Decadence New Year's Eve has put together another stacked lineup of artists for this holiday's festivities including Bassnectar, Excision, Deadmau5, Jack Ü, Big Gigantic and many more. The Colorado Convention Center will once again host the fifth year of the event, which features two nights on December 30 and 31. Decadence promises to be a spectacular and hectic collision of musical talent, transfixing production value and fans spreading love. Westword Music compiled this Decadence Survival Guide as a companion for you and your squad to enjoy a safe and rowdy New Year's. Rave on.
1. Make Your List, Check It Twice
Okay, you've got five more hours: Time to lock down the essentials. In order to even get through the door, you need your ticket and a valid government issue ID. Without these two things, you’ll have failed before you’ve even begun. You can grab tickets now and make sure they’re printed and readable before leaving the house. If you enjoy actually hearing the music performed in front of and all around you, bring earplugs. The music is louder than you think, and while you may not notice a difference now, you will later. Protect your eardrums at all costs! Basic earplugs can be picked up for free at the entrance of the Convention Center, but if you own an upgraded pair, even better. Keep these essentials close so that you don’t walk out of the pregame without them.
2. Don You Now Your Gay Apparel
The next thing to consider is what to wear to the festival. Decadence prides itself on being a glamorous event, and fashion over function might be a priority for some, but it’s important to take two details into consideration. The first is that you’re still in Denver, and it's the end of December. It’s going to be a cold night, with a low of sixteen and nineteen degrees forecast for the two nights of Decadence. Expect plenty of snow and ice, so wear some shoes that can handle the weather and extended dance breaks. If you’re planning on waiting outside until the doors are opened, a heavy jacket is essential. Your jacket comes with a choice: Wait in a long line to check your jacket and an extra-long line to pick it up, or hold onto it all night. If you don't check it, make sure it’s a jacket you don’t mind losing or getting drinks spilled on. Or just tie it around your waist. Wait, do people still do that? If you choose coat check, leave some extra time when you arrive to check it and get to the stage. Prepare yourself to wait an inordinate amount of time to pick it up afterwards when thousands of people all jump in line at the same time.
3. Space, Man
A key factor to surviving the crush of bodies at Decadence is to learn your surroundings. If you’ve never been to Decadence before, take a few minutes to review the Convention Center’s floorplan posted on their website. The festival takes place on the Exhibit Level, which is one massive room with 584,000 square feet of dance floor. Even if you have attended Decadence before, pause for a moment to get your bearings when you first enter that giant room. Identify your nearest restrooms, exits, water stations and bars ahead of time to save you from the disappointment of missing the music. Orient yourself so you know which way is up once that room is filled to the brim with dancing bodies.
4. Elude Long Lines
Another crucial element of surviving a crammed indoor festival is knowing how to navigate the area and the lines that spawn at certain junctions. Don’t cut the lines! As blissed-out as festival-goers may be, nothing starts a riot like a line-jumper. Instead, outsmart the lines with perfect timing and planning. Coat check, the bars, water stations, smoking sections and bathrooms are all going to be an uphill battle. Combat missing the music you paid to see by picking the best moments to make a run to the bathroom or for more drinks. More people are trying to accomplish these maneuvers between sets so pick a time towards the beginning or end of an artist’s set to make your move.
Teamwork is key. Take turns sending one or two drink camels to retrieve refreshments for the group instead of all going individually.
Water. Water, water and more water. Hydration cannot be stressed enough. You are allowed to bring in Camelbaks and reusable water bottles as long as they are empty when you go through security. Take advantage of this! Each person in your crew should have his or her own source of water that can be refilled at a water station. Save yourselves precious dollars by skipping expensive water bottles purchased in the venue. Utilize that rotating camel concept and share the liquid load so everyone maintains a healthy hydration level. If you’re thinking that it’s an indoor festival at night and so there’s no risk of becoming dehydrated—think again. You’ll feel the heat when those thousands of people get bumpin’ and grindin’ all at once.
6. Where R Ü Now?
You’ve prepped, mapped, hydrated and made it into the transcendent land of Decadence. Phase one is complete; now take a deep breath and dive into phase two. Don’t miss any sets by preplanning who you want to see and what time they perform. Set a screenshot of the schedule as the background on your phone, and print a small hard copy in case your phone dies. Not only will you and your friends be Johnny On The Spot when transitioning between stages, but you are guaranteed to garner some praise for sharing those schedules with people who didn’t share your foresight.
REAL TALK: You will not get cell service. Even if you do, your friends probably won't. Don't plan on texting or calling your crew if you get lost. Before you and your goon squad go gallivanting, pick an easily visible landmark to meet up at after the show. That way if someone gets separated from the group you won’t spend the rest of your night trying to find them. Once everyone is clear on your post-show meeting spot, gather your tribe and brace yourselves to venture into the crowd. Find that sweet spot with a prime view of the stage and enough room for you all to comfortably get down. Pick another visible landmark as a guide to get back to your spot in the crowd should someone leave for the bathroom or water station.
You did it—time to celebrate! Give your friends hugs and bask in the vibes of Decadence! There’s just one last nugget of information to keep at the forefront of your mind as you drift off into a musical heaven...
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7. Take Care
The golden rule for survival in this magical world of Decadence: Take care of one another! This doesn’t just apply to your friends, but anyone and everyone who looks like they could be having a better time than they are. Step up and help someone in need, share water, and if the situation seems especially dire, don’t hesitate to seek medical help. Medics are on-site at all times, and unfortunately they do see a fair amount of action. Keep Colorado’s Good Samaritan Law in mind, which exempts anyone seeking medical attention for the sake of another from any liability. Everybody wants to have fun but it’s important to party responsibly. No one wants to kick off their new year with a trip to the hospital so make sure you and your friends are all feelin’ fine throughout each night.
Follow this Decadence Survival Guide to make your double dose of dance and debauchery carry you well into the new year.