Scott’s UMS 2014 survival guide

(Photo: CPR / OpenAir)
photo: UMS photo for Scott blog

Between hundreds of bands and throngs of eager fans, the four-day festival overwhelms in the best way possible and while the constant stimulation is part of the appeal, it can eventually take its toll.

Here are a few of my tips to ensure a fun and enjoyable time at the 2014 UMS:

1) Put the schedule down (if only for a bit)

While everyone has a handful of “must-see” bands, I’ve found that strict adherence to a schedule is a bit unnecessary. At a location like South Broadway, the music comes to you. Hundreds of bands from around the state congregate over four days and it’s a great opportunity to discover an act that you may not have heard of.

Got some time to kill? Walk around and do some exploring. Stop into some venues you’ve never been to before - you’re bound to hear something that strikes your fancy.

2) Stay hydrated

The average daily temperature last July was 87 degrees Fahrenheit, and given our recent string of blistering days in Denver it’s safe to say that things are going to get hot. It’s easy to get dehydrated (especially after knocking back some potent potables) so be sure to get some shade and some water if you’re feeling the heat. On that note:

3) Wear sunscreen and sunglasses

Even if you’re not as prone to sunburns (as I am), bring along some sunscreen with a strong SPF. Stick to the three R's: Reapply, reapply, reapply. Things can also get bright, so bring along some shades as well (or, stop by our OpenAir booth to pick up a pair of ours).

4) Bring earplugs

I’ve been something of an evangelist for earplugs ever since I’ve been old enough to go to shows. There’s nothing worse than the prolonged ringing sound after an especially loud concert, and a couple of pieces of cheap foam is all it takes to avoid eventual hearing loss. Keep a couple pairs in your pocket and break them out if the situation calls for them.

Out and about and can’t stop by a store? The Hi-Dive sells them via vending machine.

5) Come by and say hey!

With the sheer amount of people descending upon South Broadway, it’s a good opportunity to make some new friends. Be a part of our local community and meet some fellow music fans - including us! Stop by and check out our OpenAir booth for a chance to win some neat prizes. See you out there!