More and more Kiwis are travelling the world to attend famed international music festivals like Coachella, Burning Man, Glastonbury and Tomorrowland.
While festivals can be a lot of fun, it's still wise to consider the things that can go wrong along the way. With Burning Man taking place this weekend in Nevada, Allianz Partners have offered some handy advice to revellers.
"After shelling out hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to attend, and spending hours planning the trip, the possibility of anything going wrong isn't given much consideration," said Allianz Partners' Chief Sales Officer, Will Ashcroft.
"The heady combination of loud music, large crowds and that indescribable festival atmosphere, can mean that many people don't have their wits about them at a festival.
"When you're planning a trip to a music festival, there are a few additional aspects to think about that you wouldn't normally consider for a regular holiday".
According to Allianz Partners, the most problems Kiwi festivalgoers encounter arise from illness or theft – often occurring as a result of being in a different environment than usual. The excitement of a festival means many forget to drink water and stay hydrated throughout days spent dancing, often in the sunshine, and for hours on end.
Here are a few tips to ensure your festival experience is a success.
Before you go
Ensure you have contingency arrangements in place as soon as you have booked and paid for your tickets and travel arrangements. This means you are covered, in the event that you have to cancel your trip, due to certain events outside of your control.
Arrange accommodation in advance
Room prices peak during a festival and hotels quickly book out. Coachella drew more than 100,000 attendees every day in 2017, while nearly 200,000 attended Tomorrowland last year . If you are not planning to camp at the venue, we advise organising accommodation as soon as you purchase your tickets. Failure to find accommodation for the festival is not a valid reason to change your travel plans.
Prepare for the journey
Ensure you plan your travel to and from the festival in advance and leave plenty of time. There will likely be thousands of other festival-goers travelling at the same time meaning that transport services will be under more strain than usual and journeys could take longer than expected.
Many of the world's largest festivals take place outside, at the mercy of the elements. Weather conditions often make for memorable experiences – dust storms rank high on the list of incidences for festivals such as Burning Man, while torrential rain often affects Glastonbury. Ashcroft advises looking up the weather forecast before travelling and packing appropriately for all eventualities.
While you're there
Keep your valuables safe
As most tents and glamping teepees are not lockable, keep any valuable possessions (including your passport and money) on you, or in a secure place at all times.
The combination of heat, walking, dancing and indulgence in a beer or two means that you will likely need to drink more water at a festival than you would during a day at the office. Most festivals will offer water fountains as well as places to buy bottled water.
Be sun savvy
Spending lots of time outside and in the sunshine can be another recipe for dehydration as well as sunburn. Try and ensure that you cover up and spend time in the shade, particularly during peak hours.
What to watch out for
Enjoying a beer or two with friends is part of the festival experience but be mindful not to have too many. "Partying too hard isn't an excuse for accidents or injuries. We would rather you were able to enjoy the performances you were looking forward to seeing, rather than being stuck in the medical tent or hospital receiving treatment," says Ashcroft.
Many festivals operate a zero tolerance policy to drugs and there is nothing anyone can do if you are removed from an event venue for breaking the rules. Tomorrowland state; "If you are caught using and/or dealing drugs or if you are found in possession of drugs, you will be forced to leave the festival ground and/or campsite."
To avoid loss or damage to property you need to take reasonable precautions to look after your possessions. Leaving your valuables in a tent, that can be easily unzipped by any passersby, does not count as taking precautions to keep your items safe.