This is a guide for all you party people who wish to gain some insight to help you prepare for the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in Arizona.
It’s time to end this decade with a BANG! What better way to do that than to go to Decadence Arizona? The lineup is killer. Every year this event gets bigger and more lit. The excitement is real! With that in mind, there’s a lot of information to go over to help you maximize your New Year’s Eve experience.
BEFORE THE EVENT
How to prepare for all the amazing music:
First, take a look at this lineup. Bangers, right? That’s not all though. There’s going to be over 25 local artists playing as well. This year there will be three different stages. With so many artists playing and three different stages, it’s always a good idea to make a plan ahead of time. Which stage(s) do you picture yourself spending the most time at? (But don’t be bummed if your plans change while they’re in motion. Just live in the moment!)
Do you know where all the stages are? I like to take a screenshot from my phone of a map of Rawhide. You should soon be able to see where all the stages will be set up on the event’s Facebook page or on instagram. Then once set times are out, I like to take screenshots of that. Making the schedule(s) your lock screen can be super helpful.
I love to look up all the artists on the lineup and listen to at least four to five of their songs or even maybe a few of their sets on SoundCloud. If you look up like “Decadence AZ 2019 playlists” on Spotify and Soundcloud, you should be able to find samples of what’s to come!
Sets I’m keeping an eye out for:
There are some sets I wouldn’t want to miss out on seeing.
Illenium: Ascend live set - It’s a live set so you know there are going to be some crazy magical things happening. Also, this is a great album Illenium released this year.
Blossom – she is a local artist who has risen to great heights. Her music has been released under Night Bass Records. Her sets have a lot of range and always bring the beat that makes you want to shuffle and groove.
How to dress:
When it comes to your outfit there are three factors that should come to mind – your preference on style, the weather and the venue layout. The best thing you could ever put on is something you feel your most authentic self in. There’s tons of stuff in the iHeartRaves Icced Out collection that I absolutely adore! Layers are essential. So, when you’re picking out your outfit I highly suggest building upon it as much as you can. The temperature can change a lot for you. It can be very chilly when you’re outside. But the sets themselves may be a lot warmer inside the tents. You can stay warm without sacrificing your cute outfit by adding gloves, a scarf, wool socks with shoes (that should go at least past the ankle,) tights, stockings, a hat or earmuffs, etc. (These are places where a lot of your body heat escapes from.) Check out this blog article if you need some inspiration!
Be sure to check the weather a few days in advance and especially on day of to be sure that your outfits will make the cut on keeping you warm!
If you plan on bringing a coat or big jacket. I love to tuck mine horizontally in my bottom of my backpack straps (if it doesn’t fit in your backpack.) It keeps my jacket from touching the ground when I take it off.
No matter what you wear, be sure to bring a face mask or bandana. Rawhide mixed with a lot of foot traffic kicks up large amounts of dust into the air. Plus, the mask or bandana can also add extra warmth to your neck. Heads-up: last year it rained and the muddiness was real. That could potentially be the case this year as well. It all depends on the weather mixed with the venue layout.
Pro tip: Pack hand warmers! You can put them in your bra, in your pockets, in your gloves, etc. Instant warmth!
Do you know how you’re getting to and from the venue? That’s an important thing to have locked down. With Decadence being the largest New Year’s Eve event in the state, there will be a decent amount of traffic. It can get congested too. Although using ride-sharing apps are the best way to ensure you have a safe and responsible person driving you to and from the venue, it can be hard to land a ride at peak times. If you have a large group, see if you can coordinate a party bus situation or be a part of one. Party busses usually arrive before the event ends so you don’t end up waiting around too long to go home or to the next party spot.
WHEN YOU’RE AT THE EVENT
How to keep groovin’ comfortably all night long:
If paper schedules with a map are being handed out, grab a few. They’re perfect if you don’t want to use your phone too much. Grab extras in case you lose the first one or if other people around you need them too!
Put insoles in your shoes. This is a huge life-saver. The extra cushion will help keep your feet feeling happy after hours of dancing and walking.
Bring a fully charged portable charger for your phone.
Bring earplugs! Chances are, the medical tents will have some too. But just in case, bring a pair or two. Especially if you want to get up to the front at certain sets. Your hearing will thank you! Like I mentioned before, ear muffs work great too! They’re super cute and add to an outfit while keeping your ears safe and warm.
Drink lots of water! I love to drink an Emergen-C or Pedialyte on my way to Rawhide. When I’m there I make sure to fill up my water pouch in my hydration pack or a reusable bottle as much as possible. Then I drink the heck out of it! Also, there’s lots of yummy food vendors! My go-to is cheesy fries or french fries. You’d be surprised how much of a pick-me-up a warm meal or snack can be. Even if you’re not that hungry or thirsty, remember to nurture yourself!
How to avoid getting your stuff stolen:
Ahh yes. I wish I didn’t need to cover this topic but unfortunately, there actually are non-PLUR people out there (if you can believe it.) Some people go to this event just to have the opportunity to steal thousands of people’s valuable items like phones, money, flow toys and so much more. But there are steps you can take to make it harder on these people.
First of all, luckily your wristband is connected to your debit or credit card. Anything that you need to buy inside of the venue can be done so through your wristband! So, you don’t technically need to bring your wallet. Bring your ID for sure though! You need that to get in.
If you do feel the need to bring money, bring cash. Pro tip: don’t put all your cash in one place. In the case that someone finds your cash, it won’t all be stolen from you. I pick two designated spots that are discrete and safe for my cash. I put a few bills together in a hidden pocket of my backpack and then another few all together in a zipper pocket in my jacket or something.
Also, it might help to use little coin purses for your bills so they don’t get loosely scattered in your stuff. Another good way to avoid getting your stuff stolen is by having designated spots for all of your valuable belongings. If you keep putting them away in various places, you’re going to be more likely to lose track of them. You most likely will be putting your stuff away complacently so you can’t really put your finger on where you last saw your items. (I’ve been there.) The key is to be mindful. Put things away mindfully. A way to make sure your bag, as a whole doesn’t get stolen is by putting something distinguishable on it. If it’s a fanny pack, backpack, purse or whatever, you can put vibrant scarves, ribbons, pins, lights etc. on your stuff.
How to maximize your experience mentally:
There are so many magical things happening all around you, and it goes by fast. Remember to take a second every little while and soak it all in.
Dance like how you do when you’re all alone. Just let go and do your thing without a care in the world. That’s how music should make you feel, right? It’s the last big event of the decade so end it in style- YOUR style.
Photo Credit: Decadence Arizona
Be as open-minded as possible. No matter how much you plan at the venue, things may not go as you pictured. A deep breath and a change of perspective does the trick. Lost your friends? Time to find yourself. Not how you pictured that set going? Time to practice not setting expectations and just enjoying things for what they are. Plus, when you don’t set expectations, that’s when you have the BEST time. Every moment you’re at Decadence is a chance to melt your cares away and get lost in the music. Every set is going to hit differently. Every crowd you’re in will have a different vibe. Don’t be afraid to go off and explore in order to find the vibe that feels right to you. Don’t stress about things you can’t control like lines or other people. Just remember, all that you see and all that you hear – it’s all for YOU! Decadence is all about peace, love, unity and respect. You just have to find it and spread it!
My final guide tip for you:
Pick up after your trash!
I hope you have the best New Year’s Eve ever. Stay safe. Stay hydrated. Stay spreading peace, love, unity and respect!