Bamboozle: 10 things you should know before you go

Bamboozle is a music festival that takes place in New Jersey every year right around this time of the year. Founded by John D’Esposito, Bamboozle began in 2003. While keeping up the annual festival in New Jersey, Bamboozle has also acted as the Bamboozle Roadshow and a festival in other cities, like Chicago, Illinois and Anaheim, California. The festival attracts close to 100,000 people each year–and most of those people are traveling to the festival from somewhere outside of East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The lineup for Bamboozle 2011, which kicks off tomorrow, certainly includes some head-turning
acts. Motley Crue, Lil Wayne, and Bruno Mars are some of the names you’ll see in big bold type on the show’s ads, but some perhaps-lesser-known acts will prove to be worth your turnpike road trip if you catch their sets. I’m not gonna tell you who to see, but I’ll tell you this… if I were going to Bamboozle, I’d be sure to check out Circa Survive, An Horse, Das Racist, Eisley, Starting Last, and Thrice.

If you’re traveling to Bamboozle, you probably already have your tickets since the festival is happening tomorrow. But you might not have done your homework yet on everything you can and can’t do at Bamboozle. Before you pack your bags and depart for a New Jersey music adventure, make sure you know the rules and have packed accordingly. Because nothing quite kills a music festival buzz like having your brand new cooler confiscated.

So here we are, in no particular order, none at all, some things you should know before you go.
1. The New Meadowlands Stadium is a smoke-free stadium. Roll this one around in your mouth for a minute… you won’t be smoking inside the festival. So if you have a nicotine lust that’s hard to kick, it would be to your advantage to think of a workable solution before you’re sweating anxious bullets, begging a security guard for mercy.

2. Don’t wear clothing that displays indecent messages. How exactly ‘indecent’ is defined here is beyond my conjecturing, but I’m sure your best judgment will do the trick.

3. You may only bring in a bag that’s no larger than 12 inches on each side. Giant-purse-wearing-ladies and backpack-carrying-dudes: beware. Not only will your bags be searched, but you won’t be bringing them into the festival at all if they’re too big. And if you can’t bring in your bag, then you can’t bring in your raincoat and your hoodie and if you can’t bring those two things in, what are you going to do when it’s cold and raining? Wish you’d brought a smaller bag, that’s what you’ll do.

4. You cannot bring in: bottles, cans, hard-sided coolers, thermoses, or ice chests. Translation: Basically, you’re going to have to buy your beverages inside the festival. Even if you manage to bring in the right kind of cooler, you know, the kind with soft sides, you’ll still have to fill it with drinks purchased inside. And even though they didn’t explicitly say ‘no flasks’, you can’t bring in alcohol, either.

5. No lawn chairs. If you want to comfortably set up shop in front of the stage all day long on your nice little lawn chair, well, it ain’t gonna happen.

6. Don’t bring in stickers or promotional materials. Chances are strong that your band is already struggling enough. The last thing you guys need is to watch a bag-check employee trash the newly printed cds you had made just for Bamboozle promotion. Save yourself some time, money, energy, and tears by leaving the promotional material at home to begin with.

7. Leave the umbrella behind. Bamboozle might be a rain or shine festival, but if it rains, it’s on you to keep yourself dry. You can’t bring your umbrella inside, which means, I’m guessing, you either get to purchase an umbrella inside if it rains or you’ll be expected to mud-fight with other attendees circa Woodstock ’94.

8. Leave the baby behind, too. Ok. I take that back. You can bring babies to Bamboozle, but you can’t bring strollers. So keep this stroller-ban in mind before you decide on whether or not you’ll be bringing your young one along.

9. No: beach balls, banners, flags of any kind, frisbees, or laser pointers. You’ll have to figure out how to have fun without these toys.

10. All bags AND VEHICLES are subject to inspection upon entry. Anyone who refuses can be turned away. And depending on what you’re hiding in your trunk, you might be better off turning away.

Image Credit: Dana Cama