Ellie’s Hard Summer Survival Guide 101

Yup, it’s that time of year

where our very own concrete jungle will be reaching temperatures of 100+ during Hard Summer weekend. I’ve attended Hard Summer since 2015, and after years of learning the Hard way (pun intended), let me share some game-changing wisdom with you.

  1. On top of your hydration or camelback, bring a little bottle for spritzing and misting AND a fan to keep you, your squad and the crowd cool. This weather does NOT mess around, and when you’re dancing your booty off you sometimes forget how much you sweat. Also, fanning your way through a crowd is the BEST way to get to your designated spot.
  2. WEAR. YOUR. SUNSCREEN. The sun is beating down, and it’s beating down HARD. If getting a sunburn isn’t enough to convince you to wear sunscreen, maybe not wanting wrinkles by the time you’re 30 is.
  3. Get your water AS SOON as you enter the festival and the furthest away from the entrance. Yes I know, the water lines are long during this time but trust me, it’s not getting any shorter and it’s better to be prepared for the heat than dying in it. 
  4. Don’t wait until your supply is empty to get water. The writer (myself) and some other festival veterans concluded that the best time to get water is 10 minutes before the end of every set. Therefore you’re avoiding all the crowds of people rushing to the next set or water refill stations and you bet the lines!
  5. PLEASE be sure to eat. I know we all want to look lean and cut but your body needs more than just water to maintain its energy level. If you’re planning to dance throughout the entire duration of the event, I highly suggest eating something before and in the middle of the event. May I suggest some Island Noodles, an acai bowl or tacos?
  6. DO NOT be afraid of the medical tents. As a medic myself, Insomniac’s healthcare providers are not only top-notch, but we only want to make sure you’re safe. You will NOT get in trouble. Plus, it’s free.
  7. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. THE BLISTERS AREN’T WORTH IT OR AT LEAST RENT A LOCKER. If you do decide to wear those 6 inch demonias, the med tent has a surplus of band-aids and mole skin 🙂
  8. Take a quick skim of Hard Summer’s prohibited items list. Nothing sucks more than waiting in line, getting to security and having them say that your opened chapstick, lip gloss and deodorant aren’t allowed. I get it, we have to stay constantly fresh, but can’t stay fresh if the item is prohibited.
  9. Get yourself a small lock for your backpack. I know it sounds cheesy, but every year hundreds of phones, wallets, car keys and IDs are stolen from attendees. Adding a small lock to your backpack but clipping it through the holes in the zipper is a theft-free way of getting your stuff stolen. Can confirm, nothing ruins your time more than reaching into your backpack or pocket to realize that your phone isn’t there anymore.
  10. Last, but not least…portable. chargers. There will not be service and your poor phone is going to try so so so hard to send those texts to your friends. That alone drains your battery. Buying yourself a portable charger will take the stress off of trying to save whatever battery you have left.