I came of age at music festivals as a teenager. There was nothing better than being at a festival with some great bands playing on awesome music equipment, a looser grasp of the law, and open-minded people to befriend. Music festivals gave me a sense of belonging within a tribe as passionate about rock music as I was.
I still love music festivals, but I have found that as I have gotten older, they have become more difficult to navigate. There is still a charm to living with the bare necessities for a few days and being surrounded by like-minded people. However, I have a lower tolerance for how unsettling they are. Getting out of my comfort zone isn’t as natural as it used to be.
This is especially true at music festivals abroad, where the attendees speak different languages, unfamiliar foods are being hawked, and people have less respect for personal space.
Fortunately, I’ve found a number of ways to stay sane at a music festival abroad.
Watch some telly
The idea of watching TV at a music festival would have been blasphemous to my adolescent ears. It seems so counter to the whole idea of new experiences and open-mindedness. However, it is precisely because of this that it can be the perfect way to recharge.
You can even watch the series you’ve been following back home. If you’ve asked, can I watch Sky Go abroad, the answer is yes. Get a VPN and give yourself the chance to relax for a half hour or so when you feel most unsettled.
Just make sure that you limit your TV time. It should serve as a recharge, not a way to check out.
Bring power banks
In an ideal world, we would all leave our electronics behind when attending a music festival. But if you’re like me, you probably struggle without your smartphone at hand. You shouldn’t have it with you all the time, but you may well need it to navigate the festival itself. Organisers now use apps to communicate with attendees, as well as providing maps of the festival grounds which are incredibly useful when you’re a few drinks down and it’s dark.
If you’re staying on a campsite, make sure to bring a power bank so you can recharge your phone when you need to. Many festivals offer charging stations, but my battery always runs out at the most inconvenient time. When you feel particularly stressed and simply want to turn your mind off, the last thing you want to do is to have to trek to a charging station.
In my youth, going a few days without showering during a festival was no big deal. After all, many festival grounds were so dusty or muddy that the moment you left the shower you got as filthy as before. Also, if everyone was filthy, it didn’t seem to matter.
However, showering is one of those things that can make you feel human again, even if you don’t stay clean for long. It gives you the perfect time out for focusing solely on yourself. A few minutes in a shower may be all you need to go back to the music with renewed vigour.