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Culture Shock

A Guide to Your First Culture Shock

The annual one-day music festival led by WIUX is less than a month away. As someone who was new to Culture Shock and music festivals in general last year, here are some tips from yours truly to help you on this beautiful day.

1. Bring a water bottle

If all goes well, it’ll be a hot and sunny day for Culture Shock. Make sure you can last the whole day by bringing your trusty, ol’ Nalgene to avoid heatstroke and the line for bottled water. I made the mistake last year of prescribing myself more cold brew after becoming extremely dehydrated and thus, missed Post Animal! Do I still regret it? Yes, of course. You want to be as clear-headed as possible when you see <gasp> Chicano Batman and Milo perform.

2. Plan out your day accordingly

The official schedule for Culture Shock will be released soon so give yourself time to figure out who you want to see. Plan your festival day based on meal breaks or bathroom breaks or because you might just be plain tired.

3. Everyone’s free to wear sunscreen

This sentiment is not only the name of a fantastic, hypothetical commencement speech, but it is also some practical advice. Wear and/or bring sunscreen to Culture Shock so your skin doesn’t peel from the glorious sun while listening to some great artists.

4. Meet some new people

If you bring sunscreen, this will be a lot easier because people will come to you for the SPF. You’re welcome. If for any reason your friends decide not to come to Culture Shock, consider going alone. There will be plenty of people there for the music, so you’ll be in good company.

5. Try local vendors

If you’ve never ventured out of the Kirkwood strip for food and coffee, Culture Shock will be a great place to try local vendors including Rainbow Bakery and Hopscotch Coffee.

6. Wear shoes you wouldn’t mind getting ruined

This means something different for everyone but keep in mind that Culture Shock is held at Dunn Meadow with plenty of grass and mud. Also, wearing comfortable shoes are especially important when you’ll be standing for nearly 10 hours.

7. Bring earplugs, especially if you’re noise sensitive

This is basic concert advice but you can expect the speakers to do some wild things to your ears. If you’re sensitive to loud sounds or don’t go to shows often, bring some earbuds so you can take care of yourself while enjoying the event.

8. Consider bringing a blanket

If you don't mind the extra luggage, you can bring blankets to set on the grass and take little cat naps in between sets. I was envious of the many people who brought blankets last year. They looked so happy and relaxed…

9. No culturally appropriated fashion

Do I even have to explain this one?

10. Think about the space you’re occupying

For one last piece of advice that should go beyond just this beautiful day, remember that everyone is also here to have a good time. We will be in each other’s space but constantly check yourself that you are not making someone else uncomfortable. Make room so it can be accessible and not just for yourself. No discrimination or harassment of any kind will be tolerated because this is a safe space meant for all people to enjoy and experience!

Bring your fanny packs! Bring your beanies! And most importantly, bring your selves to April 14th at Dunn Meadow.




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