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Lessons Learned From Paradiso 2016: Advice for Next Year

Paradiso 2016
Photo Credit: Turk Photos

Is it too early to plan for Paradiso 2017? Of course not! That was the common sentiment around the Gorge Amphitheater as this year’s rendition of USC Events’ yearly summer desert spectacular came to a conclusion early last Sunday morning. Walking around the event this past weekend, Dance Music NW discovered another common sentiment: regret! Not in “oh, I regret coming,” more like “doh!” Here are a few things ravers, including some on the Dance Music NW team, face-palmed about. Take note if you’re already thinking about Paradiso ’17, or Magnifique, USC’s newest summer massive, which will also be held at the Gorge.

“I didn’t secure my tent!”

At Paradiso 2015, ravers battled scorching hot temperatures. This year? Wind. And lots of it. High wind gusts not only delayed Friday’s scheduled 2 PM gate opening and forced the cancellation of some opening acts, it also wreaked havoc at the campgrounds. Tents and canopies, according to some people we talked to, got “destroyed,” “fucked up,” and simply “blown away.” Some set ups weren’t secured properly and, well, there were prices to be paid. Stakes are your friends when it comes to camping; don’t be shy! There were also reports of tents being robbed. Lesson to be learned? Next time you leave your camp, ALWAYS make sure your valuables, and tent, are well secured!

“I need a jacket!” 

Weather reports for this weekend at the Gorge called for temps in the 80’s during sunlight hours. At night? The low 50’s. Combined with the wind, temps in the evening felt ever lower! Finding warmth became a challenge for many, especially those in outfits that showed plenty of skin. Not bringing a jacket was a common regret, as some wanted to pack light or just plain forgot to bring one! Lesson to be learned? Check the weather forecast and/or bring a jacket just in case and store it in a locker or bag if not being used.

“I should have brought more cash!” 

Between expensive food and drink prices ($16 for a beer?!), activity costs, and souvenirs, blowing money fast was a popular struggle this weekend. Preparing a party budget is always a smart move, but we also understand stuff happens! Lesson to be learned? Ticket prices aren’t the only expensive thing when it comes to festivals.

“I should have camped!” 

One of the activities that makes Paradiso so special, year-after-year, is camping. Spending the night under the stars with thousands of ravers from around the world is an experience like none other. While there’s nothing wrong with booking a hotel, we came across people who regret forgoing the camping experience in favor of sleeping in a warm room and having quick access to a shower, electrical outlets and a nice bed. First world problems. Lesson to be learned? Weigh the pros and cons of camping versus hotel. Maybe try ‘Diso camping at least once in the future?

“I lost my friend!”

Paradiso is a massive event, taking place in a massive location, and has a massive amount of things to offer. It’s easy to lose your homie(s). Establishing contingency plans (like a meeting spot) and being side-by-side are some good ways to decrease the chances of you unexpectedly ending up alone. Lesson to be learned? Communication is key!

I should have bought sunscreen!

Although temperatures weren’t in the 90’s or triple-digit range, the sun was still shining brightly and people were feeling the burn. Lesson to be learned? Unless you’re OK with looking as red as a tomato, lathering yourself up with sunblock before entering the gates is always a good move at sunny, outdoor massives.

What are some lessons you learned? Drop a comment below or use the hashtag #DanceMusicNW!

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