Festival Flu: Tips to Avoid the Post-Party Plague

post festival depression

Yip, it’s a real thing. Other (unofficial) names for festival flu include man flu or sesh chest. Here is the urban dictionary definition:

An illness which inevitably sets in when one returns home from attending a music festival. Causes include:
😵‍💫 Between 2 and 10 hours of sleep over a five-day period
💩 Living in your own dirt
🗣️ Shouting and screaming a lot
⚠️ Excessive consumption of both legal and illegal substances
🫰 Being too tight to buy food and hence going without for five days
🥵 Dehydration
Unfortunately, due to the self-inflicted nature of this illness, little sympathy can be expected.

But let’s put the bro science down for a bit and look into this further because the American Lung Association recognises it.

🤒 Understanding Festival Flu

Causes of Festival Flu

Festival flu is a term used to describe the combination of symptoms that many people experience after attending music festivals or other large gatherings. 

This type of illness is often caused by a mix of factors, including exposure to large crowds, dusty conditions, and lack of proper hygiene, all of which can increase the likelihood of contracting a cold or flu virus, like the rhinovirus.

Another contributing factor to festival flu is the overall lack of nutrition and hydration the average attendee affords themselves at these events. 

Revellers typically don’t prioritise eating proper meals or consuming enough water, which can lead to dehydration and weaken the immune system, making it easier for infections to take hold.

Symptoms of Festival Flu

The symptoms of festival flu are similar to those of a common cold or the flu and may include:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration

In some cases, festival flu can also cause more severe symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, and cramping, which may be indicative of bacterial infections or other complications. 

Festival flu typically lasts for about 3 to 7 days, but in some cases, it can persist for up to 2 weeks. If symptoms worsen or do not improve within this timeframe, it’s important to seek medical attention.

It’s essential for festival-goers to be aware of the risks associated with attending these large events and to take the necessary precautions to minimise their chances of contracting or spreading festival flu. 

This includes practising good hygiene, staying hydrated and nourished, and paying close attention to any signs of illness in themselves or others around them.

😷 Festival Flu Prevention

Hydration and Nutrition

Attending music festivals is loads of fun. Fact! But it’s essential to stay hydrated and well-nourished throughout the event. 

Drinking water regularly can help combat dehydration, especially when consuming alcohol, caffeine, or dancing under the sun. Carrying a reusable water bottle is a smart way to ensure you have enough fluids.

Proper nutrition is equally important. If you can, try to go for fresh fruits and wholesome meals packed to support your immune system. Failing that, just eat something!

Remember that spending hours dancing and partying can take a toll on your body, so choose nutritious options over fast food whenever possible.

Sleep and Rest

Quality sleep isn’t easy in a festival campground, but it’s a vital element for steering clear of illness and post-festival blues

Try to get enough shut-eye every night or sneak in a power nap during the day, especially if you are feeling tired or unwell. Don’t forget to bring earplugs and a comfortable sleeping setup to help mitigate the noisy and crowded campsites.

Hygiene and Cleanliness

Maintaining good hygiene at a music festival is crucial since germs, dirt, and pollen are abundant, especially when the heavens open and turn the ground into mud. 

To stay healthy, take advantage of hand sanitising stations and follow these simple steps:

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water, particularly before eating or touching your face.
  • Carry allergy medication or home remedies, such as zinc, if suffering from pollen allergies.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself from dust, dirt, and grass particles that can cause nasal dryness and facial or ear pressure.
  • Avoid sharing drinking glasses or utensils with others to prevent cross-contamination.

By focusing on hydration, nutrition, sleep, and cleanliness, music festival-goers can greatly reduce their chances of falling victim to the festival flu and enjoy an unforgettable experience.

🤕 Managing Festival Flu Symptoms

To recap, the symptoms can include colds, coughs, and other respiratory issues. Fortunately, there are several ways to manage these symptoms, including over-the-counter remedies, home treatments, and lifestyle changes.

Over-the-Counter Remedies

These remedies can help manage colds and alleviate the symptoms of festival flu:

  • Vitamin C: This essential vitamin can help boost the immune system and may even prevent colds.
  • Zinc: This mineral is essential for a healthy immune system. It can help shorten the duration of a cold if taken at the onset of symptoms.
  • Weekend bender recovery checklist: For anyone looking to beat back the Sunday scaries

On a serious note, you should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements.

Home Remedies

Some home remedies to try for easing festival flu symptoms include:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids: Staying hydrated can help your body recover faster from the illness.
  • Resting: Giving your body adequate rest is crucial for recovery.
  • Gargling with warm salt water: This can help soothe a sore throat and reduce coughing.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to remedies and treatments, making some lifestyle changes can help you stay healthy during the festival season. Some recommendations by the American Lung Association are:

  • Starting allergy medication before allergy season: This will minimise the likelihood of experiencing allergy symptoms while at a festival.
  • Eating well: Consuming fresh fruits and drinking smoothies can help maintain proper nutrition and keep your immune system strong.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal to feel sick after a festival?

Yes, it’s common to feel sick after a festival due to factors like dehydration, lack of sleep, overconsumption of alcohol, poor diet, and exposure to large crowds, which can lead to illness. However, if symptoms persist, seek medical attention.

What is the rave flu?

The rave flu, also known as festival flu, is a term used to describe the symptoms of illness—such as fatigue, body aches, cough, and fever—that some people experience after attending a music festival or rave, often due to factors like dehydration, lack of sleep, overconsumption of alcohol, and exposure to many people in close proximity.