If you’re planning to join the fun at Carolina Country Music Fest, you’re in for a memorable experience. But it’s important to prepare so that you can stay healthy and feeling great from the first note to the final encore.
Here are some tips from Tidelands Health, the official health care provider of the festival, to help you have a rocking good time. The health system will be on site with local first responders to provide urgent medical care and will support attendees’ health with health tips shared on the performance screens and an on-site information booth offering free hand sanitizer, while supplies last.
1. Bring suncreen
When you’re at the festival, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun. Dr. William Jackson Epperson, a family medicine physician with Tidelands Health, encourages people to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays 30 minutes before heading outside. But, remember, it’s not enough to apply sunscreen before you arrive. You’ll need to reapply it every two hours at a minimum. Be certain to bring a bottle of sunscreen rated at SPF 30 or higher (sunscreen is permitted inside the venue).
2. Stay hydrated
Even though you won’t be kicking up your heels on stage like the performers, your body will lose a lot water during the festival. Make sure to replace it, or you risk becoming dehydrated — especially if you consume alcohol.
Most adults need about three liters of water every day under normal circumstances. But when you’re out in the sun all day, you’ll need to drink more water than usual. Ashley Capps, vice president of operations and chief nursing officer at Tidelands Health, encourages festivalgoers to listen to the body’s natural signs of thirst and respond accordingly.
3. Wear comfortable shoes
You may think flip flops or sandals are the best option for a day spent outside in the sun, but you’ll probably be walking and standing a lot. Michelle Sine, a physical therapist who specializes in the foot and ankle at Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Services at The Market Common, says to choose a shoe that offers proper support.
Consider a closed-toe shoe with socks to reduce rubbing and blistering, and avoid wearing new shoes that haven’t been properly broken in.
4. Remember eye protection
Take a hat, visor and/or sunglasses to help protect your eyes from the sun’s glare. Squinting all day can lead to eye strain or headaches that can dull the fun. Make sure your sunglasses offer full protection from both UVA and UVB rays to help prevent sun-related eye damage.
5. Take frequent breaks
There’s a lot to enjoy during the three-day festival. Don’t exhaust yourself by trying to pack too much into a short timeframe. Find a place to rest if you need a break. If you feel like you’re getting too hot or you become lightheaded, seek medical attention.
6. Protect your ears
If you’re planning to get close to the stage, consider bringing hearing protection. Exposure to loud music can cause temporary tinnitus (ringing in your ears), and extended exposure to music louder than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss.
7. Keep the bugs away
Wear insect repellent and avoid the use of perfumes or scented lotions to help keep bugs at bay.
8. Be ready for rain
The festival takes place rain or shine, so be prepared for anything. Take a poncho to shield yourself from passing showers.
9. Dress smart.
When choosing what to wear to the festival, focus on lightweight clothing made of cotton, linen, rayon or chambray. Because these materials are breathable, they are good choices for hot weather. Clothing made of silk, polyester or nylon retain heat, so they’re not ideal for hot days.
10. Fuel your fun
Make sure to start your day off right by eating well before you arrive. The registered dietitians at Tidelands Health encourage people to eat a balanced breakfast that contains adequate protein and a high-quality carbohydrate. For example, consider a vegetable omelet with one slice of whole grain toast topped with half an avocado. Or, have some Greek yogurt topped with nuts and fresh fruit.
11. Know where to go and what to do.
Download the festival app to see a complete musical lineup, create your own personalized schedule, learn about who’s playing this year and more. The app also includes a site map to help you find refreshments, ATMs and great on-site activities.
12. Stop by, and say hi!
When you’re at the festival, stop by the Tidelands Health tent for a quick, “Howdy!” You can grab some complimentary hand sanitizer, while supplies last, and learn what’s new at the region’s largest health care provider.