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How to: Stay safe at Chilifest 2022

Sights+from+the+25th+anniversary+of+ChilifestThe+main+stage+of+Chilifest+hosted+big+time+acts+such+as+Whiskey+Myers%2C+Josh+Abbot+band%2C+Shane+Smith+and+The+Saints%2C+and+many+more
Photo by: Brian Okosun

Sights from the 25th anniversary of Chilifest

The main stage of Chilifest hosted big time acts such as Whiskey Myers, Josh Abbot band, Shane Smith and The Saints, and many more

With Chilifest making its long-awaited return in Snook this weekend, attendees of previous years’ festivals share how to stay healthy during the festival’s long days of music and drinking.
Chilifest is an annual two-day music festival, featuring performances from renowned country and rock artists, with its main purpose to give back to local charities in Brazos Valley. This year, the event is from Friday, April 1 through Saturday, April 2. The event has taken place annually since 2000, with the exception of 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.
Between the music, drinks and chili, here are tips to ensure one’s safety and health while attending:
Stay hydrated and prepare for any circumstance
Chilifest President Matthew King said, on top of wearing appropriate attire to regulate body temperature for being outside all day, staying hydrated is essential to maintaining one’s energy and health during the festival.
“We have food and drinks out at the festival, so intend to stay hydrated,” King said. “It’s going to be hot, and you’re going to be drinking all day. Definitely bring a hat or sunglasses to keep sunburns to a minimum.
The big thing is watch your consumption. Stay safe, stay hydrated. We have water out there, and we’re giving away free bottles, and all the vendors sell water as well.”
Brazos Pinto, Class of 2020, said he is planning on drinking a gallon of water a day in preparation.
“I’m hydrating, a lot, because I don’t know if it’s going to be hot or if it’s going to be cold. With how the weather’s been, it is certainly an up and down kind of deal,” Pinto said. “Pretty much aside from that, I might pack some sunscreen and just get ready to party. I’m getting ready to have a good time, going in with the understanding and knowing that it’s going to be a mess, but it’s going to be a fun mess for being the first Chilifest in two years.”
Camp out to avoid traffic
Pinto said the last time he attended Chilifest was his freshman year, but he remembers traffic getting in and out of the festival was backed up and ride hailing is always expensive.
“This year, my plan is, once I get there, I’m not leaving until Sunday; I’m camping out,” Pinto said. “I bought into a Build team, and they are going to have a section in the Build that is purely for camping. When I heard that, I thought that it was a perfect idea. That gets rid of having to worry about getting home at the end of the day and no worries about having to pay an Uber or anything of that nature. It gets a lot of people off the roads, and keeps the attendees safer. I’d rather be safe and in one place than having to deal with traffic once I get back to my car.”
For more information about camping out for Chilifest, visit the camping website.
Go with friends and visit the Builds
Builds are great designated home bases to regroup with friends, eat and check in with members of your organization, Pinto said.
“Definitely go with friends. I wouldn’t go by myself; it’s always more fun when you know someone there,” Pinto said. “If you haven’t bought into a Build, I personally would so that you’re not having to wait on getting drinks or getting food … I know everyone puts in a lot of work and a lot of time and money into putting up these Builds. It’s kind of almost like a mini version of Vegas — everyone has their own theme. It’s cool to go walk around and see them if you want to take some time to take a break and get out of the mosh pit in front of the stage.”
For more information on Builds, visit Chilifest’s Team website.
Plan for a sober ride
If you aren’t planning on camping out, agricultural economics senior Clayton Lopez said for anybody who is going to attend Chilifest, the No. 1 priority should be to plan for sober rides.
“No matter their age, as far as getting to and from Chilifest, before you even think about going, before you even think about whose Build you’re going to be in, make sure you have a plan for a sober ride before you attend,” Lopez said. “The buses that take you to and from Chilifest have very long lines, and they’re very unreliable.”
Lopez said if one doesn’t have a sober ride, they should get two people out of one’s group to alternate driving days.
“That way, those individuals can have at least one day when they don’t have to drive. Have those two people take a look at the concert lineups and pick which day that they want to attend and drink or indulge in that latter day,” Lopez said. “The day other than the day they pick will be the one that they drive, so you won’t have to subject someone to driving for both days — just get two people. That way, they can at least have half a good time, and the other day they can make sure that all their friends get home safely.”
Plan for lack of phone service
Lopez said phone service is essentially non-existent, so he, his sister and the rest of their group are going to have designated meeting times and places to regroup and make sure everyone is OK.
“Write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket before you even go, that way, ‘OK, at 1 p.m. I’m going to check back in at the Build or the tent,’” Lopez said. “If you can’t find someone, they either forgot or they’re in trouble, so [with a meeting place] you can go and find them and [ensure] they’re not lost for an extended period of time. It doesn’t have to be every hour, but just to have scheduled meeting places and time helps a lot.”
Your actions represent your organization
Lopez said while it’s important to enjoy your time at Chilifest, attendees should respect the privilege they have of being able to attend with their respective organizations.
“If you are a fraternity brother, a men’s org[anization] member or a lady who’s wearing the letters or men’s org merchandise, just remember that your actions reflect the organization that you are wearing or associating with,” Lopez said. “We’ve learned from COVID[-19] that who we love and hold dear can be taken away from us very easily. Respect why you’re there and have fun, but understand that this is the first time back for a lot of people, so there is probably going to be some crazy stuff going on.”

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