Berlin Nightlife Tips: Top Clubs, Techno & Dress Code

Berlin Nightlife Tips: Top Clubs, Techno & Dress Code

So you like a party from time to time and you’ve heard that Berlin’s nightlife is world famous, and you’d like to experience it now? I’m here to help.

Not only do I live in Germany but I have also experienced Berlin’s party culture. I’m here to tell you about why it is so special, Berlin’s Techno culture, top clubs, and key tips like what to wear, and how to get it.

As someone who likes to party, and attends a minimum of two music festivals every year, Berlin’s party scene completely wowed me and in my opinion, is the best party city in the world.

So let me share my top Berlin nightlife tips to help you fall in love with this city’s party culture like I did.

👉 Tip 1: Book a room to sleep in after the party near the top clubs in Berlin.

👉 Tip 2: Consider booking a tour. Here are three that I have shortlisted for you:

Remember to read all the details and inclusions before you book a tour. Also, cheap isn’t always the best so read about the venues that you will visit as a part of the tour.

Berlin’s Techno Culture is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage

Berlin's Techno Culture is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage
Berlin’s Techno Culture is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage via Unsplash

The most important aspect of Berlin’s nightlife scene is the Techno culture. If you read my post about Berlin travel tips, then you know already that as of 2024, Berlin’s Techno culture is on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

No, it didn’t originate in Berlin but has roots in Detroit but the term “Techno” and the genre as we know it now was popularized in Germany immediately after. It was Berlin’s culture that evolved Techno music to where it is today. Darker, hardcore and heavy.

Techno culture became massive in Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall (9 November 1989), and subsequently the German reunification in October 1990. That was the time for free underground techno parties that came up in East Berlin.

One of the most popular DJs in the world, Paul van Dyk (from East Germany) has mentioned that techno was a major force in restoring social connections between East and West Germany during the unification period.

The underground clubs grew much more because of the emergence of rave culture and brought party enthusiasts from not just Germany but also Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK to Berlin.

Yes, Techno is a subgenre of EDM but if you are into lighter electronic music, then Berlin’s Techno Culture might just feel too extreme at first, but give it a try for a unique experience.

What to Wear for Berlin Nightlife

On our way to a Techno Party in Berlin
On our way to a Techno Party in Berlin

Understand that Techno is an underground culture but perhaps not so much because of social media but it means you have to ditch your fancy looks and go for an edgy outfit instead.

Germany as a whole has a casual and comfortable dress code and that’s evident in Berlin too. Berlin’s clubs aren’t heels and fancy dresses kind of places but combat boots, alternative fashion, and industrial looks to match the club aesthetics.

Some of the most famous clubs in Berlin were once industrial warehouses, and they still have that look.

When in doubt, just dress in all black, that’s what is a true Berlin party look. Nothing is ever too edgy or kinky to wear at a techno party in Berlin.

What is Kinky Techno & Dark Rooms?

Berlin Kinky Techno and Dark Rooms
Berlin Kinky Techno and Dark Rooms via Unsplash

So there’s something sexual about Berlin’s techno scene and things openly happen in many clubs – which the local partygoers are used to and aren’t a “big deal”.

Many clubs have “Dark Rooms” (or darkrooms) with blacklights. These are playrooms where people can engage in consensual sexual activities.

But there’s one club that openly celebrates Berlin’s Kinky Techno and that is KitKat club.

KitKat is an iconic sex and techno club and is exclusive. Don’t even think of getting in if you are wearing normal “non-kinky” clothes. If you want to experience it, buy some BDSM accessories and dress down. If you go in, respect everyone’s personal space insecurities.

No Photos in Berlin Clubs

This is one of the most important reasons why Berlin’s clubs have managed to maintain the underground nature of their parties in this age of social media.

You aren’t allowed to click photos and videos and at the time of the entry, they will put a sticker on your phone’s front and back cameras. This may come as a shock to first-time visitors and some might call it extreme, but it is all for a good reason.

I’d say that keep your smartphone at home and carry just an old phone with a sim card just in case you need to call someone. I carried my old phone too but it was still a smartphone because I am useless without Google Maps.

If you want to click cute photos for memory, then the time to do that would be when you are about to leave for the party, like we did.

Age Limit for Berlin Clubs

It is worth noting that you need to be a minimum of 18 of age to enter a nightclub in Berlin. Berlin’s Party culture isn’t just for 20-year-olds. Music genres evolve over the years and so do the aficionados.

Sure, parties are usually frequented by more 20-year-olds but remember, they are just getting started. It is the 30-year-olds and sometimes even those in their 40s or 50s who have been at it for years and they rule these parties.

So age is no bar. You won’t face discrimination based on your gender, sexual orientation, race, and age. This is why Berlin’s tolerant nightlife scene is really the best ever.

Smoking Cigarettes vs Weed

So, weed has been legalized in Germany since April 2024 and I went clubbing in Berlin after. I was amazed to see that people were allowed to smoke weed joints indoors and not cigarettes.

I actually hate the smell of tobacco and cigarettes so I love this rule. I don’t smoke weed but I don’t mind its smell at all because it doesn’t choke my breathing the way tobacco does.

👉 Check our Amsterdam nightlife tips too.

Keep Change for Coat Check-In or Locker Room

Apart from some nice days in July and August, Berlin weather is usually cold and you will most likely be wearing a thick coat or jacket over your clubbing outfit.

In that case, be aware that the coat check-in places cost around EUR 2 – 4 and you will need to keep some coins ready because they won’t take a card. You will get a token with your locker number, keep it safe so get your belongings back on your way out.

Top Clubs in Berlin (Nightclubs and Techno Party Spots)

Berghain am Wriezener Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany
Berghain am Wriezener Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany via Unsplash

Every single person would have heard of Berghain – after all, it is one of the top clubs in the world and is famous for its highly exclusive entry where the bouncer doesn’t let every third person in. On some nights, it is every second person!

But remember, Berghain isn’t the only nice club in Berlin – there are so many more, and are worth it. Here are some of the top clubs in Berlin that you can check out:

  • Berghain: Arguably it is Berlin’s most famous club. If you can brave the long lines and risk getting turned away, then go for it. It is known for its strict door policy.
  • ://about blank: Iconic industrial-style nightclub and a garden. Lines can be long here also but not as crazy as Berghain. It is one of the best nightclubs in Berlin.
  • KitKat: I have mentioned this club already in the kinky techno scene. This is a place where sex and techno is celebrated together.
  • Tresor: One of the most iconic clubs in Berlin that was instrumental in Berlin’s evolving techno scene in the early 1990s. The legendary Tresor parties popularized Germany’s techno culture.
  • Trauma Bar und Kino: Kino means theater and this is a one-of-a-kind club where you can watch a movie.
Sisyphos, HauptstraĂźe, Berlin, Almanya
Sisyphos, HauptstraĂźe, Berlin, Almanya via Unsplash
  • Sisyphos: Known for its Friday to Monday morning parties in a former factory with festival kind of vibes because of an open area. This is built on an abandoned dog food factory and the vast outdoor spaces are perfect for summer nights.
  • Anomalie Art Club: Art Club that turns into a techno party venue. Anomalie also hosts film screenings, art exhibitions, pop-ups, and open-air raves. Check the event calendar to see what’s on before planning your night out.
  • Kater Blau: It is a nice riverside club on the banks of River Spree with a moored boat and hammocks.
  • RSO.BERLIN: It was earlier GriessmĂĽhle, but changed the location and name to RSO.BERLIN and it attracts more local Techno lovers.
  • Watergate: situated in Kreuzberg, it is a riverside club with massive floor-to-ceiling windows, a terrace, and a one-of-a-kind party vibe.
  • Club OST: Club Ost is close to Ostkreuz and has an amazing sound system.
  • Club der Visionaere: This is Berlin’s most popular space for open-air drinking and dancing, so is perfect for warm days. Yes, there is an indoor dancefloor too but is small.
  • Fitzroy: This is one of the newest clubs on this list and has something for everyone. There are nights with live music, trance, and other genres apart from just techno.
  • Salon zur Wilden Renate, or just “Renate”: This nightclub is located in an abandoned residential building that is unrenovated. So a night here feels like a house party with many rooms, confusing corridors, staircases, and a garden area.

Take a Break from Techno and Try Something New

Biergarten in Berlin
Biergarten in Berlin via Unsplash

Yes Berlin nightlife’s most important aspect is techno but if you’re going to be in the city for a few nights then you might want to take a break and try something new. In that case, keep in mind that Berlin has amazing Biergartens and jazz bars.

Consider Prater Beer Garden which is the oldest beer garden in Berlin. Prater Garten is a great choice for an evening out in Berlin during the summer months. This is a self-service beer garden with an atmosphere that is great and super relaxed.

If you want to try one of Berlin’s jazz clubs, then consider Jazzclub-Kunstfabrik Schlot with live jazz, cabaret, and a cozy atmosphere. Another amazing jazz club in Berlin is B flat Acoustic Music & Jazz Club with jazz and soul music performances in a nice dim room with amazing cocktails and happy hour.

