There’s something about festivals that make me want to come back for more. But as years went by my attitude towards it changed.
As a teenager, festivals like Glastonbury and Benicassim were stories that I read only in music magazines and saw on television. When I moved to Europe, it was one of the points to do in my bucket list.
I went to my first European festival in Werchter back in 2009. Rock Werchter is Belgium’s biggest festival and is known for being one of the best in Europe.
It was as if I went to music heaven to see all my favorite artists all in one place. I and my friends were treated to a great selection of music in an atmosphere that smell a mix of booze, weed and nature. Jason Mraz, Bloc Party, the Killers and Coldplay headlined on the day I went and I wasn’t disappointed.
In the Philippines, it’s only in dreams where you’ll get a chance to see them all together. And even if it happens, it will be five times more expensive.
There were more than 50,000 people then but I didn”t mind the crowd. They even heightened the experience. I remember one moment where we joined the crowd singing Viva La Vida as we walked towards the bus station.
Last year, I accidentally went to Belgium’s Tomorrowland. It wasn”t particularly the music that I normally listen to but I had fun. It was a massive party and definitely something someone should experience once in their life.
Same same but different
This year, I decided to go to Rock Werchter again.
I had the same expectations as in 2009, and I know that my preference had changed, so the experience was different. It was great and hardly had any regrets, but I accepted the fact that it wasn’t the same anymore.
I still like the music and I didn’t mind the crowd of 80,000 people in general but having to sift to the crowd just to be able to hear from the stage sucked the fun out of the experience.
I had a few beers but I knew that I wasn’t there to get drunk. At some moment, I was pissed with the other people who kept on stepping on us while we were seating.
I didn’t feel the same euphoria as the last time. I danced and sang with the music, but the feeling wasn’t the same.
I felt that it was dirty, smelly and I was relieved when I finally left the festival.
I slept on the train station. It did the same three years ago, but this time I regret that I didn’t pay for a hotel instead.
Will I be going to a festival again? Definitely. I’m already planning which ones I’d love to go next year.
I had complains but in the end I realized that I should have come with lower expectations.
It’s an attitude that I think didn’t only cover festivals, but my feeling towards travel in general.
After being on the road for five years, my expectations have changed. I now make conscious choices that values comfort more. I pick hotels over hostels, prefer quiet drinks in a pub over partying until dawn, and wake up early than nursing a hangover until afternoon.
My preference may have changed and priorities may have evolved, but the spirit remains. I have to accept the fact that it’s time to grow up and that I grew up.
Have you been to a festival in Europe? How was your experience? Share your thoughts below