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Looking after your health at festivals

Summer is the season for music festivals and large outdoor events. While festivals are intended to be fun, extreme weather events and mass crowding may cause dangerous situations. The following advice will help you to look after your health, stay safe and have a good time.

Before you travel.

Pack sun protection (hat, long sleeved shirts and sunscreen), hand sanitizer, masks, mosquito repellent and reusable water bottles. If the festival is in an open area, check if you are allowed to bring eskies and shade devices to protect yourself and your family from the sun.

Don’t forget to pack your medication. There has been an increase in Emergency Department visits due to forgotten medication creating an additional burden for the hospital system surrounding the festival location. You can play an important role in reducing the pressure on the local health system by consulting with your GP and picking up all necessary medication from your local pharmacy before you travel.

Before you start your journey, also check Live Traffic NSW if roads and travel conditions are safe to go.

At the venue.

  • Stay connected: Mobile phone connections may be compromised in regional areas, especially when many users try to access the network in close proximity to each other. Plan for being offline and agree upon a meeting point with your fellow travellers in case you get lost.
  • Dehydration: Dehydration and heat exhaustion may happen quickly, especially when you are outside in hot weather conditions. Dehydration may cause symptoms such as thirst, dry mouth and tongue, headaches, dizziness, and dark urine. Alcohol consumption may aggravate dehydration, so frequently drink water to rehydrate.
  • If you experience symptoms of dehydration, move to a cool place and drink cold water in small sips, until your symptoms disappear. If you feel severely unwell, seek medical attention immediately.
  • For more information visit: Dehydration - signs, symptoms and treatment | healthdirect
  • Drinking water and your health | healthdirect
  • Alcohol: While there is no safe level of drinking, there are guidelines to reduce the risk of alcohol harm. To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury for healthy men and women, drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day. Minors, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not drink alcohol. For more information visit: New alcohol guidelines Australia - Alcohol and Drug Foundation (
  • Be COVID safe: Don’t travel to the festival if you feel unwell or have acute respiratory symptoms. If you have symptoms, take a Covid test. If the test is negative and you still experience symptoms, consider getting a PCR test.
  • Follow general hygiene measures such as hand washing, hand sanitizing and consider wearing a mask in crowded places where distancing is not possible.
  • Hearing damage: Consider the use of personal hearing protection such as ear plugs, where appropriate. Hearing protection is also commercially available for children.
  • Drugs. You never know what substances are used to produce drugs and their consumption is dangerous. Sadly, there have been multiple deaths attributable to drug use at festivals. Notify the on-ground staff or medical personnel if you witness a person that seems intoxicated and who might need help, is in distress or in an acute emergency.

On your way back home.

  • Don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or when tired.

Read the media release from the Hunter New England Local Health District for additional advice.

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