How To Discover Your Personal Festival of the Year

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Part 1 in ‘Festival of the Year’ series

In summer time, festivals take place each weekend. Anytime, anywhere. The problem is choice. Does multiple choice ring a bell?  Exams and all. Like you say? Think again. This time around multiple means hundreds and hundreds of options to choose from. Good luck in figuring out the right answer. There is a right answer, but it is different for every individual. So even if I would let you into my answer, it would not help you one bit. Good luck indeed. This guide should help.

Why Size Does Matter

You will find there are one-day festivals with over a dozen of different areas for you (not) to see and hear, all in just one day. And at the same time there will also be weekend-long festivals with just one or two areas. It seems silly for them to squeeze together so many areas together all in one day, does it not? And those two areas, will they not get boring after about a day or so? It all depends what you’re looking for.

There’s this festival that attracts up to 150.000 visitors. That’s right; one hundred and fifty thousand. Do you want to be one of the masses? The festival is called Glastonbury and it takes place in England. I believe it is in fact the biggest festival in the world. But it’s also sold out, so let’s cross that one out for 2013. Still the list remains long, way too long. Let’s take a peak on the other side of the ocean shall we. Oh, and before we do you’d might want to take a look at this picture of Glastonbury 2012.

Picture taken from

Glastonbury festival in England.

How Weather Does Matter

Have you ever heard of this festival called Burning Man? It takes place in the United States in the state of Nevada, in a desert. And deserts are deserts for a reason: it gets really hot up in there. It’s quite the opposite from Glastonbury, just take a look at this picture.

Burning Man festival takes place in a desert

Burning Man festival takes place in a big desert

At Burning Man you can’t buy anything. Not even water. They will only allow you onto the festival if you bring your own water supplies. Not just for drinking, but for showering, washing, cleaning, whatever. For a full week’s worth, multiplied by the amount of people that you’re with. Are you really up for that challenge? And if yes, how in the world are you going to bring it there? You’ll have to arrange for a car or camper. Good luck with figuring that out if you’re coming from the other side of the ocean. But my friends say it’s worth it.

Boom Boom Bass

Nature One in Germany is one of the biggest electronic music festivals in Europe. You get to arrive on Thursday and you’re welcome to stay up until Monday. You get to bring your own sound systems and DJ’s. Just take a guess what happens when 50.000 happy campers get to bring their own gear? The Nature One festival itself ends its music early, way early. As to why I have absolutely no idea. The result: a camping site that’s louder than the festival site.

Nature One's campsite - sound systems everywhere

Nature One’s campsite – sound systems everywhere

So you’ve come home from a good night partying at Nature One? About ready to head for sleep, are you not? Well guess what, your neighbor buddies never bought a ticket to the festival in the first place. They in fact went to bed when you left the camping site for the festival. When you were partying, they were sleeping. Now they’ve just woken up and they’re ready to send some 180 BPM terror hardcore beats your way. They’re not doing it just to keep you from your sleep, it’s just how they experience their festival. Let them. Earplugs won’t cut it – bring horse tranquilizers instead. And even then bass level frequencies will move the air in your air matres, keeping you from your REM sleep.

To Camp or Not to Camp

I’ve shown you just three examples of multiple-day festivals. Each very different, and there’s many more to choose from. Every festival has its own pro’s and con’s. Some festivals have more of a challenge than others, but there’s one thing all have in common: they involve camping. Are you ready to camp out for a few days? Not-sleep on deflated aero beds? Not-shower (or wait ages for a crappy one) and having to take at least one crap in a crappy dixie toilet? Are you ready for that?

You Versus Your Musical Taste

You and your favorite music might be what drives you to go and head out for a music festival in the first place. Music does indeed seem to be the obvious motivation to select a festival upon. But should it be, really? You may like the trippy goa-trance but do you like the hippies that come along with it? You might like the pounding tekno music but do you like to be amongst alienated squatters? Or the other way around, perhaps you do love the people but hate their music.


I can go on and on on this subject but it’s about time to wrap it up. Key is to find the one which matches you as a person rather than your musical taste. Don’t think about your friends (for now), think about you. Make up your own mindSome people can feel like home at any festival – I myself am all okay with either hippies or squatters. Goa-trance or tekno. Or a combination of all of those.

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