Paradiso 2017 is days away and it’s safe to say that EDM lovers all over the PNW are more than psyched to head home. Naturally, the rise of electronic music will impact the volume of festival goers and this year will be no different. Every year, USC Events brings an incredible production to the Gorge.
My first Paradiso was only two years ago and since it was my first experience in the ‘rave scene’ as well as a music festival, I had no idea what to expect. I went equipped with only the basic advice that friends had offered me but there was so much I was unprepared for. Going to a festival includes a lot of details you may not even think about your first time.
Here are our best ways to come prepared.
Before, after and during. This is the BIGGEST piece of advice I have for any festival goer. Paradiso, as well as most other festivals, are lengthy events. The venue is usually open for 12 hours at a time which means 12 hours of walking, standing and dancing and that is a lot for your body to do. USC offers free water stations at the Gorge so it is always readily available and you can, of course, buy water bottles inside the venue as well. Drinking water is incredibly important especially if you are consuming alcohol.The Gorge gets hot in Summer and throwing alcohol into the mix can be dangerous if you aren’t taking care of yourself. The gorge also does allow for you to bring a few gallon-sized bag of snacks and water to keep you going during the day at the festival.
If you are planning on attending more festivals in the future, I would suggest investing in a camel pack. They make water super accessible and last longer so you can be in the action more.
It’s important to start drinking plenty of water weeks before the festival so your body is hydrated and healthy and ready to go. Also, remember to buy bottled water to keep at your campground.
CAMP IN TERRACE, PARTY IN GA.
Many will argue that ‘GA is where the party is’ and while that is true, the problem is that THE PARTY NEVER ENDS. Whenever I have camped in GA, I have gotten little to no sleep because people will literally rage ALL NIGHT. You generally see less of a rowdy crowd in the more expensive options.
Not to mention, the walk from the venue back to the campgrounds is a journey. If you are camping in premier or terrace camping then you are lucky enough to have a shuttle that takes you to and from. When I am spending ten hours at a festival, the last thing I want to do is to waste precious energy on the trek. The high-level camping options also have free showers and separate bathrooms as well. The shower lines in GA typically get pretty long and I would rather spend my time another way.
I find it also beneficial that you can get into the campgrounds below your level as well. (For example, if you have terrace camping, you can get into all levels, and for premier, you have gold and GA as well. You get the idea. This makes it easy to meet up with friends who you may not be camping with.
All upper-level camping is currently sold out on Ticketmaster. General admission camping can be bought at the campgrounds or online at www.gorgecamping.com.
PREPARE FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF WEATHER
The beautiful Gorge is unlike any other and is unlike the landscape most of us live in. It is located in a desert, the days are hot and the nights are cold so it is important to prepare for both types of weather. During the day, temperatures can reach highs in the hundreds. Remember to pack tons of sunscreen, bug spray, and prepare to wear lightweight summer clothing.
For the evening, bring plenty of blankets, pants, and sweatshirts because it cools down fast and can get very windy. Having to shiver through your favorite DJ is absolutely no fun. I recommend renting a locker where you can stash warm clothing and a blanket for the evening. I also recommend bringing extra tent stakes. The Gorge has a tendency to get windy at night and it’s not uncommon to see tents blown over after the show.
Along with the items mentioned above, USC Events released a handy list to refer to when packing! I advise you to check it out.
Paradiso 2017 Camping Checklist
We are all there for the same reason. It’s important to be mindful of those around you and the venue we are so lucky to be visiting. Practice PLUR and spread the love and good vibes. We all want to get to the pit for BTSM but let’s remember not to be pushing or shoving other people out of the way to get there. Thousands of people attend Paradiso each year and with that many bodies all confined to a contained space, we are bound to bump shoulders. Let’s remember to be respectful of those around us and approach new friends less aggressively.
Also, the Gorge is a beautiful area. Let’s not ruin it by littering. We are bound to produce waste but throwing your empties in a garbage bag before leaving camp the next day is not a huge job. Be respectful of your area.
USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM
Nothing is worse than being with your friends, then getting separated, especially when it’s your first time at Paradiso. The venue is huge and is easy to get lost. It might be best to try and stick together. It’s also a good idea to make a meeting spot within the festival. Pick a specific booth, ride, or water station. It’s really easy to lose your friends and if you don’t want to be alone out there, plan ahead. I always have an agreement with one friend that we will stick together no matter what. While most of the ravers out at Paradiso are friendly, it’s best to stay safe.
An easy way to be able to spot your group is to build a totem. This year, USC Events even has a totem making station located in the campgrounds to help you out. Click here to see the other cool activities offered at the Gorge campgrounds this year!
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
The internet is a powerful resource. Almost anything you could possibly want to know is at the time of your fingers. Before you leave for the festival, I advise you to take a look at the Paradiso 2017 website and Facebook page. Familiarize yourself with the rules and guidelines, and take a look at the map of the venue. I had no idea how big this venue was going to be and I’m grateful that I had a good tour guide. The initial shock of this festival can be lessened if you are familiar with what to expect. There’s a great Facebook group that you can visit here that is specifically tips and tricks for Paradiso.
Paradiso is an experience unlike any other and I am so excited to return for my third year. Remember to be safe and have fun!
For more information & to buy tickets, visit Paradiso 2017’s website.