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Bacchanal Essentials

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Barnard chapter.

Oh Bacchanal. The one glimmering day of happiness before Columbia grinds us down again. Last year was my first year atBacchanal and based on my experiences I hope to provide some advice so everyone has a jolly good time. While the day is focused on having fun, things can get pretty crazy. I didn’t understand how cray cray Columbia kids could get until I was in the middle of the crowd getting trampled into the ground and watching the opening of sky close in as the crowd swallowed me… Thankfully I got out alive with only some scraped knees but I was definitely not prepared for that level of insanity. So here is my checklist of Bacchanal essentials to ensure that everyone has the best time possible.


1) Water Bottle

“Hydration is very important” says every person ever. This is pretty much a given. I don’t really need to say much here. A plastic water bottle works the best, after you finish hydrating you can just recycle it.

2) Food

For those who intend to start the festivities early, eating food is a must. You’ll need those calories in your system to dance for hours. Eat a reasonably sized, balanced meal before you head out and carry a granola bar or some other small snacks to recharge in between sets. Your body will thank you.

3) A protective case for your electronics


Last year one of my friends had his iPhone smashed when he was helping someone from getting trampled. Last year I also dropped my nice digital camera and broke the battery holder. If there is ever a time to invest in a protective case for your valuable electronics, now is the time. Your plastic  5 dollar case from Urban Outfitters does not stand a chance against the scary crowd of concert-goers. I recommend getting a case in the Otterbox Defender Series (http://www.otterbox.com/defender-series/defender-series,default,pg.html). I’ve had one since this summer and it has survived 9 days of Bonnaroo, a drop down a flight of stairs, and numerous falls from the top bunk. Definitely worth the investment.

4) Fanny pack


Holding all of your stuff means you can’t throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care. Fanny packs are my preferred form of holding my random knick-knacks where I can always see them (backpacks tend to get in the way of other people and cross-body bags swing around too much).

5) Appropriate Clothing


The weather has not been kind to us here in New York so it will likely be very chilly but inside the crowd it will be hot, sweaty and gross. Speaking of the crowd, it’s going to get gross in there… people will spill things on you and sweat on you. This is not the time to break in the new suede boots or wear the itchy (but oh so cute) crochet halter top. You will get blisters. Your clothes will get ruined. You will be sad.

6) Common Decency

Don’t try to cut in front of the people. Don’t spill things on people. Don’t trample people. Don’t be rude. Don’t be sloppy. Be considerate of other concert-goers. Common sense and being nice = good.

7) Friends

Music is life and life is music. Share the love with those you love… before returning to the Columbia work grind.



Lana is a sophomore in SEAS pursuing a major in Applied Mathematics and a minor in Music. She likes cats, chocolate, cellos, calculus, concerts, and corn dogs. 
Elena is a sophomore at Columbia University majoring in English. In her free time, she writes for Her Campus and news for Spectator. She loves New York and her friends.