👉 Check our Hamburg nightlife tips too.

LGBTQ+ Clubs in Berlin

The way clubbing culture has evolved in Berlin everyone and everything is tolerated. This is why you don’t need to look for LGBTQ+ friendly because they all are.

Still, some of the most famous LGBTQ+ clubs are:

  • Monster Ronson’s in Friedrichshain,
  • Zum Schmutzigen Hobby in Friedrichshain,
  • Betty F*** in Berlin Mitte,
  • SilverFuture in Neukolln,
  • Möbel Olfe in Kreuzberg,
  • Ficken 3000 in Neukolln (with a darkroom)
  • Schwuz in Neukolln (earlier Kreuzberg)

Getting into Berghain

So let’s talk about Berghain, the most popular nightclub in not just Berlin but all of Europe that hosts world-famous DJs. It is the hardest club of all to get into. The name means “mountain grove” which is between the border between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain.

Berghain is built inside an abandoned power plant. The building was a former thermal plant that was built in 1953 but has been owned by the club since 2011. If you do manage to get inside Bergain, you would talk about it for years with your friends.

So, you want to get into one of the best clubs in the world – Berghain and you’d like to know how. Don’t overdress, don’t be loud, go at the right some (sometimes it is better to go during the early hours of the morning of Saturday or Sunday), and be ready to wait for a few hours in the queue.

To be safe, wear black, don’t try too hard, and always keep a backup plan. Lastly, read this Reddit forum with Berghain live queue updates to understand the vibe of the night.

Where to Stay in Berlin Close to the Nightclubs

Our bedroom in Habyt - The Waterfront, Berlin
Our bedroom in Habyt – The Waterfront, Berlin

If you are traveling to Berlin just to experience the party culture and would like to book a room that’s close to where the clubs are, then pick a place that’s in East Berlin.

I have stayed in enough hostels but I’d not book one because I’d want to sleep peacefully without disturbances after a night out in Berlin.

Just for that, I found a place called Habyt – the Waterfront, it is a newly built place with comfy beds and kitchenettes so that you can wake up and make your own hangover breakfast after the party. Bonus: it isn’t expensive and the location is pretty awesome.

👉 Check our Prague nightlife tips too.

Closing Thoughts on Berlin Nightlife Tips

If you are new to Berlin’s party culture then remember the most important thing – respect. Keep an open mind when it comes to people of different cultures, languages, races, and sexual orientations, and never discriminate. Be yourself and don’t force yourself to be someone you’re not.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Best Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Europe (+ Events)

Best Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Europe (+ Events)

Wondering what to book for the best New Year’s Eve in Europe? This post is for you!

The holiday season is about to start. With that, the year is coming to an end faster than expected. Whether you have had a great year or not, the end of the current year and the start of the new year deserves a celebration in style.

If you live in Europe or are traveling to Europe for New Year’s Eve, here are some of the top events in iconic European cities that you can book. These events are for literally every budget – the concerts or cabaret shows are more expensive and the pub crawls are affordable. So pick the option that works for you.

Amsterdam NYE Parties

Amsterdam Nightlife Guide - best nightclubs and bars
Amsterdam Nightlife Guide – best nightclubs and bars

I have discussed Amsterdam over and over on my website because I’m absolutely in love with this city. For me, Amsterdam isn’t just a pretty destination but it is always a fun city to visit.

We all know that Amsterdam’s canals, romantic bridges, narrow buildings, and a liberal atmosphere set the perfect place to celebrate just about anything. So why not New Year’s Eve? Bonus points if you arrive a week before December 31st to enjoy the Christmas Markets.

Christmas outdoor ice skate rink in Amsterdam Rijksmuseum
Christmas outdoor ice skate rink in Amsterdam Rijksmuseum CC0 Unsplash

If you’re in luck and it snows, then the entire area in front of the Rijksmuseum in the Museumplein is turned into an ice skating rink.

Anyway, here are two amazing parties that you can consider in Amsterdam to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Q-Factory in Amsterdam

Does a NYE party and an indoor festival in Amsterdam sound good to you? In that case, you will enjoy Q-Factory’s event which has enough place for 1250 people. Below is a skip-the-line entry ticket. Get it and walk in like a VIP. Note that VIP access costs more.

For me, the thought of New Year’s Eve celebrations with good music, loads of people and a lively party sounds like a very good idea.

Hause of Ping

Amsterdam is an amazing destination for nightlife and I have another event suggestion for you, it is at PONG – House of Ping.

Both the events are priced similarly so it is completely up to you which kind jumps out to you. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions before you buy tickets for any of the above-mentioned parties.

If you do visit this city for New Year’s Eve, read my post about spending 3 amazing days in Amsterdam and romantic things to do here.

Lisbon NYE Events

Lisbon Alfama at night
Lisbon Alfama at night Via Pixabay

I have visited Portugal 5 times and I was pleasantly surprised when I experienced nightlife in Lisbon. Portugal is actually one of the best New Year’s Eve destinations because it isn’t as cold like the others. Moreover, Portugal’s historical capital city Lisbon lights up during the festive season, so you won’t regret traveling here. Be sure to see my quick 4 day Portugal itinerary.

This city has an interesting mix of locals and ex-pats, so expect an evening with a multi-lingual crowd.

New Year’s Eve Pub Crawl in Lisbon

How does a pub crawl on New Year’s Eve sound to you? To make things better, it also includes limitless beer and sangria, and champagne at midnight – so you can get wasted in style.

NYE River Cruise with Fireworks on Tagus River

If you have read any of my posts about Lisbon, you would have noticed that I mention the lovely Tagus River pretty often. Here’s a river cruise on the Tagus River that you can book for yourself to enjoy NYE. You will also get an opportunity to see spectacular fireworks.

3-hour boat cruise with an open bar that includes champagne.

New Year’s Eve With Live DJ, Fireworks & Open Bar

This event is a bit high-end as compared to the above-mentioned two events and it also has an open bar. It also includes a 3-hour boat ride.

Make sure you read all the terms and conditions before you book the above NYE events to see what’s included and what’s not.

Prague NYE Party

Prague castle and fireworks
Prague Castle and fireworks via Pixabay

I absolutely fell in Prague when I visited it. It is beautiful, medieval, and super fun. Along with its beauty Prague’s nightlife is famous as well. Prague City is divided into the Old Town, Lesser Town, New Town, Holešovice, Vinohrady, and Vršovice. The entire city is pretty and it gets lit up with holiday lights.

Normally I’d suggest you spend 2 days in Prague but if you are going for New Year’s Eve, then spend at least a few days after to recover from the experience.

NYE Pub Crawl in Prague

Enjoy an unlimited bar for 2 hours at Drunken Monkey Bar and then VIP entry at Sazazu Club and watch fireworks to welcome the new year in style.

Expect a multilingual crowd because Prague is an international city.

Berlin New Year’s Eve

Berlin is the party capital of Europe with its underground techno clubs and is a good idea to visit for those who like to party hard. It is actually the best city in Europe to experience a massive New Year’s Eve party.

To be honest, Berlin is a hit or miss for me because I sometimes hate it and the other times love it. If you are prepared to love or hate Berlin, then I have a ledendary New Year’s Eve celebration option for you:

New Year’s Eve Party at the Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate NYE Party in Berlin
Brandenburg Gate NYE Party in Berlin via Unsplash

The New Year’s party at Brandenburg Gate is a huge open-air party and is often said to be one of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties in the world. For New Year’s Eve, there is a 2.5-kilometer-long party mile between Brandenburger Tor and the Victory Column (Siegessäule).

Many artists from Germany and all over the world are set to perform in this New Year’s Party. Moreover, there will also be fireworks displays like every single year.

This party at Brandenburg Gate was once free but not anymore from 2023. The presale tickets will be on sale in November, and then I will add a link here for you to buy them.

If a big celebration isn’t your thing, then I have another suggestion for something you can do in Germany for New Year’s Eve.

Hamburg NYE Boat Cruise

Hamburg night boat tour - sitting on the deck
Hamburg night boat tour – sitting on the deck

Hamburg is my favorite city in Germany and it never disappoints me. It is also one of the cities that I have visited often, have experienced amazing sights, and Hamburg’s fun nightlife. and I do suggest you spend a minimum of 3 days in Hamburg.

NYE Boat Cruise in Hamburg

A night boat cruise is one of the best things to do in Hamburg. Having this cruise already with my family, I highly recommend this because this stunning city looks even better from the boat.

New Year’s Even in German is called “Silvester” and you can expect to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks and light shows from the water.

This NYE boat cruise starts from St. Pauli’s LandungsbrĂĽcken station, from there you can also see the iconic Elbphilharmonie, which lights up at night and makes Hamburg’s skyline even more beautiful than it already is.

