[Will Gould and Cassie Whitt vs. the sun. Photo by: Bobby Makar]

Seal your coffin lids, my creepy friends. The sun is quickly encroaching on our once-dreary days. And that means the best/worst time of our year is coming: Warped Tour. We love it, we hate it, it burns… My, does it burn. As a full-blown, hissing-at-the-sun summer hater, I have some tips to keep you from turning to ash on the big day. I also reached out to my sisters and brothers in darkness, William Control, Ash Costello (New Years Day) and Will Gould (Creeper), for their input.

Just be William Control

William Control GIF

Okay, so this only applies to one person on the planet, but when I asked him how he was going to keep it [coffin emoji coffin emoji 100 emoji] on Warped Tour, Our Unholy Gothfather had one thing to say: “I don’t need to keep it [coffin emoji]. I am [coffin emoji]. Therefore everything I do is [coffin emoji]. Even my Hawaiian shirts.” But, on the real, he’s traveling in an air conditioned bus this summer. He’ll be fine. One thing you can learn from this? A lightweight Hawaiian shirt can still be mad goth as long as you remain mad goth while wearing it. 

Buy sun-proof accessories

Will Gould Creeper GIF

My dear friend Will Gould, aka the singer of Creeper or, for the context in this article, a pale British man who has long hair and who intends to wear a thick pleather jacket onstage every day, has declared himself an “enemy of summer.” How is he going to reconcile with his enemy over the coming months? In short, he’s not. But he has a select few items to shield himself: “Kevin [Iavaroni, formerly of Old Wounds] had a parasol when I saw him last year. That seemed like a reasonable thing to do. I’ve got some heart-shaped sunglasses that I’ve bought in anticipation of Warped Tour. I think maybe a hat. Every time I go to Europe, I always buy these hats because I want to look like Andrew Eldritch from the Sisters Of Mercy, and every time I come home, I put it in a cupboard, because if you wear one around Southampton, people think you’re some sort of undertaker. I’ve bought the same hat like three times now, so maybe I’ll bust one of those out!”

Dump three gallons of makeup setting spray on your face

Ash Costello GIF

The lovely Miss Ash Costello wears a full face of makeup onstage every day and it some-the-fuck-how remains flawless. Well, I guess it’s not so much of a mystery. She uses Model In A Bottle setting spray to finish her look and to keep it in place. She, like Gould, plans to invest in a black umbrella and also recommends, “Don’t sacrifice fashion for heat! Get creative!” 

Dump 17 gallons of sunscreen on your everywhere

Sunburn GIF

This seems entirely obvious, but there’s always that one year where you forget the sunscreen at home, and you’re all, “It’s going to be fine. I’m going to be totally fine,” as you grin toward the main stage and pretend not to feel flesh literally peeling off your body. My lovelies, pack your bag the night before, check it in the morning, check it before you go to your car. In the week leading up to Warped Tour, place sticky notes on all your surfaces reminding you not to forget your sunscreen. Mates, DO. NOT. FORGET. YOUR. SUNSCREEN.

Invest in a harness dress or crop tank

Straps are in…if what you’re wearing has five of them that form the shape of a pentagram on your chest, that is. If you take this route, it is especially important that you use a fuckton of sunscreen. There are also a ton of très creepy crop tanks available. I’m especially fond of this “Goth Spice” one, which covers the ’90s throwback trend as well as creep factor.

Drink lots of blood

Er—I mean water. Drink water. Yeah…

Start wearing your shoe of choice NOW! 

Platforms can be especially comfortable, but not when they're just being broken in. Get ahead and prevent jump-prohibiting feet aches by wearing them all day, every day starting now. By summer, it will feel as if you're walking on air! 

Mini backpacks

Bat mini backpack on Amazon

One of my favorite accessories at the moment is my vegan leather mini backpack purse. It is a massive asset at shows, especially because I don't have to deal with holding it. It just sits there on my back and causes zero problems. There are tons of cute, spooky ones out there. Find one you love, pack everything you need and have room to spare for new merch and random freebies.

Manipulate the weather with your coven

Appealing to the powers of the universe for a slight drop in temperature couldn't hurt, right?

Wear black

Wear black GIF

Everyone is going to tell you to wear light colors and fabrics to combat the heat, but you're not going to listen to them anyway. So, I'll spare you. Just wear black.