15 music festival hacks for Ultra Singapore 2016
All you need to know
1. Go hands-free
Those happy clappers should be doing something else than hold on to your necessities. Go for a good old fanny pack, like Suki Waterhouse's. All those straps on shoulder bags may cause unnecessary chafing on your neck and shoulders after hours in the sun. Get a handy waterproof lanyard for your mobile while you're at it.
2. Pack all your must-haves
Your best friends at every music festival? Wet wipes, sunscreen — the struggle of sun damage is real — and a garbage bag. Yes, those large black ones. They're for rubbish (because you don't want to be that guy who litters), for when you accidentally leave your raincoat behind or need a waterproof cover, and for a makeshift mat.
3. Most importantly, pack light
You don't want to turn up only to be forced to part with your overpriced drone. Here are a brief list of items not allowed inside Ultra Park: Selfie sticks, chairs, umbrellas, bags or backpacks (only small handbags, clear bags, or fanny packs allowed), open containers (even breath mints and cigarettes), drones and professional audio and video recording devices. And of course, drugs and weapons.
4. Bring cash and ID
While it's pretty obvious, you'll be surprised at how many people forget to bring their ID — you'll need this and your e-ticket to receive your festival wristband. Bring plenty of cash as there are no ATMS on site, and you're not allowed to leave and re-enter. The nearest ones are in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
5. Get there via MRT or Grab
Ultra Singapore's going to be held at Ultra Park, which, until then, was just an empty space next to Marina Bay Sands. Parking's going to be insane, so do yourself a favour and take the MRT where you can alight at Bayfront, the closest station. You can also alight at Downtown or Marina Bay, where it's then a 10-minute walk. Buses that stop at Bayfront Avenue are 97, 97E, 133, 133M, 502, 518 and 106. Ultra Singapore's working with Grab, so stay tuned for special perks.
6. Arrive early to familiarise yourself with Ultra Park
Gates open at 12pm, but we've heard that punters in Miami would get there at least five hours earlier. The good news if you do arrive early? You get to be in first and familiarise yourself with the park. Find out where the toilets and first aid stations are, as well as the best way to get from one stage to the next. We hear that the Main stage is for headliners such as Kygo, deadmau5 and DJ Snake, while the Live stage is for all you dubstep and drum and bass lovers. Meanwhile, the Resistance stage will feature local performances as well as show-stopping visuals.
7. Plan your schedule beforehand
With three stages and a whole bevy of acts — Afrojack, Axwell^Ingresso, deadmau5, Kygo, NERO and DJ Snake among them — you'd want to select who to go for and who to skip. Give yourself ample time to get from one stage to another, and if you must, leave each hour-long set at least 15 minutes early to get to the next one. Plan your schedule pretty loosely — you'll never know who you might end up seeing at a stage you've stumbled upon. It's the best way to discover new music.
8. Stay hydrated and fueled
Again, this is common sense, but you'll be surprised by how easily people forget. We love alcohol as much as the next raver, but it also dehydrates you — and so does all that jumping, singing and cheering. An f&b village (think Muchachos, Shiraz and about 15 other vendors) is shared by the Main and Resistance stage areas. A smaller f&b village is also available at the Live stage area. There will also be picnic tables around to sit. You're not allowed to bring your own food and drinks, so we suggest fueling yourself up big-time before group sets (if you want to catch three acts in a row, for example).
9. Establish a meeting spot
...and be specific about it. That kebab stall by the Resistance stage. The first bathroom stall near the Main stage. Better still, get yourself one of those giant flags so you'll always be visible in a crowd. Don't worry if you get separated from your group, you can always make new ones. Immerse yourself in the music rather than spending half a hour looking for your friends.
10. Have a rainy day plan
This means making sure you're all prepped in case the weather's a Debbie Downer. We recommend Birks, Tevas and sneakers — lose the flip-flops that don't provide arch support. Have a trusty parka, rain coat or poncho with you, and please don't be that douche with an umbrella.
11. Bring more than one portable charger
Seriously, you'll need it — there are no charging points in the park. Bring one that doubles up as a phone cover — we recommend the waterproof mophie juice pack H2PRO, which is hardy enough to withstand festival wear and tear. You should also bring an extra charger especially if you're planning on Snapchatting and taking videos. Don't forget to unplug and live in the moment once in a while.
12. Bring ear plugs even if you think you don't need them
Because you really do. Volume levels at Ultra can exceed 100 decibels, which can cause damage when you're exposed for 15 minutes or longer according to the World Health Organisation. Two days of Ultra will amass to about 21 hours of exposure, so make sure you arrive protected to avoid hearing damage.
13. Get in on the sides
The best way to worm yourself to the front? Never from the middle, my friends — always through the sides. Employ a look of panic (like you're looking for a friend) or pretend that you're completely wasted and aren't sure where you're going. Just be polite about it. Sure, you'll get a couple of dirty looks, but hey, it's you who'll reap the rewards.
14. Go to the toilets even if you think you don't have to
Ultra's toilets are situated near each stage. Make a mental map of the ones nearest to the stage you're about to head to, and whenever you walk past the bathrooms, relieve yourself even if you don't think you need to. Trust us, your bladder will choose to misbehave in the middle of a headlining set and you don't want to weasel your way out of a packed crowd, clutching your crotch.
15. Don't sweat the small stuff
People will push you around. The queues for the portable toilets are going to be long. You'll stain your dress. You'll miss a set you've been planning for. You'll get chaffing on your arms and thighs. You'll lose your friends. It's all part of the festival experience, so just grin and bear it.
Ultra Singapore 2016 takes place from 10 to 11 September at Ultra Park. For tickets, click here. Find out what else is going on for Ultra Singapore 2016 here.