New Year’s Even in Edinburgh

Edinburgh at night
Edinburgh at night via Unsplash

Edinburgh in Scotland is a perfect destination for Dark Academia aesthetics lovers and it is a great place to spend New Year’s Eve because it has one of the biggest parties in the world – Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. If you decide to participate in this celebration, spend a few more days in this lovely city afterward to see Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Edinburgh is such a small city but somehow it hosts one of the greatest outdoor celebrations of New Year’s Eve in the world. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay began in 1993 and has evolved into a 3-day festival. It is is a big deal and it was also featured on Discovery Channel’s Top 25 World Travel Experiences.

There is a torchlight procession, open-air concerts, an outdoor street party, and smaller entertainment options for families on January 1st. There’s also the world’s biggest rendition of Auld Lang Syne at midnight.

Istanbul NYE Boat Party

Istanbul Fireworks, New Year's Eve
Istanbul Fireworks, New Year’s Eve via Pixabay

Turkey is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and its hospitality wowed me during my visit. I fell in love with Istanbul, Turkey’s historical capital city. Believe it or not, Istanbul is the second largest city in Europe, the first being Moscow. Do read my post about spending 3 days in Istanbul so that you can enjoy your time here.

New Year’s Party on the Bosphorus

When I was in Istanbul, I did a cruise on the Bosphorus and highly enjoyed the sights because on one side is the East, and on the other is the West. So truly, this is the only experience where you will celebrate New Year’s Eve on two continents.

This party includes food, drinks, champagne, and even a pick-up from the hotel. Carry a jacket along with you because it does get very cold at night when you are on the open deck of the boat.

If celebrating New Year’s Eve on a boat doesn’t sound interesting to you then you can walk around in Galata neighborhood, Taksim, or Sultanahmet Square to see some fun street parties.

Rome NYE Concerts

Rome at night
Rome at night via Pixabay

Italy is a nice NYE destination in Europe because it is warmer than most of the other places on the continent. Rome is Italy’s historical city that is said to be one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. (and the oldest!)

If you want to save money and not buy tickets for a concert, then you can just walk around the Piazza Del Popolo to see the celebration on the street for a unique experience.

New Year’s Concert at Palazzo Doria Pamphilj

If you visit Rome for NYE, then consider attending a concert at Palazzo Doria Pamphilj where you get a chance to enjoy live music performed on period instruments. You can actually pretend that you’ve stepped into a different time period and party like it is 1699.

The venue for this concert is a secret apartment of the Princess at Palazzo Doria Pamphilj where food is available for purchase.

New Year’s Concert at St Paul

Enjoy a traditional New Year’s concert in the Church of St Paul within the Walls that’s performed by the ensemble of the Orchestra of I Virtuosi dell’opera di Roma.

The above concert only includes the entry, so you will have to buy your own food and drinks.

Budapest NYE Cruise

Things to do in Budapest
Things to do in Budapest

Hungry’s Budapest is an amazing party destination and the city lights up on New Year’s Eve. I have an amazing option for a cruise on the River Danube to welcome the New Year.

If you don’t want to do a boat party or a cruise to celebrate the New Year, you can hang around in the city centre to enjoy the atmosphere with the locals and celebrate on the streets.

NYE Unlimited Booze Cruise

Does unlimited booze sound like a good idea to celebrate New Year’s Eve? If yes, then you will enjoy this cruise that’s on Budapest’s Danube.

New Year’s Eve 5 Cocktail Cruise

Honestly, unlimited booze is too much for me but I’m happy with 5 cocktails because they work their magic well.

If I’m visiting Budapest with my partner, I’d pick the above cruise and enjoy the warmly lit riversides of Buda and Pest as I enjoy my cocktails. Personally, I’d prefer a cocktail cruise over dinner cruise on any given day.

Paris NYE Events

Fireworks near Eiffel Tower in Paris
Fireworks near the Eiffel Tower in Paris via Pixabay

They say the city of lights Paris is the most romantic city on earth so prepare to fall in love when you see the Christmas lights here, which linger on till the New Year.

If you go to Paris, you definitely need to get extra outrageous with your celebration if you are bringing your partner here with you to celebrate. Here are a few ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Paris:

New Year’s Eve Dinner, Cabaret Show, & Dance Party

Indulge in a gala French dinner signed by Guy Savoy with wine and champagne. Enjoy a cabaret show and after midnight, dance the night away. There’s unlimited champagne during the dance party.

This event has it all – good food, a cabaret show, and a dance party so you are guaranteed to spend a romantic evening if you have good company.

New Year’s Eve Seine River Cruise, Dinner & Dance in Paris

Paris is unbelievably romantic and is even more so when you’re cruising on the Seine. Enjoy a dinner with champagne on a boat while you cruise on the water. There will also be a DJ on the boat so you can dance and celebrate.

The above cruise includes a multi-course meal, cheese plate, and sparkling wine. To see the entire menu for the night, click on the above button.

If the above two options don’t sound interesting to you then you can party on the streets of Paris and walk around the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.

NYE in Vienna

Townhall in Vienna at night
Townhall in Vienna at night via Pixabay

Austria’s capital city Vienna is known for its classical music scene, cultural institutions, and lively nightlife. If you decide to spend the New Year’s Eve in Vienna, below is one of the options:

Strauss & Mozart New Year’s Concert

Did you know that Vienna was once the residential city for Beethoven, Johann Strauss II, and Mozart? Enjoy a concert with Salon Orchestra Alt Wien where you will listen to the music of Johann Strauss II, and Mozart and watch ballet dancers.

This concert doesn’t include food and drink but you can buy it at an extra price.

Krakow New Year Party

Krakow at night
Krakow at night via Pixabay

Krakow city in Poland is pretty with a medieval square and remains of the old city walls. Arrive here a few days before New Year’s Eve, enjoy the Chrismarkets, and see the bejeweled city center of this beautiful city.

Krakow is known for its epic drinking nights because of the high alcohol capacity of the locals due to Poland being a cold country. Drinking is a nice way to warm up the body in cold weather when one is outdoors. Krakow is one of the best European cities to party in and is yet underrated.

If you decide to spend the New Year in Poland, I have found the perfect celebration:

NYE Pub Crawl in Krakow with 2 Hours Unlimited Drinks

C’mon, there’s no better way to celebrate New Year’s Eve than doing a pub crawl with a group of people where you can make new friends. Moreover, the guide will take you to Krakow’s best pubs, and karaoke bars, and you will get a welcome shot in every new place.

Moreover, with 2 hours of unlimited drinks and a few drinking games, this sounds like the best way to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The total duration of the tour is 7.5 hours but you can obviously leave early if you’re done because you aren’t partying on a boat.

London New Year’s Eve

Fireworks and London eye, New Year's Eve
Fireworks and London eye, New Year’s Eve

How can this list be complete without London? It is the epic party hotspot in Europe and yet is super romantic. I have a lavish celebration suggestion for you in case you decide to visit London for New Year’s Eve:

New Year’s Eve Dinner at Traitors Gate & Cruise

Enjoy a lavish 3-course dinner and then get on a cruise on the river Thames to see the fireworks from the water.

The entry price for this also includes wine, and then bubbly wine or champagne to celebrate the New Year.

Closing Thoughts on Spending New Year’s Eve in Europe

New Year's Eve in Europe - River cruises, boat parties, DJ nights and more
New Year’s Eve in Europe – River cruises, boat parties, DJ nights and more via Unsplash

Since 2017, I have been spending New Year’s Eve in Europe and I love how the fireworks light up the sky at night and the festivities continue on the streets.

If you do plan to spend this celebratory time at the end of the year in Europe, then make it work by booking a special night for yourself and your partner/family/friends.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us reduce the costs of keeping this site active. Thanks for reading!

The Ultimate Music Festival Packing List from a Pro + Camping Checklist

The Ultimate Music Festival Packing List from a Pro + Camping Checklist

If you have been following our blog, you must have noticed that I am a music festival junkie. After all, I also met my life partner at a PsyTrance music festival.

I normally attend at least 2 festivals a year but there were years when I attended as many as 8 music festivals per year. So you have to trust me when I say that I’m a pro festival goer. I even took my child to a music festival three times!

Seriously, I don’t know of any other travel blogger or website owner who has attended as many festivals as I do.

Boom Festival in Portugal
Boom Festival in Portugal

The music festival season in Europe is summer and some of our favorite ones are – the Modem Festival in Croatia, the Boom Festival in Portugal, the S.U.N. Festival in Hungary, the Shankara Festival in Switzerland, the Wonderland Festival in Germany, and the Master of Puppets in Czechia.

Anyway, now that we’ve bought a few more festival tickets for next summer, I wanted to share our packing list with you that’s based on my real festival experience, which will come in handy if you’re also doing what we love doing.

Pro Tip: Always read everything on the music festival’s official website before attending one that you haven’t ever visited. This will help you keep in mind basic things like what the weather is usually like, if there are supermarkets nearby, how the terrain is for walking and camping, and if there’s a place to swim, etc.

Disclaimer: Just because we attend music festivals, doesn’t mean that we participate in intoxicants. We do it for our love of music, the psytrance community, and nothing else.

