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How To Survive Your First Heavy Metal Festival

Disciples of heavy metal are often the most dedicated and passionate of all genres. Not to mention excessive.

Even for the festival veterans, it is still a daunting prospect having to survive the entire weekend knowing that your body will be subject to many a self-inflicted drubbing.

For those not knowing what they're getting in to? Godspeed. 

With the legendary Wacken Open Air and Summer Breeze now on our doorstep, we've put together a list of do's and dont's to help you successfully navigate the rite of passage that is your first heavy metal festival.

DO: Bring plenty of sun-cream.

For those of you that prefer life in the shadows, it's likely that you'll be exposed to an intense amount of sunlight if your festival of choice lands in the middle of summer.

Ensure suncream is generously applied to avoid spontaneously combusting.

DON'T: Crowd-surf incessantly. 

Sure, everyone is entitled to surf the crowd at least once or twice. It's your first metal festival for crying out loud!

What you don't want to do is irritate the 80,000 people surrounding you, and feel their collective wrath by being expelled from their ranks, and on your arse in the mud.


DO: Avoid hairspray.

We know the peacocks amongst you will want to ensure you maintain the volume in your luscious hair for the duration of the weekend.

What you don't want is a crispy pile of scorched remains on your head whilst you're in amongst the evening crowd.

DON'T: Wear a Cowboy Hat.

The metal community is incredibly welcoming, but if they see you wearing what belongs at a country music festival then you will be subject to constant ridicule for the extent of the festival.

Best to leave the much-maligned headwear as your secret shame.

DO: Stay hydrated.

I mean, this is fairly obvious. But you'd be surprised at the number of metalheads that believe they are impervious to the elements after necking a bottle of Jägermeister.

DON'T: Get too wasted.

Festivals are meant to be enjoyed, so there's no doubt you'd last the weekend without drinking your own bodyweight in weak, warm lager.

What we mean, however, is just pace yourself otherwise you'll be that person face-down in a ditch by the toilets.

DO: Shower regularly.

Whatever your preconceptions may be about metallers, it's a fact that more or less everyone showers at festivals due to the amount of mud, beer, and numerous other questionable liquids you'll get doused in.

Remember it's not Woodstock, and no one will want to be your friend if you're like this guy:

DON'T: Get lost in the mosh-pit.

The temptation may get the better of you when you see the swirling crowd prepare for the ceremonial riff to start off the mosh-pit.

You may not come out alive. You may perish. 


DO: Practice your air guitar.

Metal festivals are genuinely one of the few places in known existence where people actually appreciate your intricate shredding to 'For Whom The Bell Tolls', so make sure you're adequately rehearsed and ready to impress.

DON'T: Liberally urinate.

If you don't use allocated toilets, then it will come back to haunt you.

Either in the guise of a pint on your head, through the zip of your tent, or when you're face-down in the mud (refer to 'Don't: Get Too Wasted' to avoid this outcome).


Of course, you're entitled to completely ignore our words of wisdom. But don't say we didn't warn you...


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