If you have a ticket to the sold-out Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival this weekend, Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an epic journey to a world of music, rides, and food that you’ll love in the moment but regret the next day. As a two year carnival veteran, I can promise that your Saturday will an exhilarating mixture of excitement, joy, and anarchy. Here’s a few tips to take full advantage of your day at camp.
Get in Line Early, Even if You’re a VIP.
Last year, I got in the VIP line, which opened at 1 PM, at 12:30. I didn’t end up inside the carnival until 2:20. Luckily, for everyone with a General Admission Pass, the line moves much more quickly once the carnival has finally opened, but I still recommend getting in line 30 minutes to an hour early. The longer you’re in line, the less time you have for games, rides, buying merch, and watching shows.
Start With Rides and Games
As the day progress, more and more people will fill the venue to see the big name acts. As more people arrive, the lines for every event will get longer and longer. If you want to ride the Ferris wheel, play whack-a-mole, or take a trip to the Beer Garden, do so as early as possible. Once you start watching performances, you won’t want to leave the crowd until you’re about to piss your pants or Snoop Dogg finishes his last song, so take the time before the big-name acts to get the rest of the carnival activities out of your system.
Drink Plenty of Water, Wear Plenty of Sunscreen
For frequent festival goers and L.A. locals, this is a no-brainer. There’s nothing worse than having to miss two hours of good music because you passed out from heat stroke. The current temperature forecast for this Saturday is a high of 75℉ and a low of 54℉. As far as heat goes, this is nothing compared to the scorching Coachella sun, but its always better to be on the safe side. Encourage your friends to stay hydrated as well, or else you’ll be stuck carrying them out of a crowd and missing a great performance.
Dress Smart, Pack Smart
You’ve got a long day ahead of you, full of massive crowds and random sprint sessions to get to your next show. Wear comfortable shoes and short clothing. You may be fine wearing jeans in 75℉ weather normally, but remember that all the warm bodies around you are going to drastically raise the temperature. There’s nothing worse than sweating through your shirt and pants for an entire set. P.S. If you get cold easily, bring a sweatshirt for when the sun goes down. You probably won’t need it in the crowd, but the walk to the parking lot is going to be freezing once you’ve gotten used to the heat of a concert.
If you’re like me, your goal for every concert is to get as close to the front row as possible. This usually means you’re going to have a hard time leaving the crowd for any reason, so take every precaution possible. Once you’re inside the venue, stock up on water bottles or visit the refilling station to fill up the ones security probably made you empty out. Decide what acts you want to see most and create a schedule. If you want to be really close for a particular artist, you probably have to be in the crowd for the artist before them. Many people leave crowds once a set ends, so use that as your opportunity to push farther forward in the crowd (If you’re really dedicated, use mosh pits as an opportunity to push closer to a stage as well).
At the end of the day, the most important tip is to have a good time. Enjoy yourself, let loose, get in some mosh pits, and meet some people who share an interest and appreciation for music! If you’re at the carnival, look out for me and Alec Hendo. Follow me @Alloyisdead and @TypicalBSMedia for updates future updates about the carnival!