I Love Memphis did a poll of her readers and complied these tips and hints to make a 2010 BSMF Survival Guide:
– Buy rain boots now. It seems that one of the most inevitable things about BSMF is the rain. It usually doesn’t rain the entire weekend, but it’s good to have rain boots on hand. Go ahead and buy them now, though – once the festival is closer, you won’t be able to find any in the greater Memphis area.
– Wear real shoes. As cute as your flip flops are, you don’t want to wear them to BSMF. A combination of crowds, mud, and walking a long way will likely leave you shoeless at the end of the day. Similarly, heels probably aren’t the greatest idea, either. There are paved areas in Tom Lee Park, but you don’t want to lose a heel in the grass.
– Dress appropriately. Start with a thick layer of sunscreen. Add some clothes that will keep you cool that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Keep fresh clothes and socks in your car so that you don’t have to drive home in wet clothes.
– Pack wisely. Bring plastic bags (to hold your phone and wallet if it starts raining), a disposable poncho, travel size sunscreen, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer, a water bottle, and cash for parking, food and t-shirts. You may also want to bring a tarp or plastic table cloth from the dollar store. Make sure that whatever you pack can be carried easily in pockets or a small bag.
– Define meeting places. If you’re going with a group, define meeting places. Park together (in the same garage or at a downtown friend’s house), walk together, and pick a spot in the park to meet up at the end of the day. Cell phone reception can be a little spotty during the event.
– Check out the Blues Tent. The blues tent is one of the most underrated parts of BSMF. There are performances all day by legendary blues musicians. It’s also in a giant tent, out of the rain.
– Stay downtown or get a cab. If you’re planning to drink at the festival, please make arrangements to get home. Have a designated driver, book a hotel room downtown, stay with a friend, or call a cab to get home. It’s total common sense, but it bears repeating.
– Take a break and see downtown. When / if you need a break from tons of live music, big crowds and weather, take a break from the festival and walk into downtown for a meal. There are a ton of great restaurants near Tom Lee Park.
– Water. Water. Water. Drink a ton of water before you head to the park. Drink some more while you’re there. Drink a few glasses when you get home. Trust me. It’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re outside all day (and possibly drinking). Drinking water will help you make sure you can get through the weekend feeling good.