Preventing Theft at Festivals

Last year at Dreamstate, there was a serious problem with cell phone theft that even resulted in one of my friends getting injured in a fight. We believe these aren’t your average pick pocketers. They’re an organized group of thieves who work together to prey on the PLUR vibes of this trance event. They work in teams, with one or two people moving swiftly through the crowd feeling people’s pockets for loose phones. Once they have identified a victim, they’ll grab the phone and then quickly pass it off to one of their cohorts to make an escape.

I actually felt one of the pick pocketers’ hand feeling the content of my shorts pockets. Luckily my shorts had zippers so it was harder for them to grab anything. So when I felt it, I immediately looked over and saw a guy and a girl trying to weave through our group. He immediately got defensive even before I had a chance to say anything – clearly the sign of someone guilty of something. Darren ended up following him around until he left our group. But not everyone in our group was so lucky. We had at least 5 friends in our group fall victim to theft!

This is why we have to have preventative measures when going to larger scale festivals/raves like Dreamstate. In addition to getting a locker to store you valuables, here are several items that you can get to make sure you don’t lose your belongings! And then check out my video from last year talking about it.

Cell Phone Tether:
If you don’t put your phone in the locker and have to carry your phone with you, then I definitely recommend a tether so that you can have it attached to your belt loop or a fanny pack. If a thief comes by and tries to take it, but feels resistance, he will immediately stop and move on. They won’t purposefully get into an altercation. So this is a MUST HAVE if you’re going to take your phone with you to take pictures/videos.

Shorts w/ Secret or Zipper Pockets:
If you don’t use a tether, then you’ll need to hide your phone in secret pockets where crooks can’t get to. Again, they want to make a quick escape, so they’re not going to feel into your pants to grab a phone.

Leg/Ankle Bag:
Another way is to put your phone down by your ankles. Yes, this will cause the phone to be further away from you. But the thieves are moving quickly through the crowd and they will not be scanning below your pockets much. This isn’t as safe as a tether, but would be a good alternative. This is how I personally carry around my phone and festivals and parties. So you can get an armband and just put it around your ankles instead.

Compression Socks:
And if you don’t want the bulk of an ankle bag, then having nice compression socks may do the trick. Just stick your phone into your sock and it’ll be hidden away. It just might be a little uncomfortable dancing with the phone stuck to your calf.

Whatever you decide, just make sure you have some sort of anti-theft plan! Watch my video from last year’s Dreamstate to hear about the methods I use.

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