How to Avoid Theft and Pickpockets at Music Festivals: 10 Tips

Music festivals are supposed to be a fun experience where people enjoy music, food, and other activities. However, with large crowds come certain risks, such as pickpocketing and theft. Pickpockets are getting smarter at stealing your smartphone: it is pulled or slapped out of your hand, or taken from your pocket during the moshpit and jumping. You are so focused on the gig that you don’t notice this. Moments later, you realize your smartphone is gone…. incredibly bummer! In this blog, we will discuss some tips on how to avoid pickpockets and theft at music festivals.

10 Tips to Avoid Theft at a Festival

1. Leave Valuable Items at Home

Heading to a festival is always an exciting adventure, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you become the target of a pickpocket. That’s why one of the most important tips is to avoid bringing valuable items to the event. It might be tempting to show off your new watch or rock your favorite jewelry, but it’s not worth the risk. Trust me, pickpockets are always on the lookout for their next victim, and the more valuable items you have on you, the more likely you are to catch their attention. So, before heading out, think twice about what you’re bringing with you. 

Consider leaving your pricey electronics or accessories at home. But, if you must bring them, make sure to stash them away in a safe place, like a locked backpack or a hidden pocket. By doing so, you can enjoy the festival without the worry of losing your valuable possessions.

2. Use a Money Belt

While there are various options to consider to keep your items secure, one popular choice is the money belt. This innovative accessory is designed to be worn around your waist, discreetly concealed under your clothing, making it an ideal choice for festival-goers who plan to dance the night away. With a money belt, you can safely store your cash, credit cards, and ID without worrying about pickpockets. Say goodbye to the stress of constantly checking your pockets and hello to a worry-free festival experience!

3. Carry Only What You Need

If this is not your first festival, you probably know that packing light is key. Not only will a heavy backpack or purse weigh you down and slow you down, but it can also make you a prime target for pickpockets. Consider opting for a small backpack or trendy festival fanny pack that can hold all of your essentials, such as your phone, cash, ID, and a small bottle.

4. Be Vigilant and Alert

It’s crucial to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. This tip may be a bit obvious, but a good reminder to become aware of. Unfortunately, pickpockets often see festivals as an ideal opportunity to prey on unsuspecting attendees. They may even work in pairs, with one person creating a distraction while the other swoops in to snatch your valuables. 

Always keep a close eye on your belongings and be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior. If someone tries to bump into you or distract you, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and not let your guard down. Ask your friends to pay a bit of attention to each other’s stuff, too.

5. Keep Your Phone Secure

Your phone is something you ABSOLUTELY don’t want to lose at a festival. It is your tool to capture all the memories, communicate with your friends and with the home front. Unfortunately, it’s also a valuable asset that pickpockets would love to get their hands on. To keep your phone safe and secure, there are a few essential precautions you should take. Consider investing in a phone case with a sturdy strap that allows you to keep your phone attached to you at all times. 

Unlike me, don’t you constantly use your phone to take pictures and videos and isn’t it glued to your hands? Then store your phone in a secure pocket or a locked backpack to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. And never leave your phone unattended, even for a moment, as it only takes a split second for a pickpocket to strike. Some festivals offer free on-site charging stations. Again, pay close attention to your phone, as this is the perfect place for a thief to strike.

6. Anti Theft Festival Bag

When choosing a bag for a festival, it’s important to consider the security features, in other words, whether zippers and storage pockets are present. Look for an anti-theft bag that features zippers that can be locked or a flap that covers the main compartment to prevent pickpockets from easily accessing your belongings. 

Additionally, a backpack or fannypack that can be worn across your body can help deter thieves, while also being more comfortable for you to carry around. On the other hand, it’s best to avoid bags with easy-to-open flaps, as they can leave you vulnerable to theft. 

7. Report Suspicious Behavior

If you notice anyone acting suspiciously or trying to steal from someone else, it’s important to report it to the security at the festival immediately. Security personnel are trained to handle such situations and can quickly apprehend the culprit before they can rob anyone else. 

If you witness any suspicious activity, don’t hesitate to approach the nearest security personnel and inform them about it. They will be able to take immediate action and prevent any potential theft. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so don’t be afraid to report any suspicious behavior you may see at the festival.

8. Rent a locker

Using lockers at music festivals is a great way to keep your belongings safe and secure. Most festivals provide lockers that you can rent for the duration of the festival. These lockers are usually located somewhere near the entrance, making them easily accessible. Only carry what you need and put the rest in the locker. 

I myself, for example, am a bit clumsy and sometimes lose things, so I always put my house and car keys in a locker to be sure. This not only reduces the risk of pickpocketing but also gives you peace of mind knowing that your belongings are safe. Now it is important that you keep that locker key with you at all times and put it away well!

9. Don’t Carry Too Much Cash

An additional tip to avoid theft at festivals is to avoid carrying too much cash. While it’s essential to have some cash on hand for food, drinks, and merchandise, carrying too much cash can make you a target for theft. Consider using a credit or debit card to make purchases whenever possible. In addition, many festivals use a token system, in that case try to exchange your cash for the tokens as soon as possible.

CASH TIP: If you do need to carry cash, split it up into smaller amounts and keep it in different places, such as your wallet, money belt, and a secure pocket. This way, if you are a victim of theft, you won’t lose all your money at once. 

10. Don’t Flash Your Cash

Finally, keep in mind that keeping your valuables out of sight is just as important as keeping them secure. Avoid flashing your cash or card in public, as this could draw unwanted attention to yourself. Personally, I always keep my money, debit card and ID hidden away in a secure pocket. Never count your cash in public, do it discreetly instead. 

Watch this video by Emma Kapotes for some handy tips about avoiding pickpockets at music festivals:

Attending music festivals can be a memorable experience, but it’s important to take the necessary precautions to avoid pickpockets and theft. By following the tips outlined in this blog, I hope you can keep your belongings safe and enjoy your festival experience to the fullest. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so don’t hesitate to take the necessary precautions to ensure that you can fully enjoy your festival experience. 😉 

What do you do to prevent theft at concerts or festivals? Leave a comment below!

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