Our Best 12 Tips for Enjoying Ottawa Summer Festivals

Our Best 12 Tips for Enjoying Ottawa Summer Festivals

Our best 12 tips come from years of heading out to Ottawa Festivals and either a) regretting not bringing something or b) wishing we’d done something different. So smart researchers, get your festival planning in high gear with our best 12 Tips…

 Tip 1: Book your tickets in advance

Avoid disappointment and make sure you get your tickets early. You can often get great discounts if you shop online or if you buy your festival passes in advance.

Tip 2: Do your homework

Check online in advance for the schedule and plan what you are going to see and when you are going to see it. Some of the festivals have huge line-ups, so it makes sense to arrive early to make sure you reserve a great seat.

Getting stuck in the horrendous traffic after a big event is the reason we came up with tip number three of our countdown of best 12 tips. Several years of stress-free travel and getting home before your friends that drove to the event, helped us decide that this is the only way to travel. Best of both worlds? Park your car at a convenient transit system stop: they are well lit, safe, and quick.
 Tip 3: Take the bus

Parking is usually CRAZY during festivals. With the amount of people that converge on festival venues, you might want to take advantage of the low bus fares. The OC Transpo service through the downtown core is awesome, and the venues are usually within comfortable walking distance of bus stops. You can always park your car at a transit station and then grab the bus. Parking downtown can get pretty expensive, so if you do decide to drive, make sure you factor the cost of that in too.

Tip 4: Cover up

Coping with a sunburn or heatstroke is just not cool. Most of the summer festivals have outdoor, uncovered venues. Make sure you bring some sunscreen, sunglasses, and wear a hat

Tip 5: Comfy tennis shoes vs. flip flops or sandals

Definitely comfy tennis shoes wins this round. Festivals are crowded which therefore means a greater chance of getting stepped on or accidentally stepping in something! Protect your feet–tennis shoes are a must.

Here come the tips that have to do with the ugh factor: sanitation issues. This qualifies as the “wish you had done it” kind of tip when you get stuck in a jam. Definitely couldn’t be a “Best 12 tip list” without these two. 
Tip 6: Toilet paper vs. the alternative

Like Forrest Gump, you just never know what you’re going to get. Outdoor facilities often are used more rapidly than staff can keep up with, so have some toilet paper with you. There’s nothing worse than lining up for an outdoor bathroom and then finding out there’s no toilet paper!

Tip 7: Pack some wet wipes or hand sanitizer

There are tens of thousands of people that show up at our summer festivals. Sanitizer and wet wipes just makes sense.

Final four tips on our Best 12 tips list, take note of the courtesy factor. There are thousands of people at these festivals. Keep them friendly and polite by thinking of others. 
Tip 8: Bring a light blanket or fold-up director chairs

A light blanket is great for sitting out on the lawn and will roll up easily to tuck away in a bag. There’s also great models of fold up chairs that come with their own carrying bags. Just be polite and make sure you aren’t blocking the view of someone behind you.

Tip 9: Drink up and eat up

Make sure you keep hydrated and tuck away some light snacks. Check the individual festivals rules–some festivals do not allow outside drink or food.

Tip 10: Bring a stroller

If you have infants or toddlers, bring a lightweight stroller or put baby in a sling. Strollers are great options to stow away bags but keep in mind they are also kind of tricky to manuever in crowds.

Tip 11: Getting lost

If you’re with a group of people, pick a meet-up place in advance in case anyone gets lost. Or make sure you have each others’ cell phone numbers.

Tip 12: Cell phones

Turn your ringer to vibrate. There’s nothing more annoying than going to a concert and hearing a cell phone going off. Wait, it is slightly more annoying to actually answer it and talk through a performance!! Be courteous to the performers and to the audience members.

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