It is the hottest music fest of the year, literally.
Big crowds pack the all-day, seven-stage Vans Warped Tour at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg every year. There are an unsettling numbers of teens getting dehydrated in the blazing heat.
The annual salute to punk rock is tweaking its rules for 2017.
For the St. Petersburg, organizers are changing door times from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., hoping to spare kids extra hours in the sun.
They are also allowing each concertgoer to bring in one sealed bottle of water. Inside the gates you will find a free hydration station to refill that bottle. There will also be extra misting stations, more shade, and even a water slide to keep people cool.
St. Pete Police, who monitors this show closely, are relieved by the changes. So are music fans.
“A mistake I made is that I didn’t want to drink water because I didn’t want to use the Port-a-Potties,” says 20-year-old Savannah Amethyst, a Warped Tour veteran. “But honestly, it’s so hot, you just sweat it out. So just drink the water no matter what.”
This year’s lineup, which features gnarly monster rockers GWAR, is heavy on, heaviness.
“It’s hard, that’s for sure,” says Manny Kool, owner of Daddy Kool Records.
Kool's shop is a hangout for the Warped Tour crowd.
“This year there’s a lot of metal, a lot screaming, a lot of fun for the kids,” said Kool.
Manny urges the throngs of teenagers not to miss eating good breakfast the morning of the show. He also urges people to stay hydrated.
“You want to be prepared to be outside all day, basically when the sun it at its peak,” said Kool.
Two more things, make sure you wear sunscreen and don’t get beat up too bad in the mosh pit!
Click here for more rules and guidelines at the Vans Warped Tour: vanswarpedtour.com/warped-101/#at-the-show.