The Beginner’s Guide To A European Festival – Benicassim

When summer comes around, many things spring to mind such as the freedom to wear flip-flops, the return of Love Island and more importantly festival season.

Once the summer season begins, so too does three months of music extravaganza. The festival scene in Ireland is quickly expanding with new festivals such as Life or Longitude, along with a few old veterans such as Electric Picnic.

However, over the past few years, European festivals are quickly becoming more popular each year. Festivals such as Sziget in Hungary, Tomorrowland in Belgium, Hideout in Croatia or Lollapalooza in France have gained attraction from all over the world.

While a festival abroad is great idea, there are some preliminary precautions you must take.

Last summer my friends and I traded in our jeans and jumpers for shorts ad crop tops as we headed off to FIB festival in the small, quaint town of Benicassim.

Benicassim was an outstanding festival that myself and my friends thoroughly enjoyed. From the outstanding acts such as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Kasabian and Liam Gallagher to newer artists such as Dua Lipa, Mura Masa and The Weeknd.

Now while the music and atmosphere of the festival was electrifying, it wasn’t all fun and games. Going to a European festival isn’t as easy as going to an Irish festival. There is far more planning involved then if you were going to Electric Picnic or Body and Soul.

From buying a plane ticket, to arranging transportation to the festival as well as accommodation or camping equipment, it’s better do it earlier rather than later. You don’t want to end up with a four hour bus ride instead of a two hour journey.

While Benicassim was an amazing experience I’ll never forget I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sweltering heat. My friends and I decided to stay in the Blue Camp for the festival, which was in walking distance of the arena, beach and the town.

Editor’s note: Your campsite will look nothing like this within a few hours!

However, we never could have predicted the heat piercing through our tents every morning. The tent and protection sheet above us frankly did quite little to prevent the heat.

We were two days into our holiday and wanted out of our small, confined tents. In all fairness, maybe we were being over dramatic, but if you have the option to choose somewhere with air conditioning, go for it.

The sun and heat of European countries is a glorious change from the cold, cloudy Irish weather. We all love tanning by the beach or resting by the pool, but what can all that sun exposure do to us.

The obvious affects of sun exposure is the horrible pain of sunburn but also dehydration. Also, if you’re drinking alcohol at night, that is another factor in dehydration.

Any oral rehydration solution is a terrific way to boost your hydration and can help you through the long days.

If you find yourself camping for a festival, then you are going to need some sort of portable chargers. Yes, many festivals have tents/stalls supplying some sort of portable charger, but honestly they aren’t all too reliable.

Benicassim, like other festivals, offered a service as such. Throughout my weeks stay at Benicassim, I encountered many issues surrounding the phone charging tent. Problems ranged from faulty devices to a lack of chargers for all people attending.

The best thing to do is buy a decent charger, preferably not one from Penneys or Mr Price. It will last you nearly the entirety of your trip.

So, if you have already gone to a Europe festival or are preparing for to jet off this summer, maybe this list will help you. Either way, it’s a new and exciting way to enjoy a festival and a trip abroad!

Niamh Dunne

(All photos courtesy of fiberfib.com)

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