Yesterday, Serrano (my boyfriend) took me to Bamboozle at the Angels Stadium in Anaheim. If you've never heard of it, don't worry. I hadn't heard of it until Serrano told me we were going to see AFI, and they were playing at that show. We saw some of the other bands as well, but the AFI show was the highlight of our night. Davey Havok (the lead singer) may very well be one of the most eccentric and androgynous-looking men on this planet, but it's inspiring to watch someone do something they truly, deeply love. That's very obvious with him, and it was an interesting lesson to learn in the middle of a mosh pit.
Anyway, this was my first show/festival/convention type thing I've been to since going gluten and casein free. And I go to a fair amount. Serrano grew up going to shows and seeing bands, and I've only gone every once in a while. But together, we attend tattoo conventions, individual shows, and festivals like Bamboozle. But since some of these events go on for several hours or even a few days, here are my pointers to prevent glutenous pain.
Eat And Drink First.
This may seem obvious, but it's important to remember for any event where you can't be too sure about the food. My advice is to prepare for yourself what you would normally eat at a show, like pizza, hot dogs, teriyaki, etc. Or even cupcakes? For some bizarre reason they were being sold yesterday. Anyway. In my experience, I feel much better if I've pigged out beforehand on a healthier, cheaper, and pain-free version of what everyone else is eating around me. This will make you less likely to cheat, and therefore less likely to be thrown into agony's arms later. If you're at an event where you can leave and come back, then you're golden so long as you have the time.
As for the drinking, I'm not condoning that you get trashed or drink in your car (or other means of transportation). But, the alcoholic options at these events are very limited. Beer is usually the only thing you can come by, although yesterday Red Bull had a booth with hard liquor (some of which can be gluten free, like rum, tequila, or potato-based vodka). However, this calls for Spice's Soapbox. As a twenty-six year old girl who has ushered in her early twenties with plenty of drunken nights, I understand wanting to drink. But the effects of Red Bull and any hard alcohol on the body can be detrimental, even causing death. Sadly, this leaves us gf people with nothing. My advice is to drink beforehand and get a DD if you really want to drink that much. If not, then drink after you leave. Being gluten free doesn't mean you can't do things you enjoy, it just means making adjustments.
Research The Food.
If you're attending a convention or day-long festival, I suggest to look at the website for the event. Normally these will have lists of vendors or can give you an idea of what your options will be. If you weren't able to check it out ahead of time, allow yourself some time when you first get to your event to scope out the food situation. I suggest doing this early, before or in between bands start playing or the area gets too loud. That way, you can double check on the food items you think you can eat so that you can easily pick a place later that you know is safe to eat at.
Take Someone Who Isn't Afraid To Say No To You.
Whether this is your bff or your bf, it's better to attend these types of events (or any where glutenous food is rampant, for that matter) with someone who knows what you like and isn't afraid to tell you know. I've already instructed my mom (you may know her as Spice's Lovely Mother) and Serrano (my boyfriend) to simply say, "It's not worth the pain" whenever I see something forbidden that I want to eat. This helps me since, unfortunately, I'm very susceptible to the power of persuasion. But if you have at least one person as your support group, it helps as a reminder to avoid anything that has a possibility for pain.
If you are going to eat, eat sensibly. Below is a picture of what I ate yesterday, which was an LA style hot dog, where it's wrapped in bacon and served with grilled onions and bell peppers. For this I went back to the easy standby of no bun, which is still a delicious way to enjoy proper festival junk food. If you are going to eat, it's mostly a matter of paying attention and ruling out anything that even might have wheat in it.