Search Google Appliance


6 Steps to Stay Safe at Festivals and Events

August 12, 2016 by HealthyFamilies BC

Steps to stay safe at outdoor festivals and events

What’s your favourite BC outdoor event? There are so many opportunities to enjoy community festivals, music concerts, celebrations and sporting events across the province. Whether attending with your family or with friends, there are things you can do to stay comfortable and safe.

There are often higher rates of illness and injuries at large outdoor events than what is normally seen in similar-sized groups. That’s because large crowds in contained spaces put more stress on basic health services, like drinking water and sanitation. Follow these steps to keep your experiences enjoyable at the events you attend:

1.    Know your surroundings. When you get to the event, look around. Plan an exit route in case you need to leave quickly, pick a spot to meet if your group gets split up, and find out where the first aid tents are.

2.    Be sun smart. Scan the area for shady spots so you can take breaks from the sun. Pack sunscreen, hats and a sun umbrella. If you are bringing little ones, read this information for keeping kids safe in the sun.

3.    Stay hydrated. Make sure you know where to get drinking water. If you’re drinking alcohol and it’s a hot day, you’re at greater risk of dehydration. Try having a glass of water in between drinks. Read more tips.

4.    Party safe. Always use the buddy system if you will be drinking alcohol or using other drugs. Sticking together means you can look out for one another. There are serious risks when mixing substances, including with alcohol. Know the signs of an overdose. Seek first aid or call 9-1-1 if you need help.

There were 153 fentanyl-related deaths in BC in 2015. Any drug can contain a lethal amount of fentanyl; it might even be cut into party drugs. Click here to learn about overdose issues and how protect yourself and your friends.

5.    Keep your food safe to eat. If you attend an overnight event, you may be bringing your own food. Avoid bringing food that is perishable if you’re not sure whether you can keep it at a safe temperature. Check ahead of time to find out if ice will be available at the event. Pack disposable wipes or biodegradable soap for your hands for quick cleanups before cooking food or eating food served at the event. Read more tips.

6.    Clean up after yourself. Get to know where the garbage and recycling bins are. Put your waste in the appropriate bins to keep the event litter-free and clean for everyone. Also, if the event is in a rural area, properly disposing of your waste will reduce the risk of attracting wildlife and for human wildlife encounters.

Planning an event? Learn how to make your event safe for all participants by reviewing the Public Health Guidelines: Major Planned Events.

Related blogs

Best Food and Drinks for Hydration
Alcohol: 5 Small Changes for Big Health Benefits

Recommended resources

Fraser Health: Overdose Prevention and Response
Fraser Health: Tough Rocker Guide
HealthlinkBC: Be Drug Smart



HealthyFamilies BC Tools

Breastfeeding Buddy

Breastfeeding Buddy


Sodium Sense

Sodium Sense


Your Virtual Shopping Tour

Shopping Sense


How Much Sugar Are You Drinking?

Sugary Drink Sense