Shift Festival Parents Guide
What every parent needs to know about bringing your child to our festival and how to survive!
We are an all-ages event, however we are not a “child-oriented” festival. YOU, as a parent or guardian, are solely responsible for the safety and well-being of your child at this festival. There is no designated “kids” or “family” area. There is no babysitter and no drop-off activity area. We do not encourage free range roaming children… as they can form packs and can go all lord-of-the-flies on us!
Parents and guardians who are not following these guidelines may be asked to leave the event by festival management. Yes, we’re serious.
This burner-centric festival is located in Eastern Oregon, a rugged outdoor environment. There are rocks, holes in the ground, venomous snakes (including RATTLESNAKES), fire ants, hot dry sunny weather, wind, cold nights, and a large body of murky water that ranges from 2-10 feet deep. There are naked hippies here, doing what naked hippies do, and your child will inevitably see one.
We ask that parents and guardians not care for their children at SHIFT Festival while intoxicated. Please have a sitter watch your children if you choose to imbibe. Festival management reserves the right to ask you to leave the event at any time if you are not following these guidelines.
While it is highly recommended that children be accompanied by a parent or guardian, if you choose to let your older child roam, walkie-talkies are highly encouraged for communication. Work out an emergency plan for if you get separated, including choosing a meet-up location. (Info Booth is a great meetup location!) Make sure your child knows to ask for help from the Grass Guardians in green shirts.
The bar at Nasty’s is off-limits to everyone under 21. This is not a place for anyone who cannot drink. Sorry, not sorry! (the Live Music area is still open to those under 21, of course)
There are venomous snakes, fire ants, and other potentially dangerous wildlife. Be on the lookout.
Listen to your child’s needs. If they are tired, make sure they get enough rest. If they are hungry, feed them. Apply sunblock regularly! And for the love of Chantico make sure they are drinking enough water.
What to bring:
- First-aid kit and all prescription medications needed for you and your child.
- Proper footwear. The ground is rugged and uneven, being barefoot is not encouraged.
- Sunscreen. Wear and reapply it several times a day.
- Sunglasses and a bandana for dust
- Extra layers. While it is very hot during the day, it can be very cold at night.
- Water and a water bottle. Make sure your child is properly hydrated at all times. Make sure they have their own water bottle and know where to fill it.
- Ear protection. If your child is sensitive to loud noises, make sure they wear them near the stages.
- A hiking headlamp, flashlight, and/or battery-operated lights. When it gets dark outside, make sure your child is well lit.
- Extra snacks and comfort foods, especially if they’re not already keen or familiar with camping in general.
- The pond has lifeguards. They are working to keep the area safe. They are not babysitters and while they will try, they can not see everything happening at the pond at once.
- All children MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian in and out of the water at all times. If your kid is in the water, you should be in the water with them!
- If your child is not a strong lake swimmer, they must wear a life vest in the water. NO exceptions! Water wings and pool noodles are not enough. Make sure to bring your own life vest.
- If your child is found unattended in the water or on the beach, you maybe be asked to leave the event by festival management. We take their safety seriously.
Ranger Cucumber says: “Be a pro-active parent, make a plan and if you’re with a partner and it’s your turn, it’s your turn and you miss the activity or the dj or whatever. Don’t think you’ll necessarily get to “festival” like you normally would before them — especially if you’re doing it solo. Be a parent. Expect it all to fail and all the tears will fall and maybe you might have to leave early (they’re the boss, not you.)”
Ranger Pandora says: “If your kids are still in diapers, seriously consider whether you want to take them at that age, as they may not remember or get much out of it. Realize that if you do take them, you need to go above and beyond to make them as comfortable as possible, and this will be more of a ‘getting used to parenting at a festival’ experience for you, while a ‘getting used to being at a festival’ experience for them. Realize you may spend a lot of time at camp soothing them, and you will miss out on a lot. Also, consider what you’re going to do with the dirty diapers — a Diaper Genie or a really airtight tub might be helpful. An RV makes things way easier with kids this young. Babywearing makes everything easier.”
As Ranger Cucumber and Ranger Pandora say please: “DO NOT M.O.O.P. YOUR CHILD. Be prepared!” (M.O.O.P. = Matter Out Of Place)
It will please the Volcano greatly to see happy, healthy parents, guardians, and children having the time of their lives at SHIFT!”