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Summer music survival guide

Posted 9:38am on Thursday, May. 08, 2014

Before you embark on an outdoor concert in the Texas summer, you need a strategy. Allow us to share some basic do’s and don’ts:

Do remember to stay hydrated — with water. (No, a second glass of wine, a third frozen margarita or a fourth beer doesn’t count.)

Don’t forget sunscreen. The Texas sun is unforgiving, and long days outdoors with no protection will get you a first-class ticket to lobster city, or worse.

Do bring along a collapsible chair or blanket for outdoor, daylong events. Standing in a field for eight hours can be exhausting, and most festivals allow lightweight, collapsible chairs.

Don’t bring a stocked cooler, unless you’ve checked ahead of time that the venue allows outside food and drink. (Most don’t.)

Do check for parking details on the venue’s website. Most of the time it’s a separate charge — and sometimes can require a second trip to the ATM.

Don’t drink and drive. You might think you can handle a day full of extra-large beers and be fine by sunset, but you can’t. Make sure you’ve got the number of a cab company, car service or good friend handy.

Do sample more than just the acts on the main stage. Often, some of the best bands performing aren’t necessarily the headliners. Get the most bang for your buck and check out all the performers.

Don’t be obnoxious. You aren’t the only one at the show, and some of these people have saved up to go to only one show all year. Don’t be the person who ruins it for them. (And don’t yell “ Freebird” at the bands. It wasn’t even funny in 1996.)

Do pace yourself. Some festivals open the gates at noon. You don’t have to stand by the stage from beginning to end. Bring a blanket and take a nap, and you’ll have more energy to rock out when your favorite band hits the stage.

Don’t forget a camera. Most concerts allow non-flash photography with consumer-grade cameras (including iPhones and the like). Just leave the DSLRs and detachable lenses at home.

— Preston Jones

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