ACM Party For A Cause Survival Guide

By  | 

LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 05: Musician Brantley Gilbert performs onstage at the ACM Party For A Cause Festival during the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the Orleans Arena on April 5, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Polk/ACMA2013/Getty Images for ACM)

We have a wonderful guest writer bringing you the ultimate ACM Party For A Cause Survival Guide!

Jess Lebrun has been an avid fan of the ACM’s since her first trip in 2011. “The Week Vegas Goes Country” is her favorite week on earth and she has made some amazing friendships there during this time. She is a self-proclaimed country music enthusiast, working for her local country radio station, attending concerts regularly, running her blog Country Heartbeat, and has plans of moving to Nashville by the end of the year to work directly in the heart of Music City promoting the artists that she loves!

ACM Party For A Cause Survival Guide

So you’ve got tickets to the 4th Annual ACM 3-Day Party for A Cause Festival in Las Vegas this year? There are a few changes being made this year, starting with ticketing! No more paper tickets, there will now be wristbands mailed out before the festival! (Please don’t forget these at home and make sure that you activate them before your trip!) Another cool thing about these wristbands is that you can actually use them to pay for food, beverages and select merchandise if you sign up for that service in advance! No need to worry about losing your credit card or cash anymore! Another upgrade this year is LOCKERS! This will be so helpful for stashing your cowboy boots when it gets too hot and you’re ready to switch to flip flops! Of course, there will also be unlimited charging stations, so please bring your multiple chargers for your phone, camera, or other electronic devices!

Here’s a checklist of essentials you will need:

1. Small backpack or purse or fanny pack. These will be searched, so please don’t try to sneak in anything stupid!

2. Sunscreen.  Make sure to reapply several times during the day!

3. One 20oz or smaller SEALED bottle of water. You will not be allowed to bring it in if it’s open! At least bring one to save you a few bucks, but please purchase more throughout the day, ESPECIALLY if you plan on drinking alcoholic beverages! Dehydration will ruin your ACM weekend.

4. Snacks. Technically there is no outside food allowed, however in the past I have snuck in a granola or protein bar due to the fact that I am literally hungry every 2 hours. MAKE SURE IT DOESN’T HAVE CHOCOLATE IN IT. Trust me. Melted chocolate in your bag/purse is NOT fun and it’s hot out there!  (I learned the hard way!) Maybe even a handful of nuts or anything with protein that will help tie you over in between chili cheese fries and pulled pork sandwiches!

5. Baseball cap, snapback, or cowboy hat. Helps keep your face from being sunburned!

6. Sunglasses. It’s pretty bright in the desert if you didn’t know; sunglasses can be a life saver from the bright Nevada sun!

7. Flip Flops. Wear tennies or your cowboy boots of course (ladies, no heels… you’re literally standing all day!) but make sure to pack a pair of flip flops because if temps reach the 80’s, you’re going to want to rip those socks and boots off your hot sweaty feet! Also, the addition of lockers this year makes this easy to store them away until it’s time to leave!

8. Non-professional Camera. No detachable lenses allowed. But cameras do tend to take better pictures than your cell phone if you’re a photo-geek like me! Also, remember to bring your battery charger since there will be charging stations available!

9. Cell phone and charger. You’re going to want to post to social media while there, as well as record videos and take photos I’m sure, and it’s sure to drain your battery. Plus, you’ve always got to turn your screen brightness up in the bright sun and this wears down your battery more quickly as well. Thank goodness for charging stations!

10. Portable battery charger. There’s going to be a time when 3 of your favorite artists play in a row and you glance down and notice you’re at 5% battery life. Backup battery chargers are great when you don’t want to have to leave your coveted front row spot and sit by the charging station with your phone for 20 minutes. Just plug it in and continue to use your phone!

11. Mini notepad or anything that you might want signed. CD leaflets, pre-printed photos, etc. Lots of artists will have set “Meet & Greet” times during the festival… some will have photos that they will sign to give you, some won’t. I’ve received a giant signed poster in the past, which got mauled by the end of the day, because it’s simply impossible to keep a rolled up poster safe in a rowdy crowd. Unless of course you’ve rented a locker! However, a mini notepad that you can store in your bag would solve this problem of carrying a bunch of autographed 8 x 10’s all day while trying to also not spill your drink on them and use your camera simultaneously.

12. Your ID or Passport. If you plan on enjoying an ice cold beer in the hot sun while listening to your favorite country act sing about drinking beer and partying, you’re going to need your ID to get an over 21 bracelet. The admission wristbands aren’t high tech enough to verify your date of birth!

13. Light sweater/cover up/sweatshirt. Once the sun goes down, it cools down a lot; especially in early April in the middle of the desert. Something that you can tie around your waist or squish into your bag is recommended.

14. Lawn Chair. If you prefer to sit to watch the show, there will be a space behind the “pit” area for low-back chairs. Although I’m more of a closest-to-the-stage kind of girl, having a chair set up does hold your place for when it’s time for a bathroom or food break! Plus, Saturday is going to be a long 12 hour day!

Some other helpful suggestions:

I’m usually just an over-prepared girlie girl, but other things that I stash in my purse for concerts and events like this include gum or mints (no one wants bad breath when meeting an artist), extra hair tie and brush (it’s super windy there!), chapstick or lipgloss, mini deodorant (you don’t want to smell sweaty meeting one of your favorite new artists!) and some extra “just in case” cash. Guys seriously have it so easy!