopefully you will have got the picture that the BDO, although extreme fun, can also be extremely messy.

Be prepared for a long wait for toilets, and don't wear anything that you wouldn't want to get filthy.

Never take valuables with you, be it jewellery, wallets or anything else.

And finally, don't forget your ticket.

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