When the speaker is placed down at the Aula grass, and some res boys sit around them in lawn chairs playing music, everyone knows what is coming. Lentedag, the penultimate festival for UP students, is just around the corner, with its date locked in on 13 September. So, it is time to get out your notepads, as these are the few essential tips that need to be kept in mind.
Dress for the heat
With the Botanical Gardens playing host this year as well, the outfit you take will be crucial. Even with the shade netting cast over the crowd at the various stages, it is still a spring day in Pretoria. So, if the weather is all clear, make sure your clothes allow you to breathe. It should also be noted that white shoes might take some hits from the dust that gets kicked up in the crowd. In fact, white, in general, is probably not the best idea, unless you want to spend weeks afterwards scrubbing dust out of your Zara halter top.
Pre with glee
Simply ask yourself, do you have enough money and patience as a student to afford all the drinks, food and long queues that come along with every festival? If not, then perhaps partake in the ancient ritual of getting your friends together to get a head start. This is a great way to ensure that everyone is in good spirits before you set off on the journey there. Just do not overdo it and miss out on the party.
With buses making the rounds to deliver party-hungry students to the promised land, it brings its own challenges with it. If you are planning on taking the bus, do not be that group where everyone wants to ride on the same bus. The queue to get in is quite lengthy, so you can meet your friends there. Also, be aware that some people are in such a rush to get to an eight-hour festival that there will be some pushing involved. But if you stay calm and are considerate of everyone else, it will be.
Water, sunscreen and good vibes
It is a festival in the Botanical Gardens during the day. Make sure you have some protection from the sun and that you stay hydrated. No one wants to cut the day short due to heatstroke. And remember, you aren’t obligated to be at the main stage. If you want to bounce between the various stages or just hang out with friends in a quieter place, then go for it. In the end, this is a festival, and everyone is just looking to have a good time.
Homeward bound or a night out?
When all is said and done, everyone will be heading for the buses. That means it is going to take some time and be very crowded, so refrain from creating a human crush. Also, Uber takers, be aware that the wait for your ride to be accepted is going to take some time as well. Thus, everyone just needs to settle in to burn some time at the exit. Maybe strike up a conversation with a few strangers if you have not done that already. They could be your ticket to continuing your adventure, as it is well known that many people take to the streets and go looking for the next place to party after the festival. If you are planning on doing this, keep two things in mind. One, how are you getting home? Two, tell your friends that are still around you what your plans are.
Food for thought
Eating is an essential part of making it through the day. Make sure to grab a bite with your pre-drinks, especially if you do not want to end up spending all of your money at the food stalls. Now if you are part of the crowd that wants to continue the party into the early morning, then there is something to keep in mind. There will be very few places open that serve food at this hour, and the one you are thinking of is the one everyone will go to as well. So, it might be smart to grab something to eat on your path of destruction and debauchery. That fuel tank will need to be full to keep you going.
For the ladies
Long bathroom queues and portable toilets are bad enough, but it gets even worse at that point in the day when the toilet paper runs out (which always seems to happen at this festival). So, stuff your purse full of toilet paper before you go to avoid a drip-dry disaster.
Call me, Beep Me – You’re not gonna reach me
For all of the great things that this festival has to offer, signal is unfortunately not one of them. Just keep in mind that once you arrive at the venue, it is very likely that you will not be able to reach your friends. So either keep a buddy system, make a plan for when and where to find your friends, and if all else fails, be prepared to fend for yourself.
What goes down must come up
If you fall within that part of the population that does not have a steel stomach, it is quite possible that you might end up losing your lunch (and your R70 Brandy special). So if you have any space available in your bag or pocket, it might be wise to bring a travel toothbrush, mouthwash, or even some gum. It is always better to be prepared in case things go sour (or acidic).
Final things to note
The days may be hot, but the nights can still be quite cold. So, unless you have clothes in your backpack for the afterparty, it might be best to make a quick trip home. For those who are on medication ranging from antibiotics, anti- anxiety to contraceptives and everything else in between, remember to take them. Also, remember that your body reacts differently reacts differently to alcohol when under the effects of medication. If you are usually a party animal that tanks everything they pour down their throat, this might be the night to keep track of what you are drinking. You do not want to have an embarrassing story that might damage your reputation.
Now that all these obvious tips are covered, there is one other thing to do: get all your friends together and plan on how to make 13 September the perfect start to the mid- semester break.