Heavy Metal Festival Survival Guide.

Iron Maiden

It's been several years since we had a big metal festival in Australia, but with Download Festival Melbourne 2018 just around the corner, we thought we'd share a few essential tips that both newcomers and festival veterans could benefit from! Read on and be enlightened.

Mobile Phone

In this day-in-age, having your phone on you at all times is a no-brainer, and everyone knows that the only time Instagram gets looked at is when someone is pushing out a full-blown dinosaur grogan. Even if you have the best jack-hammer resistant phone case, and it tells you its water rated to the depth of the Mariana Trench, you should protect it. Take a zip-lock bag to keep your phone in, you'll thank me when you're trying to get an uber in a side alley while the zombie hordes of post-festival drunks try to find transportation.

Mobile Phone Person
Don't be this person. Vertical video? Really..?


This can go two ways. You could get paralytic before you go to the festival, and end up a dehydrated prune by the end of the day. You could go stone cold sober and line up at the drinks tent anxiously waiting for that first drink like a cracky waiting for a centre-link payout. Either way, you're not going to have a great time. It's all about moderation. Get tipsy before you go, and have a rotation plan with your mates to get rounds, that way you're not spending your whole day lining up for shitty mid-strength booze that will cost you more than an apartment in an inner-city suburb of Sydney. "Remember to drink water", your mother would say. She'd know, she was sculling straight whisky and giving hand jobs at Skyhooks concerts before you were born.

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Cigarettes, Lighters and Drugs

If you don't mind a lung-lollie, here's some advice - take more than you think you'll need. You never know when you'll lose a packet, or have the seagulls coming around squawking, "Darb? Darb? Darb?". To escape the dreaded rains, keep them in a zip-lock bag like your phone, otherwise, you won't be punching lung-darts, you'll be punching yourself for your lack of preparation. We all know that lighters like to go walkabout, so gaffer-tape a lanyard to it and wear it around your neck. Remember kids, smoke in the designated smoking areas because no-one wants to be breathing in your second-hand bullshit.

Drugs: It'd be naive to think that no one would be doing drugs. Much like with smoking, do it away from everyone else. Nobody wants to see someone pop a squat in the middle of a mosh pit so they can take a hit from the glass Harley. True story, actually seen that happen.

Person SneezingAnd with that, Sandra wasn't allowed to carry the bag any more.

Toilet Etiquette

This is a big one... not just in size and volume, but in level of importance too. There is nothing worse than finally getting to the loo after an hour of waiting to find that there is piss in the sink, shit everywhere except in the bowl, and all five rolls of toilet paper have been unravelled. Even in the cleanest of rest-rooms, there still somehow ends up being pubes scattered around like the aftermath of a hairy piñata. Public toilets are truly where etiquette and basic human function go to die.

Dress Accordingly

Dress for the season, not the occasion. Yeah, you might look cool with fourteen megatons of black and white makeup, a leather jacket and thick denim jeans, but if you're anywhere bar Melbourne in winter, you're going to regret your decision. Shorts and a tee is the most comfortable, gender-generic option I can offer you. It'll keep you cool, there is less fabric to weigh you down once wet, and there is less likelihood of getting your pants covered in shit when you head to the porta-loo. We really need to talk about this shit on the floor business, people.

Ed Howson