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Festivals, Mable-Style

We are well into festival season, and I will be attending my very first one ever soon. That's right, this 40-something year old punk rock gal prefers small clubs and intimate settings, but I'm venturing from my old, cranky ways and will experience my first festival at the end of this month, Punk Rock Bowling. Go big, or go home, right? (Can I be in bed by 10pm? No? Damn.)

So I have been picking friends' brains about what to do, where to stay... the ins and outs and secrets of attending a festival as a punk rock woman. Their advice was so good I didn't want to keep it just for myself. So I am sharing it all with you in hopes that it helps you, or you can add any additional advice that might help others.

Mable friends, including Danielle, Babbs and Maria all sent along some kick-ass pointers, so, in no particular order, here they are...

1. Bags: Punk Rock Bowling, and most other festivals, have strict bag policies. For Punk Rock Bowling's policy, see here: But this means, no giant mom-purse for me. How will I survive?? I need.....stuff. Danielle had a genius answer. Large Ziplock bags are okay, but who wants to carry that around all day? Bags will be for sale inside the festival, but a better idea is to bring your own comfortable bag, but make sure it rolls up and fits inside the ziplock bag. See photo. Once you get through the gates, take the rolled up bag out of the Ziplock and put everything else inside.

2. Wear sunscreen: It's hot as fuck in Vegas in May. No joke. Pack and wear sunscreen. Simple. A powder one, such as Danielle shows here, is easy, light and mess-free. Danielle shares many other "must-haves" in her post, so be sure to check it out!

3. Drink water: It's not impossible to drink alcohol ALL day, but it's certainly not advisable. Mix in some non-alcoholic drinks every now and then.

4. Don't take drinks from strangers and always watch your drinks. We know women who have been drugged at shows, and festivals are no exception. Be careful. Maria has some excellent advice, because, c'mon, who wants to pass up a free drink? No one. So, if a stranger offers to buy you a drink, say, "Thank you, I'll come with you to the bar." Win-win.

5. Trust your instincts and keep your wits about you. If you're drinking heavily, or otherwise incapacitated, stay close to a trusted friend. Early in the day, ask someone you trust to look out for you and offer to do the same for them. Tell people where you are going. Keep your phone on you. And don't go off with sketchy people. Trust your instincts; if something feels "off" it probably is.

Okay, now I feel like a Punk Rock Bowling Mom, but better safe than sorry. When I asked my friends for advice, this is what they told me, so I'm passing it along to you. Most of all, take lots of pictures, attend as many events as you can and have fun! Don't do anything Jessica wouldn't do.

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