A few weekends ago I went to my first music festival up by Hamburg in Germany. There was me and 75,000 other people. It was a bit overwhelming. But god the music. How insane is it to see Lily Allen, the Kooks, Arcade Fire and Macklemore all in the same weekend. I didn’t watch all the bands and I didn’t enjoy all of them either. Actually my favorite ones I didn’t even know because they were German bands.
So here’s my list of suggestions if you’re heading to a festival this big.
1. Be prepared to not sleep. I came off a 24 hour party binge from my birthday to sleep on the ground in the freezing cold. Needless to say my first day I was not happy.
2. Someone in your group needs to get there early. If you want to be anywhere decent you have to have one person sacrifice their whole Thursday while everyone else takes their time.
3. Read up on the festival. This year they had literally set up a grocery store on the grounds. We’d already gone grocery shopping and carried all our groceries the 20 minute walk from the car to the camping site by the time we found out.
4. Layers. While my friends at SouthSide all came home sun burnt after the same weekend, we had lightning, torrential downpours and high speed winds. I was not expecting any of this and froze my ass off.
5. Bring beer and bitch drinks. Think about it, you start drinking at ten am breakfast and will be dancing most of the night. Wine gives a lot of people headaches and you don’t want to be so drunk you don’t remember the bands, or where your tent is.
6. Everyone is your friend, branch out. We played Flanky ball, some game I’ve never
heard of in Canada. But maybe your friends can only handle chugging two cans where you can do four. Make friends with the next camp and join their games, they don’t mind.
7. Fanny packs are coming back. Everyone had fanny packs for their cigarettes, lighters, phones and money. Much safer then a purse of backpack and you don’t have to check if it’s there or falling off all the time.
8. Your shoes will get wrecked. It’ll be dusty or muddy. Either way, don’t bring your favorite shoes.
9. Don’t only go to bands you know. I ended up loving You Me at 6, Fettes Brot and the Wombats. All bands I’d never heard of before.
10. You are going to see some fucked up shit. Pardon my French but one night at four am, a group of 7 naked men walked by. Just cause. I saw wonder women, as a man. And two other boys covered in Saran Wrap. It’s all in the festival spirit.
After this weekend I’m not sure I could handle another festival. I loved and hated it. Passanger, Ed Sheeran and Crookers killed it while Macklemore was a disappointment. To go back they’d have to have some pretty awesome bands that were rare to see, like Childish Gambino, Fitz and the Tantrums and City and Colour. Now that I’d pay to see.