When it comes to packing, just remember – “less is more” and carry the bare minimum. I really hope my festival checklist helps you. Here’s an ultimate packing list for music festivals to help you get started:

Table of Contents

Music Festival Packing List

Us in a music festival
Us in a music festival

Here are some very basic music festival essentials that you need to carry in case you aren’t camping. I understand that at times there are people who would find a room near the festival location and stay there instead. In that case, these are the things that you absolutely must have.

1) Festival ticket, your Identity Card, and Money

The entry tickets for most of the festivals sell out months in advance. Hence you most likely will carry an e-ticket with which you will need to show your identity card to get a festival wristband to enter.

Carry cash because your debit card or credit card won’t be accepted at a music festival. At least not the ones that I visit. Don’t take out all your cash in one go to the dance floor but bit by bit every day.

2) A Small Waist Bag / Cross-Body bag / Backpack for the Dance Floor

One of the most essential items for a music festival is a waist bag will help you keep your money and essentials so that you don’t have to carry a big bag around. If you don’t like waist bags, then get a cross-body bag or a small backpack – just a simple and easy-to-carry bag that’s close to your body.

Always keep this waist pouch or bag with you. It doesn’t have to be an ugly fanny pack but you can find a good-looking one that looks good with your outfit. More than how it looks, it should be comfortable to dance in. Here is what I usually carry:

My waist pouch for music festivals - Ultimate packing list for music festivals
My waist pouch for music festivals

You can also get a typical rave backpack with UV colors and everything if you want to be extra. I also like some of the cuddly soft toys like backpacks but in my experience, they attract a lot of dust which eventually causes a stuffy nose for me.

3) Reusable Water Bottle

I like to carry a steel water bottle that I can hang from my belt so that I always have my water with me without having to hold it.

4) Sunscreen, moisturizer, and lip balm.

No matter how the weather is, you WILL need your sunscreen if you’re staying out. Even if it is cloudy or cold, you need to use good sun protection if you’re outside. It isn’t just limited to summer festivals.

Don’t be a “too cool to use sunscreen” kind of person and save your skin. Skin cancer is real and it can be prevented by just using a sunblock.

Modem Festival in Croatia
Modem Festival in Croatia

5) Dry Tissues, Toilet Paper and Baby Wipes in your Bag

Why carry toilet paper when you aren’t camping? Because sometimes festival toilets are dirty and you can use toilet paper to clean the seat. Moreover, there are times when the toilet rolls are finished in the public toilets so you will be happy that you carried a small one with you.

6) Condoms

You never know when you (or one of your friends) need them so it is good to be safe.

7) Ear-plugs

Overexposure to high decibels can cause long-term damage to your ears. Even if the sound system is of the highest quality, you should carry a pair of ear plugs.

divine moments of truth at Boom festival 2016
divine moments of truth at Boom Festival 2016

If you stay near the speaker on the dance floor and don’t use earplugs, then you can risk giving yourself tinnitus, which has literally no cure and it will drive you bonkers

8) Powerful Snacks for Emergency

Buy nuts, protein bars, granola bars, bananas, chia seeds, yogurt, breakfast cereal, and similar things that you can pack in your backpack that you bring with you to the dancefloor so that you can refuel from time to time.

9) Extra Jacket for Cold Weather

I will talk more about the clothes in its separate section below but I’d like to mention an extra jacket as an essential for a cold weather festival so that you remain comfortable and have a good time.

10) A rain poncho or a rain jacket

A rain jacket will come in handy unless you are going to a very dry area. Depending on the weather forecast, carry one. I have one that folds up in a super small ball and I always carry it.

Festival Camping Checklist

San and I with our tent and hammock
San and I with our tent and hammock

I am assuming that you are going to a camping music festival so that’s why I have mentioned everything you need for not just the dance floor but also for camping.

Honestly, you wouldn’t be looking for a music festival packing list online if you were going for a music festival without camping – because in that case you just need to carry just the essentials for a party instead!

1) A tent (Unless You Are Sleeping in Your Van)

Assuming you’re camping at the festival, you’d need a tent for sure. Even if there are rooms nearby, I’d recommend you camp at the festival to get the most out of it.

We carry Quechua Quickhiker Ultralight, which is surely more expensive than others but is super light to carry. Of course, we invested in a good tent because we use it often.

If you are driving to the festival with your camper van, then your life will be very easy. We did that too and it was really the best and the most comfortable experience.

You might consider renting a van or a big car if you don’t have your own. Or if you are flying to another country for a festival.

2) Sleeping Bag

I bought an all-season Quechua sleeping bag and I have used it in almost every single festival whether it was warm or cold. When it was cold, I layered it with blankets and when it was hot, I just slept outdoors.

In Boom festival, I rolled it and carried it in my backpack to the dancefloor and I slept near the dancefloor because my campsite was too far away. But I understand that’s an extreme kind of behavior, haha.

3) Mattress or an Air Mattress with a Pump

When we take our camper van to the music festivals then we don’t need to carry extra mattresses. But for the time we don’t take our van but we pitch a tent, a mattress is a must-have for a festival.

If you have a normal van without beds in it, you can push the seats back and just use an inflatable car mattress to sleep on.

I have tried many kinds of mattresses for camping and I feel that the most comfortable mattresses are air mattresses. If you do carry an air mattress then don’t forget to carry a pump to inflate your mattress.

A little bit of preparation will keep you super comfortable when you sleep so that you can recharge.

4) Pillow, Blankets & Eye Mask

Don’t forget to carry a small camping pillow and some of the best ones are those that you can roll up. Also, look for an inflatable pillow.

Going for a festival in cold weather. You will need blankets. We have blankets that can roll up to a super small size and we carry them for almost all the festivals. It gets cold at night even in summer and it helps to layer up the sleeping bag with the blanket.

Not everyone would need an eye mask but I do when I sleep in a place that’s not completely dark. If you have this habit too then don’t forget to carry your eyemask, this way you can also sleep in the day.

5) Lamps or Lights

Our camping set up - campervan tips
Our camping set up – campervan tips

You will need to find your camping spot at night and it helps if you put up lamps all around so that you can spot it. The worst is that when you come back to the camping area there are a gazillion new tents around yours and you can’t spot yours.

6) A flashlight or a Headlamp

A flashlight is a must-have for camping at music festivals. Carry a few spare batteries because you never know when you run out. You can carry a headlamp too!

7) Basic toiletries

You’re going to need your toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, soap, shampoo, and a deodorant. Try to carry a natural soap and shampoo so that it doesn’t interfere with the venue’s ecological balance.

I did say less is more but based on my experience, I’d say carry an extra toothbrush. Toothpaste can be borrowed by other people but if you lose your toothbrush, you’d be ok if you carried an extra one.

7) Small Toiletry Bag / Shower Bag

I know everyone carries a small toiletry bag but I carry a super tiny backpack that is my “toilet bag” and also a “shower bag” because it has some essential toiletries but also toilet paper, disinfectant, wet wipes, and an extra pair of socks and underwear just in case! (I have never had to use the extra pair of underwear – thank god)

I still remember how everyone laughed at my toilet bag but ended up borrowing my things from my one and only “toilet bag” at the Atman festival in Sri Lanka.

8) A towel

I can’t believe how many people forget this. Don’t forget you will take a shower in the music festival area and carry a towel. I used to carry a quick-drying microfiber towel which packed up in a little ball. I lost my microfiber towel after back-to-back music festivals and ended up using just my sarong.

9) Water refill container

I did mention refillable water bottles but now I want to talk about a container that’s 3-5 liters and you can put it near your tent. Most of the festivals have a water refilling station and you should make the most of them by carrying a reusable water container. It is important for you to keep yourself hydrated and avoid the use of plastic glasses or plastic water bottles.

10) A few trash bags or Plastic Bags

Trash bags will always come in handy to keep your campsite clean. You can also use them to put on your dirty clothes so that they don’t mix with your clean clothes.

Remember to recycle everything and use your plastic bags for many occasions before you properly dispose of them in a trash bin that’s just for plastic.

11) Wet wipes or Baby Wipes

I did mention wet wipes in the essentials section but I’d like to reiterate and add more for camping. Wet wipes or Baby Wipes are the first things I pack when I put my stuff together for a festival. I love being clean and I believe wet wipes are always useful.

You can use special “facial wipes” in the morning to wipe your face when the queue outside the washbasin is too long or you can also simple wet wipes to wipe your ass after using the toilet.

Tips for attending a Music Festival with Baby
Tips for attending a Music Festival with Baby

I usually carry facial wipes to remove makeup or face paint, wet wipes to be used in toilets, and disinfectant wipes for cleaning the toilet seat. Keep them separate and don’t by mistake use the disinfectant wipes on your face!

12) Extra Toilet paper

I did mention toilet paper earlier but it is also added to the camping list because you need to carry more if you are camping. I don’t want to be stuck in a situation where I can’t find any! Do you?

Based on how long the festival is, carry enough toilet paper. I normally carry one roll for one festival that’s 5 days long. Of course, I carry more when I take my kid to the music festival with me.

