Written and published by X
Now I know what you're all thinking, who's going to fund all of this? Well, in my opinion, the festival should be funding all of these things, but we know the reality of that situation, so I'll try my best to give alternatives. The five things that should be free at festivals are: water, test kits, Narcan, earplugs, and wellness checkpoints. Unfortunately there have been many scary situations that have even turned into death at festivals that could have been avoided. First let's talk about free water and how we can go about the funding for it.
A few months ago, I was scrolling through Tik Tok, and I ran into a video that mentioned free water. I thought to myself, wow what a great idea, but who in their right mind would give out free water, especially If you need to pay for things like packaging and the container? Well, the whole idea of their brand is to reduce plastic waste and donate to build water wells, because they believe that drinking water is a human right, which I agree with. So how do they fund these things? They place advertisements on their bottles, and brands will pay to have their own custom advertisement on the bottle. And no, this isn’t sponsored, I just genuinely think it’s such an amazing concept, and that I would love to see them at festivals! If you want to check them out, go to their website at https://www.freewater.io/
The next thing that I would absolutely love to see at festivals are test kits. Now, lately I've been seeing a lot more people handing out test kits in lines at shows that I've been to, and every time I see them I get really happy that more people are advocating for harm reduction. There are many nonprofits that give them out for free or a very small fee. Did you know that overdose deaths reached a record high during Covid? More than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in the year long period ending in April. If you're looking for a test kit, please check out the menu on my website under “END OVERDOSE”. And in case you didn't know, you will not get in trouble if they catch you with a test kit. You’re allowed to bring them wherever you go.
Same with Narcan. Many might say that Narcan rescues may provide an opportunity for users to keep using. Well, as I've stated before, you cannot expect someone to get sober if they’re dead… so yes, they have the option to keep using, but they also have the option for recovery. While if the Narcan had not been used, they wouldn't have an option at all, they would most likely be dead. All festivals, shows, and clubs should have Narcan. If you’re looking for Narcan, go to the same place on my website under “END OVERDOSE”, and just pay shipping. The nonprofit I work with will also give you a tutorial on how to use it as well!
In addition to health safety, let's talk about our hearing. Many festivals and shows do offer free earplugs, but many charge you for it as well. When it comes to something as important as safety, why would you charge anything at all? I'm not saying that most people can't afford a few dollars for some earplugs, but you never know someone’s situation. The bottom line is, we need to be able to protect our hearing. Festivals tend to reach decibels levels of 100 to 105. Even 85 decibels can cause irreversible hearing loss or damage, so yes, we do need access to free earplugs at all times and I believe that all festivals and venues should provide them.
Lastly, I want to explain why all festivals should have Wellness checkpoints. We cannot deny the drinking and drug culture that we have in the electronic music scene. Some people don’t react well, mentally, to what they put in their body, and it's important for them to have somewhere to go other than the medical tent. This is also a problem for people who stay sober. No one wants to be taking up a spot in the medical tent knowing that someone else might need that spot more than they do. This is why we need wellness checkpoints, so that we can have people to talk to or a place to meditate if we are experiencing something like anxiety, depression, paranoia (etc.). Overall, I’d love to see more progress in health and safety regulations. I think the idea of a wellness checkpoint can change the experience that people have at festivals, and will keep them coming back. If you invest in the small things, you can see a big change. -X