When you come across a promo video or an after movie for a festival it all looks like a dream. Crowds of beautiful people smiling in the camera, colourful lights and decorations, all in a beautiful setting. With your favourite artists on top of that, it does make going to a festival an experience anyone would want to live.
However, thinking that your trip will be all perfect party and glitter is a little naive. Going to a festival comes with certain struggles that can easily ruin the whole thing for you and your friends if you don’t come prepared.
Based on our Sziget 2017 experience, we put together a small list of annoyances that festival goers face, how to avoid some of them and deal with the others.
1. Camping-related Issues
Some music festivals happen to be based in major European cities, with all sort of facilities around, including accommodation. However, that’s an exception rather than a rule, and normally going to a summer festival means you’ll have to take care of your sleeping facilities and camping.
Make sure you plan some time before the festival to do all the shopping, and packing needed. And don’t forget about transporting all your camping gear to the festival site.
Pro Tip: Some festivals will have upgraded camping options that will include better security, shower/toilet facilities, some lockers, and sometimes wifi access. It might seem like an unnecessary extra, but if you’re going to be living in a tent longer than 2 nights, little things like that will matter.
2. Festival Overwhelm
The record number of people that attended Sziget throughout one festival week is 441,000 people (that’s more than the population of Cardiff City). Being around that many people and constant loud music can get pretty overwhelming. Try and make sure you don’t spend all your time interacting with strangers and maybe even take some time to recharge and be on your own. A good way to do it is to find an interesting site nearby (but far enough to take you away from the festival craziness) and plan a little trip
Try and make sure you don’t spend all your time interacting with strangers and maybe even take some time to recharge and be on your own. A good way to do this is to find an interesting site nearby (but far enough to take you away from the festival craziness) and plan a little trip there in between of the festival events.
Sure, music festivals today have a lot to offer. Normally, besides the actual gigs, there will be all sorts of workshops, art and culture performances that you can attend during the day before the big party starts.
It’s important to plan your stay carefully to make sure you don’t miss out on the most important things. At the same time, over-planning can make you just as stressed and disappointed. You know yourself best, so make sure you allow yourself time to rest and just enjoy the atmosphere without having to be anywhere or do anything specific.
4. Having to Walk Everywhere
If the festival you’re going to is anything like Sziget, be prepared to walk a lot. And I mean, A LOT. Sziget Festival site is best described as enormous. It takes up an entire island, and it generally took us 15 to 20 minutes to walk anywhere from our camping site. And you’ll probably have to repeat those walks quite a few times each day of your stay.
Our advice? Take care of your feet and bring some comfortable shoes. Your body will thank you later.
5. Getting Closer to The Stage
You’ll probably have a favourite artist playing at the festival, or a main stage act that you’ll want to see most out of all. Most people try and get as close to the stage as possible, and it gets packed out there very quickly. We found it more enjoyable to stay a little behind, away from the crowd. It gives you a little more space to move around and dance. And you still get to see the artists on the big screens.
6. Festival Comedown
Attending a big music event like that can be a life-changing experience. One that you might find hard to recover from. Going back to your everyday life may even make you somewhat depressed.
The best way to deal with this is to stay in touch with the people that you shared that wonderful experience with and to make future plans of going to more similar events.
Over to You
What things have you struggled with while attending a music festival? How did you manage to avoid/deal with them? Please, share your experiences with us in the comments below!
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