Sometimes music festival toilets are dirty, so it helps to have some extra toilet paper and disinfectant spray so that you can clean the toilet seat.

13) Menstrual Cup

This one is for the ladies. If you haven’t started using a menstrual cup already, you have got to get yourself one because seriously, this will change your life. Get one as soon as possible so that you’re fully prepared before you travel because it takes a while to understand how to use it.

Once you get a hang of it, there is nothing else that feels as clean and is as stress-free to use as a menstrual cup. I recommend you compare menstrual cups online before you decide which one to get.

14) First Aid Kit

Honestly, all the festivals that I have been to have an emergency or first air area but it is always good to carry a few plasters, band-aids, cotton, antiseptic, tweezers, scissors, thermometer, disposable gloves, dressing for wounds, adhesive tape, and gauze.

15) Camping Chairs / Table / Mat

This may not be an essential item for everyone but you will at some point need to sit outside your tent. It is good to have a small chair or a table. A mat would help too. Ideally, we keep one mat near our tent and another small one in our backpack for the dance floor.

16) Cooking Gear for Camping

Festival food is fun and the most memorable meals are the ones that you cook with your friends. You won’t buy every single one of your meals at the festival but you will eventually have to cook something in your camping area. Get a small camping stove and don’t forget the gas.

Many big festivals like Boom in Portugal or O.Z.O.R.A. in Hungary have community kitchens. In that case, you don’t have to carry a camping stove and gas.

17) Cooking Utensils

This is where you have to strategize and carry just a few basic things that have many purposes. We usually carry 1-2 cooking utensils like 2 small pots, knives, cutlery, plates, cups, and a moka pot for coffee.

18) Basic Food Supplies for Camping Meals

Our of our camping meals - Pasta
One of our camping meals – Pasta

80 Percent of the festivals have areas from where you can buy cooking essentials but remember to keep some things like salt, sugar, pepper, tiny cooking oil bottles, canned beans or eggs for protein, pasta or rice for carbohydrates, and 1 or 2 vegetables of your choice for your daily fiber intake.

Plan out meals like curried beans with rice, pasta with veggies, and eggs, when you are shopping for your food supplies so that you don’t waste food and carry just enough.

Remember to balance out your meals so that you don’t get constipated during the festival, trust me it isn’t a good feeling at all. So keep up the fiber intake.

19) Dish Cleaning Soap, Sponge, Basket and Towels

If you are going to cook, you have to eventually clean the dishes too. Carry a tiny dish-cleaning soap bottle, a sponge, and kitchen towels to dry the utensils. It is always a good idea to carry a plastic basket in which you can carry the used utensils to a washing area and then bring them back.

20) A Lock for Your Tent

I will be honest, I have never locked my tent but you shouldn’t make the same mistake. In every single festival, I have heard of thefts and I always make a mental note to carry a lock for the next festival and I forget.

21) A Cooling Box or a Portable Refrigerator

If you have a car or a van then you can easily carry a portable refrigerator and let it stay on. However, if you just have a tent then an insulated cooling box will be an amazing thing to have for your fruit, vegetables, milk, juices, drinks, and other perishable items.

What clothes to carry for a music festival?

Attending a music festival with baby
Attending a music festival with baby

1) Comfortable Clothes that Show Your Personality

This is where you can totally go crazy. Let your personality shine with your clothes and wear something outrageous that you wouldn’t normally wear because you are at a music festival after all. But remember, it should be something that’s comfortable and it shouldn’t bother you while you dance.

I usually cut up my old clothes and make new ones. I never carry new clothes for a festival because I know I will dance in the mud for hours and mess up everything. But once in a while, I do buy some UV clothes or things that glow in the dark to set the dancefloor on fire

If you’re heading to a festival that’s in a cold place, then don’t forget to carry a thick windproof jacket. We love this packing guide for Ireland, which isn’t really for music festivals but will come in handy right before a winter music festival.

MoDem Festival Main Stage - Psytrance Festivals 2017
MoDem Festival Main Stage – Psytrance Festivals 2017

2) A basic tank top or a tee shirt

If you’re going for your first festival and aren’t sure what to wear, then you won’t go wrong with a basic tank top. It will look amazing with just about anything – skirts, shorts, and even outrageously colorful festival pants.

3) Fleece or jumper, long pants, and socks

Depending on the weather. Even in warm places, it does get cold at night so it helps to be prepared.

4) Swimwear (if your festival location has a swim area)

Most of the festivals have a swimming area and you don’t want to miss out on it just because you don’t have your swimsuit. Although skinny dipping is usually acceptable if you’re in a psychedelic festival or an experimental festival, it is good to be prepared.

5) Fun Costumes

My LED Fairy Wings at the Experience PsyTrance Festival
My LED Fairy Wings at the Experience PsyTrance Festival – Wings designed by Andrea Pixie and Photo by digital Thanka

Now that we have covered comfort and basics, let’s talk about something that will make your personality shine.

You gotta wear some funny or entertaining clothes when you’re at a music festival. Get a costume or just an accessory to reveal your true identity! Are you a pirate? Or an elf? Perhaps Borat? Look at my LED Fairy outfit at the Experience Festival in Koh Tao.

6) Flip-flops and Sandals

Carry something which is easy to wiggle out of when you want to dance barefoot. When I went to a festival in Thailand, dancing barefoot during the day was a decent idea, but not at night because that’s when people can really step on their toes.

7) Boots or Sneakers

Carry some heavy-duty boots that are comfortable to protect your feet from cold and other people stomping on you on the dance floor. I like carrying Ninja boots because they are super comfortable for dancing.

Remember, it is about comfort so don’t just go for something that looks good, but wear something that feels good too.

8) Sunglasses

Sunglasses won’t just protect your eyes from the sunlight, but also from the sand from the ground that flies around when people stomp.

We love music festivals
We love music festivals

9) Hat

If you like dancing in the sun, you’re gonna need a hat. Also, don’t forget that you have to be outdoors for the duration of the festival unless you are in your tent or campervan. So remember to protect yourself from the sun, even in the winter.

10) A sarong or a scarf

I can never go to a festival without a sarong. Sarongs are so useful because you can use them in so many ways. You can wrap around your swimsuit and dance. Or if it gets hot, you can wet it and wrap it around your head/body to cool down.

I usually carry more than one sarong because these can be used as mats, bedsheets, pillows, cute asymmetrical skirts, and more. The possibilities are endless!

Back in 2016, after attending back-to-back festivals, I ended up losing my towel and used my sarong as a towel and it worked. During sunny days, I wrapped my sarong around my waist as a skirt on top of my swimsuit and danced in it.

11) A few sets of underwear and socks

I don’t need to give you a reason but it is common sense to carry extra pairs of undies when you’re in a festival. Be prepared to wash your undies in the shower and hang them to dry near your campsite.

Optional things to carry for a music festival

1) Hammock

Hammock Area, Photo by Veejay Baba
Hammock Area, Photo by Veejay Baba

Even though San and I always carry our hammocks, I’m putting it in the optional category for you. For me, hammocks are sometimes more comfortable than tents for a good sleep. If you don’t find a good spot to hang your hammock, you can always put it on the ground and use it as a mat.

2) A mat / Yoga Mat

You can use it to put on the ground to sit not just in your campsite but also somewhere near the dancefloor. Yes, it is in the options section of the music festival packing list but I always carry it.

I do Yoga every single day so I carry a compact Yoga mat which can be used for sitting as well.

3) Hula Hoop, Poi – things that you can play with or dance with

There are so many fun things you can carry with you to a festival so that you can play with them. Carry a fun bag with a bubble gun, funny toys, a Hula hoop, poi, etc. I usually carry a hula hoop and San carries juggling balls.

4) Alcohol

Unless you don’t mind spending a lot at the festival bar. I normally don’t enjoy alcohol but San does. If the festival is in Germany, he carries his beloved Jagermeister and beers.

5) Insect repellent

I swear by my mosquito repellent patches but San never uses any of them. Get a bug spray or an insect repellent because you will be outdoors and at some point you will get bitten if you don’t protect yourself.

A Psytrance Festival in Old Manali (Dance of Shiva)
Dance of Shiva Festival in Old Manali, 2016

6) Tent covers or parasols

Tent covers are useful when the weather is extremely hot, extremely cold, or rainy. These will protect your camp from heat. It is a good idea to cover a sitting area outside your tent with a cover.

7) Portable Speakers

Yes, you are going to a music festival which already would have nonstop music, but in my experience, portable speakers really set up a good vibe and energy in the camping area. As a result, you will also attract friends from your neighboring camping sites who might just end up being your friends for life.

8) Band-aids

I did mention the first aid box but you can carry a few band-aids in your small bag that you carry to the dancefloor. You may hurt yourself while dancing. For bigger injuries, head to the first aid area. Every festival has one.

9) A power bank / Solar Panel to charge your gadgets

Although I’d recommend you stay disconnected from the outside world during the festival, in case you’re expecting your friends to call you because of some reason, then a power bank will save your life.

