Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Warped Tour : How to Avoid Getting Sunburnt, a Beginner's Guide

Warped Tour is my favorite summer holiday.  The music, the friends, the sun, the experiences.  A problem for many a Warped goer however, is the awful sunburn.  I'm a sun safety maniac, and I try to go to at least a week of Warped Tour every year.  These may seem like conflicting goals, but after years (I think seven?) of learning, I've finally perfected a sunscreen regimen over the last two years and have left Warped Week sunburn-free!  I'm here to share the knowledge.
No, really.  I'm obsessed with sunscreen.

Step 1: Stock Up
Make sure you go a day or two before Warped and stock up on all the sunscreen that you need.  I always buy new sunscreen before Warped because once sunscreen is over a year old the ingredients become inactive and it's pretty much useless.  I've become partial to baby sunscreen for festivals because it's less harsh on the skin and if it's made for babies it must be really protective.  This year for Warped I got a clear zinc (that white stuff the lifeguards use) sunscreen for the lower half of my face and shoulders, a baby stick for the top half of my face, and then a spray lotion baby sun screen for the rest of my body.  Make sure everything is at least 30+ SPF.  
My personal Warped arsenal.  

Step 2: Apply Right
You should be reapplying your sunscreen every two hours.  Diligence is key.  If you know you're gonna be rushing to see a band at the two hour mark, reapply before then so you're covered AND you get to see the music you want to see.  Zinc is a very strong sunscreen, which is why I wanted it for my face.  But, it hurts like a bitch if you get it into your eyes and then you're tearing everywhere for the rest of the day.  So, to avoid that, I applied the zinc on my face everywhere from my cheekbones down, and on my nose and neck. This way it would not drip into my eyes.  If I was wearing a sleeveless shirt, I would also apply it to the tops of my shoulders.  
Next, I took the baby face stick and applied it on my forehead and around my eyes.  This is gentle and "guaranteed tear free", so when I sweat (which is inevitable at Warped) it would not hurt my eyes.  
Finally, I applied the spray sunscreen to all the other parts of my body that were exposed to sun, as well as my torso if I was wearing a thin or light shirt.  
Now just repeat this every two hours.  It takes ten minutes, tops.  

Step 3: Wear Sun Safe Clothing
This includes really rad hats, like adorable floppy sun hats or super rad snap backs.  If you don't plan on getting in the pit, I would opt for a sun hat.  Not only does it shade your face, but your shoulders and chest as well.  If you want to mosh, go with a snap back that won't fall off, and you can just clip the snaps around your bag or belt loops while you mosh so it doesn't get lost.  Both options will protect your face.  Also, if you can, wear a short sleeve t-shirt instead of a tank top.  That way, your shoulders are covered and those burn easiest!  
The options are endless!  I promise you'll look rad when you are poorly photoshopped in front of the inflatable.  Or, you know, actually there.  

That's all the advice I have to offer.  Do you have any Warped sun safety tips?  Enjoy your sunburn-free Warped Tour!  


  1. I just wanted to say, thanks a bunch for the sun safe post about Warped Tour! I'm a natural redhead, so naturally I have the most finicky and fair skin you could ask for... I'm gonna use some Australian sunscreen that's 70 SPF called Blue Lizard! It's super high in Zinc! Going to warped in a few days; hopefully I will come home sunburn free!

    1. Glad I could help! Just make sure you're diligent about reapplying every two hours and if you can wear something with sleeves that cover the tops of your shoulders. All my fairer friends get burnt on the tops of their shoulders no matter how much sun screen they slather on. And most of all have so much fun!!