The Arthritis NewsletterSummer 2017
Arthritis Guide To Surviving Music FestivalsBy Alexandria Klemm
I have always loved going to concerts. The first concert I attended was the Spice Girls with my mom and sister when I was 7 years old and after that I was hooked. Around the age of fifteen, my mom deemed I was mature enough to go to a music festival. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to hang out with my friends all day while listening to so many amazing bands outside in the sunshine.
As I grew up, the enthusiasm to attend music festivals never changed but my body unfortunately did with the onset of inflammatory arthritis. As a result, I had to find ways to adapt and make changes in order to still attend concerts and festivals. Here are some pearls of wisdom I have gathered through trial and error:
- Find a comfortable backpack or cross-body/sling bag to carry essentials.
- Bring your medications in their appropriate prescription bottles. Music festival security is usually pretty strict about making sure illicit drugs are not brought into the festival grounds. If medications are not in their prescription bottles then they will likely be confiscated. You can ask for a small refill from your pharmacist for the number of days you’re attending so you do not need to bring the giant bottle. You will want to carry the minimal amount of weight possible to avoid aggravating your arthritis. Also, bring any over the counter medications you may need to avoid paying premium prices from stores located close to the festival grounds.
- Bring sunglasses, a brimmed hat, and the correct SPF sunscreen. Avoid aerosol sunscreen bottles as these can be confiscated at the entrance gate by security due to them being a fire hazard. Please see our previous article about arthritis and sunshine protection.
- Bring moleskins and a small bottle of baby powder to take care of any blisters and chafing problems on the go.
- Protect your feet. Wear your most comfortable and supportive closed toed shoes. Even if you don’t stand for the entire time, there will be a lot of walking involved between concert stages. I personally wear my shoes with orthotics in them.
- Bring a light blanket and an inexpensive lightweight waterproof picnic blanket. The light blanket is for if you get cold at night when a lightweight rain jacket isn’t enough. The picnic blanket will allow you to sit or lay down during the day if you need a break away from the stage. The waterproof part of it is wonderful if the ground is damp for any reason.
- Bring a reusable water bottle. Many festivals provide free drinking water fountains for you to use throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Bring a cooling towel to beat the heat if it’s a scorching hot summer day and to cool down any aching joints on the fly.
- Bring a travel-sized hand sanitizer or antibacterial travel wipes. These are fantastic for keeping the germs away if you’re immunocompromised!
I hope these tips and tricks will help you but most of all, don’t forget to have a great time!
LEARN MORE: Have you read The Arthritis Lifestyle Management Guide? It is a compilation of many techniques used by APAB members to cope with the everyday challenges faced by people living with arthritis. The guide seeks to help people with arthritis by providing alternate approaches to performing everyday tasks, approaches that can help make life tasks a little easier and help protect the joints affected by arthritis. Click here for The Arthritis Lifestyle Management Guide.