My portable phone charger is a power bank with 20000 mAh with 22.5 W for fast charging. I was shocked that I was able to charge my iPhone to full three times and still there was more than half of the battery left on the power bank.

You can also look for a solar panel for charging external USB chargers, these can really come in handy when all else fails.

10) A hand-fan

Yes, it is in the option section but after attending so many festivals I have realized that a hand-fan is the BEST festival accessory. It will keep your face cool when the weather is warm and it will increase air circulation. I don’t know about you but at times when there are too many people on the dance floor, I feel I need some extra breathing space. A hand fan helps when there is less space.

11) Disposable Cameras / Polaroid Camera

I have honestly never carried a disposable camera or a Polaroid camera to a festival but one of my friends carries one and it is always fun (and old school). Yes most likely you will use your phone for a photo if you click one which you may not print, but the ones from a Polaroid camera will stay on as a memory on your work desk or your refrigerator for years.

12) Handcart

This is going to save your life because you can carry your camping gear, and your food along with your luggage on a cart and pull it behind you. If you are doing the festival with your small child then this will help a lot.

Things I’d Never Carry to a Music Festival

1) Glass bottles

Firstly, many festivals like Boom have banned these glass bottles because they are fire hazards. Secondly. it’s risky to carry them because they can break and cut your skin. If you’re buying your own alcohol then you can transfer the contents in a flask instead of carrying a glass bottle.

2) A selfie stick

My apologies to those who can’t live without their selfie sticks. Your stick can poke and hurt people who dance around you. Almost all of the music festivals have amazing official photographers. Ask one of them to click your photo.

3) Bad attitude

Leave this at home. Spread good vibes and don’t forget to smile at everyone.

So, what do you think my packing list for music festivals? Is there anything that you carry and I missed it out? Let me know in the comments section. Oh and do share this list with your friends to help them pack for the music festivals.

Consider carrying a Dry Bag if the festival is close to the water. Check out this list of some of the best dry bags.

You may also like:

15 Reasons to Love the Experience Festival

A detailed guide to North Goa

11 Hippie Destinations in the Himalayas

Holi Festival

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Attending Music Festivals with a Baby? We Did and So Can You! Here’s How

Attending Music Festivals with a Baby? We Did and So Can You! Here’s How

I wrote this post when I took my 8-month-old baby to music festivals. She’s now five and we have already taken her to so many more after writing this post.

My love story with San started at a music festival. Since then, we have attended many festivals together. There was even a year when we did 9 music festivals – all in different countries. We did the Boom Festival in Portugal, SUN Festival in Hungary, Modem Festival in Croatia, Lost Theory in Spain, Hilltop in Goa, and Dance of Shiva in Manali – just to name a few. (Here’s what happened when we did back-to-back music festivals)

Disclaimer: Just because we attend music festivals, doesn’t mean that we participate in intoxicants. We do it for our love of music and nothing else. Yes, we perhaps the most sober people in a festival with just a beer or two in their system.

Fast forward a few years, and we’re new parents! During my pregnancy, we decided not to stop what we loved doing together. It includes attending music festivals. Of course, it would only work when we take our baby to music festivals with us. It was going to happen sooner or later, so we decided to start early. Well, why not?

Our little girl was just 9 months old when she had already visited two music festivals with us. Her first festival was the Modem Festival in Croatia and the second one was Wonderland Festival in Germany. We took her back to a music festival almost every year during her toddler years, and now she’s 5.

Our festival experience has now completely changed, but not for the worse. It is definitely a lot of fun to attend a festival with a baby or a toddler. 

By the way, if you’re a new parent, then be sure to read our 35+ tips for traveling with a baby. It is a detailed post where I mention tips for flying with your baby, camping, managing food and sleep and so much more.

So you want to take your baby to a music festival too? Here are some of our top tips that will help you:

Pick the RIGHT Music Festival

Attending a music festival with baby
Attending a music festival with baby

Don’t just go to any music festival with your child, especially if it is the first time. Make an effort to pick the RIGHT one. Every music festival attracts a different kind of crowd, which depends a lot on the genre and location. Read this post to know what kind of music festivals we like.

A good music festival experience for you and your baby will be picking a festival that has much more than just the dancefloor. Many festivals feature a special area for children, a Yoga zone, and an art corner. 

Pick a genre that you enjoy and one that attracts people that are a little more relaxed. A heavy metal festival would be a bad idea but an indie rock festival would make a lot of sense with a baby. Similarly, jazz or reggae festivals will also work well if you’re taking your baby. 

We always pick psychedelic music festivals which normally have a chill stage with soft music and another stage with dark PsyTrance. We’d never pick a festival like Tomorrowland, or Coachella – that’s not at all our scene.

Pick a festival that you have already been to and you’re confident about managing your baby at that particular location. In case you haven’t been there personally, try to find others who have taken their baby to that particular festival. Ask them for their location-specific tips.

Going with a Partner is Easier than Going Alone

A beautiful family that we met in a music festival with baby
A beautiful family that we met in a music festival with a baby

I’m sorry to mention this to the single parents who are planning on going to the music festival without the baby’s other parent – it isn’t going to be so easy. 

Get a friend (or your girl gang)  to accompany you if you’re single. It takes a village to raise a baby, and you will surely need help when you take your baby to a music festival.

Baby Sleeping Arrangements in the Festival

The best part about music festivals is camping there for a few nights – which can also be the worst part for your baby if you don’t do it right. Sleeping (along with feeding) is something that you need to mindfully take care of so that your baby remains in a good mood and doesn’t make your life hell. 

Based on the location and the weather forecast, think and plan your sleeping arrangements from before. Here are a few options:

Consider Renting a Van

Us three with van and our camping spot - traveling with a baby
Us three with van and our camping spot – traveling with a baby

San and I have our own camper van. We have traveled a lot in our van with our little one and she’s now comfortable sleeping in it. 

I highly recommend you rent a van to make the festival experience more comfortable for yourself and your little one. (you can rent one for cheap). I saw a lot of people with rented vans at the music festivals that we went to. It is not expensive to rent vans and will be cheaper than buying all the extra camping gear for your baby. 

Consider Getting a Camping Bed

Did you know you can get a Foldable camping bed for your baby? It folds up pretty small but opens up to a big and comfortable crib. It makes an amazing bed for your little one on the go! This bed is an excellent option for those who are thinking of sleeping in a tent with their baby. Just make sure your tent is large and high enough for this.

Karma also has a bed like this in her grandparents’ house in Frankfurt and she is very comfortable sleeping on it when we’re there. A few months back, we thought of borrowing it for the festival but did not end up because Karma is now very comfortable on the van. 

Along with the camping bed, you will also need to get a mattress for it. If the festival location is cold, then you will surely need a thick and effective sleeping bag. No, blankets don’t work so well because babies kick them off. 

Consider Getting A Room

“No way, I’m not renting a room in a festival and missing out on all the fun,” says my husband. 

Do you think like that too? You have no choice but to change your mind if the weather isn’t suitable for camping with a small baby and you’re going there without a van. Get a room that’s very close to the festival location.

Of course, this is only recommended if it makes sense to rent a room considering the ease of getting to the festival from your room. If it involves too many changes – like walking, then a bus, and then a shuttle – then it isn’t worth the hassle.

Arrive Early

While writing this article, I asked my husband for his #1 tip for attending a music festival with a baby and he said to arrive early. Why? Well, it is a good idea to get your baby comfortable and used to the new festival environment before things start going crazy. 

Moreover, arriving early will help you find a good camping spot that’s close to everything but far away from music. It will also help you figure your way around before the area gets crowded with many people.

Make Sure You Carry Headphones

Babies have sensitive ears and they should wear noise-canceling headphones in the music festival, especially if they’re close to the dancefloor. 

It isn’t easy making your baby wear headphones if they have decided to hate them. It happened with Karma and she wore the headphones only in two instances after a lot of drama.

Every baby is different, so don’t give up. Let your child play with the headphones before you put them on. Be sure to take a look at my Music Festival packing list.

Prepare to Take Turns to Hit the Dance Floor

Us in a music festival
Us in a music festival

Yes, I get it – it is more fun to hit the dancefloor with your partner or better half. However, things change a little bit when there’s a baby in the picture. Someone has to be around the baby, even when he or she is sleeping. In this case, your choice would be to not go to the dancefloor after the baby sleeps, or take turns and enjoy the party. We did the latter.

We did take Karma to the dancefloor but only for a short time. For serious partying, San and I took turns hitting the dancefloor one by one.

What worked really well with us was an arrangement where one night he would stay at the camping area with the baby and I’d go out to party, but on the next night, it was his turn. Even though Karma slept by 7 – 8 p.m. every night, at least one parent was always next to her inside or outside the van.

Sleep Schedule – to Follow or Not?

Rocking my baby to sleep in a music festival in Croatia
Rocking my baby to sleep in a music festival in Croatia

Most babies have a fixed sleep schedule. Should you follow that schedule when you head for a music festival? I will share my experience and will let you decide.

