21st April 2021

Avoiding An Event Hangover: Survival Tips

Event Hangover
Heather Holm

Have you been there? Done an event that starts at 6 am but doesn’t end until 3 or 4 am. Afterward, you go home, get some sleep, but you still have to get up at a reasonable time to function that day? Then you wake up feeling like you spent the night drinking way too much?

I call this the event hangover.

It’s close to the same feeling as a hangover, but you missed the entire section of the night that was enjoying a few drinks and hanging out with friends. There’s the headache, body aches, your feet hurt, and you don’t exactly remember what time you got home. Does any of this sound familiar?

As I do more and more shows each month with hours like this, I strive to avoid the event hangover as much as I can. Here are the tips and tricks I have found that help me avoid feeling terrible after a long event.

Drink lots of water


Forget the monster soda and coffee. Drink water all day and night long. If you must have something caffeinated pair it with a bottle of water as well. Along with this – make sure the water you are drinking doesn’t have any additives that counteract the point of drinking water. Be picky with bottled brands to make sure there isn’t added salt or bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up at the drinking fountain.


Eat right


Balance your meals and try to stick with your routine. Make sure to eat regularly to give you the fuel you need to make it through the long day. Most of all avoid the deep-fried food and the desire to overeat once the show is over. If you must snack – snack well, granola bars, fruit, protein bars, etc. will do the trick. Avoid the candy bars or the left-over doughnuts from the morning load in.

Wear the right kind of shoes


Unlike a real night out where we might wear cute shoes, don’t! Wear durable and reliable ones instead. If it is a long show, consider a change of shoes. I find if I change shoes halfway through, my feet don’t hurt as much the next day. Wear your composite or steel toes for load in and out, and other shoes designed for standing and walking in-between.

Shut down and get some sleep when you are done with work


Stay away from your computer, TV, or phone screen. Unwind by reading a book or magazine or by listening to soft music as you fall asleep. Focusing on digital media can keep you up and focused on everything else but rest. Get as much rest as you can so you can recover from the long hours and hopefully avoid the event hangover!


Article by SoundGirl: Heather Holm

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The mission of SoundGirls.org is to inspire and empower the next generation of women in audio. Our mission is to create a supportive community for women in audio and music production, providing the tools, knowledge, and support to further their careers. SoundGirls.Org was formed in 2013 by veteran live sound engineers Karrie Keyes and Michelle Sabolchick Pettinato and operates under the Fiscal Sponsorship of The California Women’s Music Festival, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. In 2012, Karrie and Michelle participated in the “Women of Professional Concert Sound” panel at the AES Conference in San Francisco. The panel was hosted by the Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) and moderated by WAM founder Terri Winston. Terri brought together five women working in live and broadcast audio. The groundbreaking panel (which also included Jeri Palumbo, Claudia Engelhart and Deanne Franklin), provided young women and men a glimpse into life on the road, tips and advice, and a Q & A with the panelists. More importantly though, was how incredibly powerful the experience was for the panelists. We had all been in the business for 20 years or more, yet most of us had never met before that day and within minutes we bonded like long-lost sisters. We were struck by how similar our experiences, work ethics, and passions were and wondered why our paths had never crossed and how our careers would have been different had we been there to support each other through the years. Each of us are strong on our own, but together we were even stronger and a powerful force. We were empowered. Each of us had been asked hundreds of times in our careers: Are there other women doing sound? How did you get into sound? How would a young woman go about getting into sound? Through creating SoundGirls.Org, we hope to establish a place for women working in professional audio to come for support and advice, to share our success and failures, our joys and frustrations, and for empowerment and inspiration.

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