Feel the vibe

Mallika Jhaveri
Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Attending a music festival is infinitely thrilling but you also need to pay attention to the dos and don’ts while attending one

With VH1 Supersonic around the corner, there is a lot of excitement and energy in the air. The electrifying beats, the smoke-filled air, the laser lights and the pure adrenaline are all good to experience and enjoy but you also need to stay safe and watch out for the red flags. Youngsters, who are regulars at concerts, share their takeaways and a few important lessons with us.      

The best part of concerts is spending hours and hours listening to amazing music and being able to share it with your friends. “When the beat drops, my boys and I go crazy. Being with them in that madness, made it way madder. If I was alone, I’d be the only sane one there”, says Azeem Banatwalla, a student at UCLA who attended VH1 Supersonic held in December 2017. The best memories are never made alone and that most definitely holds true for concerts.

Boho capes, shimmery pants, jewelled hairdos, flashy tattoos and over-the-top makeup comprise almost a tenth of the extravagant ensembles you’ll find at these concerts. “It’s the freedom to wear outfits that I wouldn’t dare to even look at back home, is the magical quality about concerts. I wear ridiculous combinations of colours teamed up with funky accessories because if you’re not bizarre, you don’t fit in!” is what Nishtha Parwani, a student of H R College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai, and a regular concert goer, has to say.

It’s believed that a track that you play on your device on repeat, all day everyday, sounds completely different when you hear it live, especially in the energetic atmosphere of concerts. And that’s one of the most beautiful things about the event. “I’d heard Swedish House Mafia’s songs over a 1000 times, but when I saw them perform live, those same songs were new to me. I didn’t just hear them, I felt them,” says Devi Khanna, a student at University College London who went for NH7 Weekender held in December. The vibe of the arena adds a new beat, a new dimension to the songs, and the experience is unparalleled. Concerts are the best platforms to try and experiment new melodies and the artists give the audience a taste of what tunes are to come. 

What gives these concerts otherworldly vibes is the ambience and atmosphere. Aditya Patani, a Dehli University graduate who goes for major concerts all over India, recounts, “Being lost in a crowd of thousands of millennials, you somehow find yourself. It’s almost like an unspoken bond of unity you have with all the people around you.” You may be in a sea of strangers, but you feel at home. The energetic crowd, the bass that shakes your bones, the blinding lights, and the sheer adrenaline you get from the music are the biggest attractions of music concerts.

Be aware of creeps
If you’re a young girl looking to have fun at concerts, be prepared for the creepy men who will want to have fun with you, in front of you, behind you, and alongside you. Parwani says, “Drugged up men will always touch you and bump into you.” Her advice is go in a large group and make sure trusted people, preferably guys, are standing next to you. “Don’t go anywhere alone, and speak up if you feel attacked in any way,” adds Parwani. 

We all know that arenas, can sometimes be a home ground for all things illegal, whether it’s underage drinking or drugs. “A lot of time, people spike drinks at bars and the motive is never to ‘just have fun.’ And it’s not just bad alcohol they spike it with,” warns Khanna. She’s had an experience where she was drugged followed by a state of unconsciousness. Luckily, she was safely brought home. 

“Perverts are rampant at these concerts and they don’t see gender,” adds Banatwalla whose drinks had been spiked leading him to suffer a lot the day after. “If you’re getting beverages, make sure you get them yourself, and watch them being made. Don’t accept any edibles from anyone, no matter how genuine they seem,” warns Banatwalla.

While it’s great fun to jam with a huge crowd, it can also be  a pain. The constant touching of bodies, the heat, the fear to leave your spot to pee, the pushing and so on can be annoying.  

Large crowds become too large to handle. Parwani says, “Being surrounded by sweaty people is not a nice feeling and can get claustrophobic as well.” According to her experiences, she suggests that you should stay in the front to watch your favourite artists, and move back for the rest. 

“Don’t completely isolate yourself from the crowd! Just don’t stand right in the front either. The middle area is the best,” adds Patani.

Phones, wallets, cameras, jewellery and sometimes even clothing can get stolen. No matter how careful you are, the chances of losing your stuff is very high. “I’ve lost two phones and my current one was trampled on,” says Banatwalla. “I’d rather take a simple phone instead of my smartphone to be honest,” admits Khanna adding, “If you keep your valuables in a zipped bag, chances of losing them are way less. I only carry my phone, ID and my credit card. Cash is too hard to manage.” Patani claims that he only goes to concerts with cash and an old phone. “I’d be too paranoid if I carried my expensive stuff,” he says. So basically, keep your pricey belongings to a minimum and carry a sturdy bag, and you should be fine.

Hence you see, how concerts can hold the best and sometimes even the worst moments. So, enjoy them with your friends, but be alert and attentive, and go back home with good memories.

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