Karma has a fixed sleep schedule and she usually sticks to it even when we travel. It is just the first day of travel that gets messed up, but on the second day, she returns to her normal schedule on her own. 

Before her first festival, I asked a few parents and one said I should just forget the schedule when I’m at a music festival with her and go with the flow. Yes, I did try that but it did not work for us. 

Karma always takes two naps a day but she did not on the first day of the festival, which caused her to be irritable. On the second day, I made sure she was comfortable (in her pram or on the mat) and in a silent spot during her nap time. I rocked her a little and she slept very easily. Because of this, my next few days were super easy. 

So yes, we did follow her sleep schedule at the festival. We did not follow it minute to minute but loosely. In all honesty, it was HER who followed her sleep schedule, not us.

Fast forward a few years, we obviously couldn’t take her for a festival for a year after her first birthday because of Covid but we went right after the restrictions loosened up.

When she was 3.5 years old, we took her to the same festival in Croatia and it was without a van. We bought the biggest tent from Decathlon that had two rooms and we were very comfortable in it.

Get Ready to Wake Up Early

Never have I ever woken up religiously at 7 a.m. at any music festival as I did with I went with my baby. Our little one woke us up in both in Modem Festival and Wonderland Festival. 

Babies normally wake up early, especially if they are in new surroundings with different morning sounds. Accept it with a smile and prepare yourself mentally to begin early.

Sleep Early or Don’t Get to Sleep at all

Our little baby in a music festival with us
Our little baby in a music festival with us

This is more like an extension of the previous point. Well, as I mentioned before – your baby will most likely wake you up early every morning. If you’re like me and you love to sleep, then you will have to sacrifice the party night on some nights and sleep early so that you don’t hate your life when you’re woken up at 7 am.

Pick your party night and sleep early on other nights. You need to rest too! After all, it is a vacation for you too.

Managing Food and Breastfeeding in a music festival

If your baby is younger than 6 months, hasn’t started solids, and is only on breastmilk, then managing food is going to be super easy. This is one of the cases where taking a 3-month-old baby to a music festival may end up being easier than taking a 7-month-old. Direct breastfeeding is the easiest form of feeding to manage when traveling. You don’t need to carry a bottle or worry about cleaning it!

Managing food when your baby is on formula, drinking milk from a bottle or solids is a little more work. You will need to carry the food, bowls, spoons, bottles, sippies, and what not. You will also have to ensure everything is always clean and sterilized. 

Most of the festivals have a place where you can buy fresh fruit, bread, milk, and cheese. Usually, 6+-month-old babies love bananas and 7+ months onward they love bread too. Even if your baby has just 1 or 2 teeth, they can eat and enjoy soft bread. Carry ready-to-eat or easy-to-make cereals that are specifically for babies. Buy the ones that you can just mix with hot water. TIP: Carry something that you know your baby loves to eat. 

In our case, Karma was 8 months old and we carried her favorite ready-to-eat porridge for dinner from Germany, which we kept in the refrigerator in our van. The brand is Hipp, which is easily available in most European supermarkets and DM. 

She drinks breast milk so I did not have to worry about the formula. Also, I bought bananas, fresh bread, and cheese for her almost every day at the festival.

Sling / Carrier / Pram

Baby sleeping in her pram in Slovenia
Baby sleeping in her pram in Slovenia

Should you carry a sling or a carrier or a pram? Many people swear by slings but a pram works wonders for us. It all depends on what your baby is most comfortable in, and is used to. 

I have met many parents who love carrying their babies in slings or backpacks or carriers because it keeps them close to the chest but my little one doesn’t like them. She doesn’t like staying in a carrier or sling for more than 30 minutes on a good day. On the other hand, she loves her pram and can also sleep in it. 

Personally, I prefer the pram because it is so much easier to manage than a sling. Pushing is definitely easier than carrying. I can take my little one around in her pram as well as carry her stuff under the it so I have my hands free. The one I have has enough space for her stuff as well as MY stuff. Moreover, it also acts as a high chair for eating and a makeshift bed on the go.

I have a compact folding one from Cybex, that I can open with just one foot while holding my little one in my arms. Pretty cool, huh?

Not just in festivals but I have taken this particular one on many flights. Because of its small size, I never have to check it in along with my luggage but literally take it to the flight entry door. 

Baby Festival Essentials 

Me with the Baby in a Music Festival
Me with the Baby in a Music Festival

In my post about tips for traveling with a baby, I mention you should travel light and not carry too many diapers. After all, you get them in every supermarket. But things are very different when you’re at a music festival with your baby.

Carry more than enough diapers because that’s something you will not get at a music festival (unless there’s a supermarket nearby). Not just diapers but bring enough diaper gear – like wipes, disposable changing mats, dry tissues, and diaper cream. 

Don’t forget weather protection such as sun cream that’s specifically for babies, sun hat, waterproof gear, thick jacket, gloves, socks, etc. 

We have a lot of other festival gear for our baby too – like an Inflatable Bathtub, travel potty, bath thermometer, and cute costumes. You probably don’t need most of these things. Neither do we, but it was fun to buy them and waste money. Yep, that’s what we do with our firstborns, don’t we?

Festival Bag Checklist – Keep a Day Bag Ready with ALL THIS

My best tip for enjoying a festival with your baby is always being ready to be on the move. Set up your handbag before the festival and just refill the basics every day and you’re ready to move without a delay. In our case, it was a small rucksack.

Pack all this in your day bag – at least 5 Diapers, 1 disposable changing mat, 1 pack of wet baby wipes, soft burping towels, solid ear-protecting headphones, a change of clothing for your baby in case of mess-ups, a picnic mat, 1-2 toys, a small blanket, 1-2 snacks, baby food, spoon, water sippy, sun hat, and sunglasses. Karma did not ever wear her hat or sunglasses, so I also carried a little umbrella for her. 

My bag also included my basics like a swimsuit, sarong, jacket for me, and my essentials. I always carry my camera too because I wanted to capture special moments of my baby’s first music festival. I did not end up using my camera on most days but it was good to use it twice. 

In short, you should have enough to change the diaper at any point, to make your baby get comfortable to sleep whenever he or she wants, and to feed the baby anywhere. Also, the idea is to carry just ONE bag that includes your and your baby’s stuff.

Sounds like a lot of stuff? Well, don’t forget you have a pram. Put all this in the lower part of your pram and keep your hands free. Be creative and hang a few things on the pram, like the toys and umbrella. 

Make Your Baby Meet Other Babies

Excited Babies meeting each other in a music festival
Excited Babies meeting each other in a music festival
Music Festival with babies - Go with your partner or your friend
Music Festival with babies – Go Make new friends

Festival babies should meet each other and be friends, no? Well, when you see another tiny human with parents, go ahead and say hello. 

Make your baby meet as many babies as possible and watch the fun. It is adorable to see how babies react to each other and are so curious. You never know, some of your baby’s lifelong friendships may begin here.

Moreover, you will also make new friends with similar parents who enjoy the same kind of things as you do – like music festivals. Do you know how difficult it is to find like-minded people and make friends with them when you’re older?

Spend Time in the Children’s Area

Toddlers and babies playing together in the Children's Area in a music festival
Toddlers and babies playing together in the Children’s Area in a music festival

Most of the music festivals have a children’s area. Find one and try to spend time there. The Children’s Area in a festival is an amazing space for your baby to play, meet other babies, and to get creative.

Back in 2016, I fell in love with the Children’s Area at Boom Festival (in Portugal). It is called Young Dragons and I saw children playing with bubbles, colors, and blocks. They all had their own workshops and cinema there! 

I remember thinking at that point that I would surely bring my child to music festivals with me. Little did I know that I’d be taking my own baby to music festivals with me.

My little Karma had a lot of fun in the Modem Festival’s Children’s Area. She met many other babies and got noisy with them. She also had her first little fight with another baby (aww). Sadly Wonderland Festival in Germany did not have a Children’s Area but we spent most of our time in the Chai Shop which was next to the Chill Out Floor.

ALWAYS Keep an Eye

Keeping an Eye on the Baby in a music festival
Keeping an Eye on the Baby in a music festival

This point is very obvious but I do feel it is my duty to mention it to all my blog readers. Being a parent, you must be habitual in keeping an eye on your baby by now. Festivals are no different. 

One parent or a close friend that you can trust should be with the baby at all times. Keep an eye on and make sure your baby is well-fed, hydrated, is wearing sun protection if needed, and is not cold or not hot. 

If you’re sitting on the grass, be mindful of where the baby is crawling and what he or she is putting in the mouth. People consume all sorts of drugs at festivals and you don’t want your baby to find a baggy with intoxicants and start eating it.

Stay Sober [at least one of you]

A music festival is a place where some people may want to get intoxicated, but YOU will have to do things differently. I personally attended many music festivals in my life and I was usually sober.

