How to Loosen a Festival Wristband?

Almost all festivals are familiar with the non-removable wristbands. They are meant to identify who is supposed to be at the festival and who is not. Collecting and keeping wristbands from the different festivals you have attended has been a trend for a long time. Did you just come back from a festival, and would like to leave your wristband from the festival on? Then it’s nice if it’s not too tight. This blog has some tips to loosen your festival wristband and that will help you wear your wristband comfortably.

Tips how to loosen or remove festival wristbands without cutting it:

Festival wristbands are most of the time secured with a small plastic ring. The teeth on the inside of this ring ensure that it can only pass in one direction. Thus, you can only tighten it, but not remove it. This was obviously designed so that you cannot share the festival bracelet with others. I often tend to fidget with the festival strap during the festival, making it suddenly a lot tighter. Accidentally tightened your festival wristband? Don’t worry, I know the best ways to loosen your wristband. 

Tip 1: twisting the wristband

If you don’t want to break your wristband then you don’t want to cut it. One way to loosen the strap is to take the ends of the strap and twist them. If you twist tight enough, then eventually you can pull the security tag down so that the strap becomes wider and you can put your hand through it.

loosen festival wristband twisting

Note: this probably works only with plastic security tags, if your band has an aluminum or metal security tag this is often a bit tighter and harder to get loose. Go to tips 3 and 4 for ways that may help with a metal tag.

The Lollapalooza Music Festival is cleverly responding to this and has adapted the festival wristband in such a way that you can easily loosen it by twisting. Watch the video below on how to loosen the Lollapalooza wristband without cutting.

Tip 2: insert a straw

Did the turning method not quite work out? Then another way to loosen your strap is to use a plastic straw. This method only works with plastic security tags. 

how to loosten festival wristband with straw

First cut a small piece off the straw, about 3 to 4 centimeters. Then make a vertical cut in this small 3-4 centimeter (about 1.18 inches) straw from top to bottom, all the way through. Then twist the ends of your strap as you did in the previous tip so that this is completely tight. Now put the little cut straw around the twisted ends of your strap and push it along the strap until the straw is even with the end of the plastic clip.

Now wiggle the clasp so that the teeth of the clasp press on the straw and not on the bracelet itself. Now you can slide the clasp off the wristband along with the straw. 

Watch the video below on how to step-by-step release your festival wristband with a straw.

Tip 3: use a flathead screwdriver or pliers

Often festivals use bands with a metal clip. These are attached with pliers or a clamp. Turning, twisting and using straws then has no effect at all then. A flathead screwdriver is definitely your best friend in that situation. However, I do recommend that you ask someone to help you with this, otherwise you can quickly hurt your wrist. If the metal clip is pulled open enough with the screwdriver or by the pliers, then you can take the wristband off.

loosen festival wristband flathead scewdriver

Tip 4: the plastic bag method

Less luck with the above methods? Then I have another tip for you that works for both plastic and aluminum/metal clips. First, slide one of the handles of a standard plastic bag through the open part of your wrist strap. Then slide the other handle and the rest of the plastic bag through the outline of your wrist strap so that the festival strap sits on top of the plastic bag. 

Insert your hand into the bag, make a fist and pull the plastic bag until it is completely laced through the wrist strap. Then pull on both handles to make the bag completely tight around your fist. Finally, twist the bag over the wrist strap and pull it off your hand. Do this by turning the handles and bottom of the plastic bag outward, creating a cone over your wrist strap and fist. Pull as hard as you can. Because of the strength and movement, the wristband will slip over your hand with minimal pain. Take a look at the image below to see what that looks like.

loosen festival wristband plastic bag
Turn the handles outward, pull as hard as you can and slip the wristband over your hand

To make it a little clearer, watch the video below to see how to remove the wristband with a plastic bag without damaging the wristband.

Note: the person in the video has a sillicone strap on, but it also works with fabric festival straps.

The easy way: cutting the wristband

Is the festival over? Then you can of course opt for the easy way and grab a pair of scissors and cut the strap. But be aware that you only do this at the end of the festival or concert, because you can get removed from the festival grounds if you do not have the correct wristband on you anymore.

And of course, what also makes it easier to loosen your wristband next time is by asking the event staff not to make it too tight. Often you can specify where the tag is pinched closed with the pliers. Make sure this is not too wide that your band can fall off, but also make sure it is definitely not too tight!


How can I loosen my festival wristband without cutting it?

There are several other ways to loosen a festival wristband besides the methods mentioned in this blog:
1. Try using a safety pin to carefully widen the hole in the wristband.
2. Use a pair of scissors to carefully cut the wristband to make it larger.
3. Try using a hairdryer to heat the wristband and make it more pliable, then gently stretch it to the desired size.
4. Ask the festival staff if they have a special tool to adjust the wristband for you.

Is it safe to cut or heat my festival wristband?

Cutting or heating a festival wristband can be safe if done carefully and with the proper tools. Be careful not to cut or heat the wristband too much, as it can become damaged or because you can hurt your wrist.

Will cutting or heating my festival wristband void the warranty?

It depends on the festival and the wristband’s manufacturer. It is best to check the warranty or ask the festival staff before making any modifications to the wristband. Normally, once your wristband comes off you are not allowed back into the festival.

Can I reuse the wristband for future festivals?

It depends on the festival and the type of festival wristband. Some wristbands are reusable and can be used for multiple events, while others are single-use and cannot be used again. Be sure to check with the festival or the wristband’s manufacturer for more information. In general, a festival wristband is only made for a one-time use only.

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