Even though there are over 800 festivals in The Netherlands this season, there is only one which makes me ‘jump for joy‘, ‘lights my fire‘, and ‘makes me wanna dance the night away‘. Just as last year the timetable has been carefully studied, highlighted and measured to fit a jam packed musical schedule. To be completely let go once you arrive at the festival area, of course, because who will seriously see, do, and experience everything they planned?
I meet my festival bestie T on Thursday afternoon at Amsterdam Central station. We will take the train, which according to the railway app will take us to the festival in 2 hours. Ah yes, our first mistake. We do notice that all people with the typical Lowlands gear stay on the train when we hop off to change trains, but we just blindly follow the fully automated travel itinerary generated by our friends from the yellow beast. After a bit of relaxing in the sun, a refreshingly cold beer, and some Indonesian reggae we hop on the bus that takes us to the nearby theme park from where we can walk to the campsite. A huge rectangle of space is marked off, only to be used by ‘the group’. Even though we will be side by side, crammed with too many tents in one area, people are territorial, and mark this with ribbons, party tents, wind screens and other barricades, only the trip over them when you need to walk back to your tent in the darkness.
“I got this feeling inside my bones, it goes electric, wavy when I turn it on“. Friends, music, sunshine, a little rain, cold nights and warm mornings in your little festival kingdom. A vacation, a festival vacation. It’s sassy, fly, fucked up and just right. When waking up after the second night in your tent, with only a few hours of sleep, horny neighbors keeping your awake in the night and ‘tering techno’ waking you up in the morning, you will ask yourself ‘what am I doing?’. Only for a brief moment, because when you sip some of your pre-mixed G&T, stretch the stiffness from your limbs, and gather your festival gear, the buzz is back, ready to rock the next day.