There’s a reason why summer is considered the most exciting and fun season. People take this time to relax from their working routines, enjoy some pleasant weather, and, of course, go to parties, music, and art events to remember for the rest of the year.
This year we are (once again) headed to Budapest, Hungary to report on one of the biggest European music events — Sziget Festival — and bring back the festival spirit to Cardiff through a series of blogs and pictures.
What to Expect From This?
Throughout the festival, we’ll be taking pictures and notes of everything happening around us. We’ll carefully choose the most important bits of information and some of the jaw-dropping pics (without spoiling too much of the festival events for all of you future Szitizens) and share them with you here and on our Social Media channels.
We’ll also be sharing our personal take on How to Do a Music Festival Right, which will include everything from accommodation life hacks to relaxation techniques. All in all, follow the series for some awesome advice on how to get the most out of a big music event like Sziget.
They say the first and the last days of the event are by far the most important ones. What and how you do on the first day determines the rest of your experience at the festival, so why not go that extra mile to make sure you’re living it to the fullest?
Let’s keep it short and sweet. Here are the top 10 things that you should pay attention to on the first day to assure your comfortable stay at the festival:
Probably the most important part of any festival event. Start planning your trip by checking the weather forecast for the region and then choosing the right camping gear. Don’t forget to pack both waterproofs and warm clothes. Even with 30˚C during the day, it can get pretty chilly at night, and you’ll wish you packed that extra blanket.
Some festivals will offer upgraded camping as well as basic camping options. As a rule, those will have more security, better showers/toilets, free charging stations and other perks. Highly recommended for those who prefer to stress less and be a little more comfortable.
2. Money Question
More and more festivals try and employ some sort of cashless system to handle all money transactions. Some of them give you a wristband with a digital code, some of them let you use contactless.
At Sziget you can get away with using your Mastercard debit card everywhere, for everything else there’s a handy Festipay system in place to ensure that you don’t lose any of your cash at the festival site.
3. Take Care of Your Group
Whether it’s a few hundred or a few thousand people in the crowd, it’s easy to lose your friend (-s) and be left on your own.
To avoid any unnecessary stress this may cause, we recommend choosing a meeting point somewhere away from the crowd, and (or) coming up with a group sign that will make it easier for you to find each other. The latter could be anything from Pikachu onesies to bright neon glow sticks.
4. Stay Charged
When you get to the festival site, one of the first things to do is to locate charging stations. There might be some that are free, but those probably fill in quite quickly and you gotta be among the first people who get there to take advantage of them.
Bear in mind that everybody wants to stay connected and post their photos on Instagram. Be prepared to queue to get your devices juiced up.
5. Figure Out Your City Commute
This one refers to both how to get to/from the festival, as well as occasional sightseeing, and lunch/dinner trips to local restaurants. The latter especially relevant if you’re going abroad to a country with amazing food culture (like, say, Hungary).
6. Food and Beverage On the Site
But of course, not every festival is located close to a major city like Budapest. Sometimes you’ll have to survive on the food found on the festival site (which will probably be plenty and of great variety). The only problem with that is high prices.
One way to avoid your festival spending going through the roof is to take some time on the first day to locate the cheapest meal options and bars with affordable drinks.
7. Do Some Planning
If the festival you’re going to is anything like Sziget, with over 200 music and art performances happening all throughout the festival week, chances are you won’t be able to see even half of it. Trying to be in two places at the same time will only bring disappointment and make you feel overwhelmed by the festival events.
We recommend going through the entire Line-Up either before the festival or on your first day and marking your favourites, shows that you think are absolute must see. As for the rest — go with the flow and worry less. You already made it there, you’re guaranteed to have a good time pretty much whatever you do from that point on.
8. Have a Look At the Festival Merchandise
Although your natural instinct will be to buy souvenirs at the end of the event, bear in mind that this will be the thinking of hundreds (or thousands) of other festival visitors. So if you want to get your hands on that sweet T-shirt that will remind you of all the fun things you did at the festival — make sure to grab it fast. The best things will sell out by the time you realise you wanted them.
9. Festival Competitions
Another way to bring some cool souvenirs home is to take part in festival competitions. For example, at Sziget Festival you can get anything from a cool festival flag to a branded T-shirt by taking part in some arts and crafts workshops or even by helping the festival staff with recycling.
10. Don’t Sweat It
Maybe the most important piece of advice of them all is to relax and keep breathing. Don’t try and chase every act you’re interested in — the festival flow will take you to the most interesting parts naturally. Let yourself be free and stay amazing!
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