Held annually in Oro-Medonte, a lovely lakeside area near Barrie, Ontario, Boots and Hearts is a major country and western music festival that attracts many people of all ages to the area each year.
For those not familiar with Boots and Hearts, it’s a three-day festival (running August 10-13 this year) where you can camp out for the duration or come on a daily basis. You can choose from $100 single-day tickets or $220 VIP passes.
The star-studded line-up always includes a cross-section of Canadian and American talent. Keith Urban is probably the best known of the 2017 headliners, who also include Brantley Gilbert and Luke Bryan. Among the other confirmed acts are Brett Eldredge, the Eli Young Band, Dan + Shay, Frankie Ballard, Chad Brownlee, Jess Moskaluke, and even veteran actor Kiefer Sutherland (see the full line-up here).
While I’m not a big country and western fan, but Boots and Hearts has a great reputation as a fun place to be and meet new people. Friends who have attended in the past have very positive things to say about the experience. I don’t have tickets yet, but am thinking seriously about it.
If you can’t afford the ticket price, you also have the option of being a volunteer for the three days. You can camp for free on the property as a volunteer, though you do need to bring your own camping equipment. Over the course of the festival, you will need to work a minimum of 18 hours. I’ve volunteered at festivals before and it was a real pleasure, with only a few negative moments caused by rowdy behavior.
Have you been to many music festivals? They can be an absolutely amazing way to experience bands! They are also wonderful for meeting new people and bonding with them over a shared love of music.
Even though I have been to several music festivals in my lifetime, there are things I do not always keep in mind. So, I decided to draw up a list and the share them. Have any suggestions that I forgot? Let me know in the comments section!
Wear comfortable shoes. You will be standing for a very long time, so think about your feet! Also, choose shoes that will protect them from crowds (i.e. you are going to get your feet stepped on a number of times, so don’t wear flip-flops).
Moderate your “refreshment” intake. And by refreshment, I mean drugs and alcohol. It’s going to be a very long day/days and, while it doesn’t hurt to loosen up and have fun, don’t get so wasted that you can hardly stand up or appreciate what is going on around you. Quick rule of thumb: if you can’t carry on a basic, coherent conversation, you’re overdoing it. Being this wasted also makes you more vulnerable to accidents and abuse.
Put away your phone during the show. It never ceases to amaze me how many people watch the concert through their phone…even during shows that are being professionally recorded for live or rebroadcast on television! Yes, a memento is nice, but you can get that by recording the concert when it airs. In the meantime, live in the moment and enjoy the experience! That said, you still want your phone working during the rest of the time you are there, so do bring along a portable phone charger.
Consider a money belt. Admittedly, these are not a great look, but the more people there are, the more pickpockets there are.
Plan ahead with your friends. What happens if you get separated, your phone dies, or you somehow lose contact another way? Arrange to meet ahead of time at a certain, easily accessible and nearby spot so that you don’t waste prime concert viewing time wandering around for hours and just missing each other.