December has only just begun and it's been so eventful already. And the festival season too has just kicked off! And we don't mean just Christmas, but music festivals! We don't know about you, but this is the most exciting season of the year for me. These few winter months make for the perfect setting for a music festival. Ask anyone who attended the surreal Echoes of Earth festival in Bangalore last month.
But wait till I show you what's in store for this month – Sunburn Festival 2017 in Pune, Timeout 72 Hours in Goa, Enchanted Valley Carnival in Mumbai and We Are Connected Kolkata in Kolkata. That's just this month. February in 2018 will also see the sultry SulaFest and the sublime Vh1 Supersonic!
Are you ready for the season? In case you're not, don't you worry. If there is something we're good at, it's got to be at experiencing music festivals. We have prepared a little guide for you to make sure you enjoy as much as we do. Do keep in mind that each fest comes with its own features, and what I've listed below is a generalized guide. Check it out!
Always book in advance – early birds end up saving half your money. Before heading to the fest, make sure you have all booking details in place. A quick read through the ticket T&Cs will help you with what's required. The usual vital items are a photo ID, e-ticket, booking ID, credit card, etc. You don't want to stress out at the venue due to missing details.
Always plan your travel and logistics according to the venue. Most times, public transport is the way to go. That diminishes the concern of parking. Once the event ends, you may end up taking hours to escape due to traffic. Be smart. Also, if the venue may take forever to reach, don't forget to make yourself a drink or two for the road. Pre-gaming on the way to a fest is the best way to get into the mood. But please, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.
Things to Carry
Sunglasses: While winter here means pleasant nights, the days are still sunny.
Jacket: Do carry a pullover for the night, it's likely to get chilly. A wise lady once said, "Beta, sweater pehno."
Accessories: Now's the only time you can wear that Guy Fawkes mask. Or if you want to avoid being generic, go for something unique, there is all sorts of offbeat stuff available online and otherwise. Just keep it simple.
Tissues: Always. Sanitizer too.
Power banks: Actually, don't carry them. That way you will use your phone less.
An open mind: No harm in trying out new music. Nothing as good as discovering fresh sounds.
Things Not to Carry
Outside food and beverage: But you know that already. They have some yummy stuff inside.
Ciggies: Don't carry cigarettes either, since some fests don't allow even packed boxes. That's fair since you can buy them inside for the same price.
Valuables: Wear all the quirky stuff you want, but wearing expensive items or carrying valuables is rather unnecessary. There is a sense in simplicity.
Attitude: Keep it in check. Keep smiling.
The best part about festivals? People wear whatever they want, without caring what others might think. That tee you hesitantly bought and never worn? Time to finally bring it out. Seriously, no one cares. If at all, it could be a conversation starter. Just make sure you're in light and comfortable clothing.
Well, only the toughest survive at festivals. They can be as funky as they want but make sure they're comfortable too – apart from dancing, you'll be walking way more than you'd expect! Trips to the bars, loos, shuttling from stage to stage, etc. Always on the run.
A little planning goes a long way. Make a sincere effort to get there early. Everything is just way smoother, thanks to easier crowd management. This way you enter without any hassle and get to explore the entire festival. You can familiarise yourself with the venue for better planning. For example, it always helps to know where the first aid, toilets, bars, etc. are located.
The trickiest feature. Festival managers break their heads over forming the schedule. After all, how do you fit in so much talent in one day? Be assured, whoever is playing, at whatever time, will be killing it! So make sure you get there early and get a taste of all the acts out there.
One of the biggest decisions of my life came when I had to choose between two of my favorite acts on at the same time at EVC last year. Then I asked myself, why not both? Hustle, hustle!
Sometimes, your friends may want to stay in one place. With no disrespect, feel free to bail on them and head to the stage of your choice. Always choose music over people.
You can always catch up with your friends later. Be particular about arriving at the dedicated meeting points, since your network is likely to be jammed. In case you can't find those buggers, avoid wasting time looking for them and just dance where you are. You can always make new friends.
Don't be. Music is the drug.
Eat wisely. Drink responsibly. Most importantly – stay hydrated. Don't hesitate to offer water to your nearest raver. You are part of a family now.
If your fest has a campsite, get ready for an 'in-tents' experience. See what I did there? While they may provide you with some essentials, you must make sure you have all your toiletries in place, and carry an abundant amount of tissues. Trust me, lads! Also, if you are staying outside the festival, make sure your hotel is close to the venue, it makes a huge difference and a relieving one at that.
At the end of the day, don't forget that you are here for a good time. Remember that music is always the answer. Driven by the music, these lovely people make the vibe. And vibes don't lie.
Hope this helps you! In case it doesn't, feel free to reach out to me in the comments below!