Festivals are absolutely incredible. At festivals you can find all walks of life, in any circumstances at any time. If you’re from Ireland at a festival, you’re almost guaranteed to find someone you know from home too. In my abundant, 5 whole years of adult life, I’ve gotten around to a few. I’ve gotten to a couple in hot European countries as well (Actually just the same one, twice). In my time, I’ve managed to pick out the pros and cons of festivals outside of the UK and Ireland. Below is the non-exhaustive lists of what I believe to be fundamental to any experience of festival-life abroad.
- This may not be true for all festivals, but for Benicassim, you basically live on the fucking beach. You roll out of your sweaty cage of death, stumble for about 7 minutes and BOOM, you’re at the beach. That’s fairly handy.
- Which leads me onto this point, you essentially get two holidays at a European festival. One is the sunny, sit-by-the-beach-drinking-cocktails kind, and the other is getting absolutely shit-faced to live music-kind, it’s a good combo if you can hack the sesh!
- Cheap alcohol. Good Lord. Alcohol is comically cheap at these things. You can pick up a 70cl for less than a fiver not a problem. This is essentially means you can drink yourself into oblivion and some change, for less than the price of a Creole from KCs? Easy game.
- I feel like this next pro is true for all people; men, women, gay, straight, whatever you’re into. THERE ARE FUCKING 10s WALKING AROUND EVERYWHERE. It’s like the most beautiful people on Earth congregate at festivals in the sun. God** is just dropping dimes left, right and centre. Neck injury is rampant at these things because of the sheer quantity of 9s and 10s passing-by. Good times though.
- You meet some memorable people. I haven’t been to a festival abroad yet where I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed my neighbours. Since everyone is on the same vibe, everyone gets along and rides out the sesh together. It’s a beautiful thing.
- Everything you do at these things is a sweaty fucking mess. Nobody escapes this harrowing truth. Wake up. Sweat. Sit Down. Sweat. Stand up. Sweat. Pour up. Sweat. (Swimming Pools). It’s pretty disgusting but nothing is as bad as using the jacks. Imagine you need to drop one right? Now imagine that in order to do that you have to step inside your own personal oven and lay one out? It’s carnage. You come out of the toilet, sweat dripping off the tip of your nose, praying that you never have to re-enter (You’ll be back though).
- Cheap alcohol. Yup this is absolutely a pro and a con. Although it’s unbelievable to be able to have a great time for so little money, the Irish condition doesn’t let it stop there. Because it’s so cheap we just buy way more than we need and get belligerently written-off. Alcohol needs to be expensive for us brainless Irish fucks to be safe!
Traveling to and from the place is a nightmare. It’s manageable on the way out because you’re not hungover, or malnourished, or sleep deprived. However on the way back it could not be more close to hell on Earth if you tried. (Check Here for my thoughts on flying!)
- Living in a tent. Now, this is a reality for all festivals. But when it’s super hot the entire time, living in a tent is absolute bollix. Every time you get in, you’re doing your best to be out as fast as possible. It’s hot, everything smells and nobody is having a good time. Tents are a shit-laugh in the heat.
To be absolutely fair, there are way more ups than downs at festivals in hot countries. You’re guaranteed to have unbelievable craic and feel the effects of post-holiday blues when you get back. As for recovery time, well I’m still not even close to being back to fully functioning and it’s been a week. Still, definitely worth it.
**God may or may not exist