10 Tips to survive GTM

10 Tips to survive GTM

Photo by Michael Spencer

Jacob Wall, ECU Reporter

With Groovin the Moo festival arriving in Bunbury in just under a week, you’ve got your outfit sorted, your accommodation booked and you’ve figured out what artists you’re going to see, so now would be the perfect time to enlighten yourself with 10 ways to stay safe and have fun this GTM.


1 – Finding your friends

Let’s start on a silly one.

It’s highly doubtful you’ll be attending GTM as a party of one, and therefore you are more than likely going to lose your compadres. When this happens, don’t panic, just hold up your luminous pool noodle that you are going to take with you, so you can be found from hundreds of metres away. Even throughout the night time hours of the festival, the shinning lights of stages will reflect off the noodle and make it visible. However, if bringing a large pool toy to a music festival isn’t really your style, you could alternatively wear a matching recognisable hat with the main person or people you don’t want to lose for the same effect.

2 – Don’t just walk off

If tip one doesn’t appeal, the just try your best to not lose your friends in the first place, in order to avoid drunk, lonely adventures trying to find someone you know. In that type of environment with thousands of people in attendance, there is zero upside to wandering off on your own. Make compromises with your group so everyone gets to do what they want and see the artists they desire. You also don’t want to be the reason your friends miss an act they’ve been dying to see because they’ve been walking around looking for your pool noodle.

3 – Change your phone wallpaper for the day

At any festival, your mobile phone is your saviour. It allows you to contact your friends, order Ubers home and easily transfer some money from your savings for a late night, tired snack towards the end of the night. However if you lose your phone none of this is possible, and there’s a good chance it could really put a negative atmosphere onto your whole day.

To avoid this change your lock screen wallpaper to a screenshot of some text stating; “If found contact (friends phone number) with $30 reward.”

If someone finds your phone and calls the number on it, which is going to be your friend’s, it’s going to be the easiest way to get your phone back. The reward price is completely up to you but don’t expect your phone to be returned if $5 is all you’re willing to give up for it.

4 – Portable chargers are a good investment

If your phone is your number one priority, and there’s no chance of losing it, make sure that you’ve got a portable charger handy to keep it on 100%. Your phone dying at a festival is probably just as bad as losing it, especially if you’re on your own. As tip 3 said, your phone is your saviour, it’s the best way to find your friends and stay safe. Portable chargers are generally not expensive and are perfect size for any pocket or small bag, so it’s not going to be a huge inconvenience to your bank account or your day.

5 – Don’t be too proud for fanny packs

Depending on your outfit, especially if you’re a girl, pockets may to be there to assist you on the day, but you are definitely going to need a space to hold and carry or your essential items. Fanny packs may have had lame connotations around them a few years ago, but nowadays are considered to be useful and surprisingly quite fashionable if styled right. Like the chargers, fanny packs aren’t going to leave a hole in your wallet, and they are a very good investment in order to keep your belongings safe and secure.

6 – Nice shoes aren’t always the comfiest

With today’s fashion orientated society, it seems to be the goal of all festival attendees to out-dress each other when it comes to how good you look. If a pair of shoes is looking amazing with the rest of your festival attire, but are maybe a size too big or a size too small or maybe just uncomfortable to wear, it is highly recommend you change your shoe choice to something much more tolerable and easy to wear. At a festival, up to 12 hours are going to be spent in one pair of shoes, with mass walking and dancing bound to occur, and therefore comfy shoes are a must. When deciding your outfit, start with the comfy pair of shoes that also look good and then revolve the rest of your outfit around them.

7 – Whatever the weather, jackets are a good idea

On the topic of your festival outfit, you should perhaps consider incorporating a jacket of some sort into it. There is a good chance that you are going to be cold at some point during a festival, especially at GTM that takes place during the end of autumn. Regardless of the season, its probably going to start to get colder when it gets to the evening hours anyway and therefore a jacket is something good to have handy as being cold is going to completely ruin the vibe for you. Even when it’s hot during the day, tying a jacket around your waist adds another fashionable element to your outfit or you can use it to ward off the sun.

8 – Alcohol

We do not condone breaking rules of the festival, but it would be naïve to deny that alcohol does get snuck in.

There could be multiple reasons why someone might not want to purchase alcohol from inside the venue other than being underage. For starters it is usually expensive, and there is only a limited range to choose from. Also, the festival has to cater to a large number of festival-goers, not just you, so lining up to buy drinks will be a big chunk of your day. GTM specifically has one alcohol zone, which you must keep purchased drinks in, and these zones are usually away from the stages, and thus further away from the music.

Here are a few tips we heard from other people who may have tried them. Transferring alcoholic beverages into the bottle of a non-alcoholic drink of the same colour is a safe bet. Small flasks are also extremely easy to purchase and fit perfect right down any sort of shirt or long pants. If you can find a way to disguise your alcohol into some sort of food item, then that could also work. We also know that gummy bears soak up vodka, but you didn’t hear that from us.

9 – Get your pills tested

The act of taking illicit drugs at music festivals nowadays is a common one. Its going to happen regardless of the law, but there is a way to have fun and stay safe at the same time.

Pill testing is a new method of checking that the pills you think contain your drug of choice are not laced with something that will kill you. A  pill testing trial took place in the Canberra GTM festival in late April, and proved to be successful, with 128 people taking part in the trial and 85 samples tested. The testers found that 50% was pure MDMA and 50% was ‘other’, having lactose, sweetener and paint contents. Out of the 85 samples, two were found to be deadly. But for bureaucratic reasons, that trial will not be extended to the WA GTM and so if you want your pills tested your best option is to get an online kit.

10 – Drink your H20

Hot or cold, you’re going to sweat throughout your day at a music festival. Much movement is going to take place in big crowded areas, and keeping on top of your water intake is probably the most important thing you can do. It is not uncommon to pass out at festivals due to dehydration, so do your best to avoid this. Balance out your alcohol consumption with water intake in order to prevent headaches and nausea. Keep yourself healthy to maximise your fun.