By now you must have mentally accepted the fact that your life is fucked and you can no longer do what you want. Haha, kidding. I mean, you now have the responsibility of your child’s safety, so come to terms with the fact that your music festival experience will be a little less drunk as compared to the others.

I suggest at least one parent or friend stays sober – whoever is watching the baby. Of course, a beer or two should be all right. As long as you’re in your senses and are confident of being able to watch your baby.

Take it Easy and Enjoy. It is EASIER Than You Think

Our baby enjoying a juggeling show in Wonderland Music Festival
Our baby enjoying a juggling show in Wonderland Music Festival

Yes, you’re at a music festival with your baby but you need to relax and have fun too. Taking care of your baby at a festival is easier than you think. There are plenty of distractions like interesting decorations, hula hoopers, jugglers, and most commonly people dressed in interesting costumes that will keep your baby busy. 

Get a picnic mat, lie down, and let your baby crawl around. Keep an eye on your baby from a distance and smile. Be happy, because you’re one of the very few parents who are showing the awesomeness of a music festival to their baby. Make the most of it.

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What Kind of Music Festivals Do We Like?

What Kind of Music Festivals Do We Like?

I’m sure you know by now that San and I met each other at a music festival in Thailand and eventually got married. We often travel to new countries to attend different festivals. Yes, we love attending music festivals and write about them often.

Disclaimer: Just because we attend music festivals, doesn’t mean that we participate in intoxicants. We do it for our love of music and nothing else. Yes, we perhaps the most sober people in a festival with just a beer or two in their system.

Because of the size of our audience, we often get emails from different kind of festival organizers asking to promote their festivals and we say no to most of them.

Just because we love music festivals, doesn’t mean we like every kind. We’re very selective about which festival to attend and below are the things we consider when deciding to attend one:

Things we look for in a Music Festival

01| Environment friendly

Do you know how much environmental damage can be caused by one single festival if the organizers don’t take the appropriate steps? However, there are some festivals that take an initiative to reduce our carbon footprint. Some of them go an extra step by holding discussions and spreading awareness about environment preservation. At this day and age, most of the festivals now have compost toilets and recycling bins. Many festivals that have water bodies around hand out organic soaps that are chemical free. This is a very important factor for us before we buy our festival tickets.

02 | Genre is everything

We usually attend only psychedelic music festivals where the genre can be – PsyTrance, Psyambient, Hi-Tech, Forest PsyTrance, and even psychedelic rock. We have also attended and enjoyed reggae festivals. We have also enjoyed world music festivals because of a variety of music. We don’t attend EDM festivals (like Tomorrowland) and will never attend pop festivals (like Coachella). No offense to those who enjoy this genre, but we don’t and we can’t sit through music that we don’t like.

03 | Size DOES matter

We absolutely dislike massive festivals where there are more than 15000 attendees. Some of our favorite music festivals are SUN Festival (Hungary) or the Experience Festival (Thailand).. or even Earthquake Festival (Germany) because of a sweet “family” kind of a vibe. The only exception to this was Boom Festival in Portugal, which is a bi-annual event and I do suggest everyone to attend it at least once in his or her lifetime.

04 | Children friendly

Gone are the days when the festivals were only created for a specific age group. Nowadays many festival organizers are waking up to the fact that they need to ensure inclusion for literally all age groups. After all, why should families not join the fun? Many of our friends have children and we absolutely love spending time with them. We love festivals where there is a little playground for children and they create artwork.

05 | Location and campground

We prefer festivals that are organized far away from the madness of big cities and are at places where one can feel closer to nature. Moreover, festivals generally play loud music and we hate to be associated with events that causes noise pollution to the nearby villages and disturbs the locals. Also, being closer to nature is an important point for us because the duration of a typical festival is at least 4 days, which makes camping a very important aspect of the overall experience. Everyone likes to camp at a decent location, even we do. The best location that we have ever seen for a festival is Modem festival in Croatia.

06 | Vibes are contagious

How do we find the vibes before attending the festival? Believe it or not, the festival community is very small and the word DOES get around. Many people know who “digital nomads” are, but not everyone knows about “festival nomads”. San and I are also festival nomads but I’m a digital nomad too. We do get to know about festival vibes because there is always someone in the community that has attended a particular festival that we have not. We don’t like hectic vibes but we love happy and peaceful vibes. We don’t even mind negative vibes because we take our own vibe to the festival and try to transform everything into a positive experience. However, we’re referring to festivals that have a highly “commercial” vibe and where it is evident that the organizers are ONLY interested in cashing in instead of ensuring a good experience.

07 | Art, Yoga and Creativity

Festivals are not just about music and dance, but also about expanding the mind and encouraging creativity. Here’s the thing – not every festival has enough money to invest in artists and instructors, which is absolutely ok but it is good to see when they take initiatives. Even a simple thing like a hula-hoop workshop can make a positive impact. However, unlike other points, this point is definitely not a deal breaker. In fact, there were a few festivals where we created our own art/yoga zone.

Are you also a music festival junkie like us? Let us know about your favorite festivals in the comments.


Tips for celebrating Holi in India from an Indian

Tips for celebrating Holi in India from an Indian

So you want to celebrate Holi in India and want some basic information before you start? You’ve come to the right page!

Being an Indian, I have celebrated Holi all my life at many locations all over the country. As per me, it’s the most awesome festival in the world! Based on my experience, I want to share some tips with you so that you can enjoy my favorite festival as much as I usually do.

A little clarification – Holi is not a type of party, but it is a festival that’s celebrated in India and Nepal. No, it’s not a psychedelic music festival but a traditional Hindu festival, which is of course, can be psychedelic because it’s colorful. And yes, it is more colorful than you imagined it to be!

I felt a need to explain the basics because I did met a few people while traveling who mentioned they love “Holi parties”. I later found out that they thought that Holi is a kind of a trance party where colors are used while dancing because that’s how they celebrate it in Europe.

When is Holi celebrated?

There is no fixed date when Holi is celebrated (at least not as per the international calendar). It is celebrated at the arrival of spring, which is the full moon of the Falgun month as per the Hindu calendar, which can be in the month of February or March. To be exact, the actual day when people apply color on each other all over India is usually a morning after the full moon of Falgun.

Where in India should you travel for Holi?

San and I celebrating Holi in India

San and I celebrating Holi in India

Well, don’t just change your itinerary based on Holi because it is celebrated pretty much all over India with slight variations. In some parts of UP state of India, Holi is celebrated for a longer duration. UP is also famous for Lath Maar Holi, which is mostly celebrated in Barsana town near Mathura where women playfully mock – beat men with sticks. The state of Uttrakhand celebrated Kumaon Holi, which is a musical celebration. In most of the Indian states, Holi is actually a two-day (or longer) celebration with Puja on the first day and color games on the second. If you want to know more about how it’s celebrated in each state, you can see this.

Anyway, I don’t want to confuse you, but I know you’re most likely interested in the second day of Holi (gotcha!). Truth be told, I have hardly ever participated in the puja part of Holi and have celebrated the second day, which is the color day”. So just go to any part of India where you have friends (or at least can make some) and celebrate! Or what if you’re traveling solo? Read my next point.

What to do for Holi if you’re traveling solo?

While it’s a different thing to go to a music festival alone, but celebrating Holi in India alone as a girl is a whole different matter. I love my country, but sadly a lot of my countrymen will leave no chance in groping women when they can get away with it. Holi is one such day when they think they can get away with it. They will find reasons to touch you, maybe at pretense of putting color on your face before they grope and run away. Sadly, crime rate against women is very high on this day, so please don’t venture out alone.

Suggested: 20 Amazing Indian Festivals that are worth experiencing.

Try to make friends before Holi at your hostel or around. The best would be if you can find local women / families and just ask them if you can celebrate with them. If you don’t know where to find them, you can join this women travel group from India. Don’t worry; you won’t be forcing your company on them because most likely, they’d love to show you how they celebrate Holi. Oh but please be careful about Bhang lassi.

What to wear for Holi?

My cousin and I celebrating Holi in our oldest clothes

My cousin and I celebrating Holi in our oldest clothes

Find your oldest clothes, because you won’t be able to wear them again. This goes for your undies too because they will also catch the color.

A lot of websites say you should wear white on Holi but I have mixed thoughts about this. If you’re a girl, you should definitely avoid wearing white because people will throw water on you and many will openly see through your clothes. While in Western countries you may just only receive attention, in India you will receive way more than that.

Wear clothes that are comfortable, can dry quickly and can’t be ripped off easily. I normally wear an old tee shirt with cotton pants or shorts. I always wear sunglasses to protect my eyes from the color and I highly recommend you do the same!

How to protect your skin and hair on Holi?

This point is for both boys and girls. You do need to protect your skin and hair because you can never be sure what kind of color people are applying on you. The easiest thing to do is to apply layers and layers of baby oil on your skin and hair. Make sure you even apply it on your neck and around your ears. Don’t just put it on your exposed skin, but even under your clothes. Not only will you protect your skin from rashes and dryness, but you will make it easier for yourself to remove the color. I also wear a headscarf or a hat to protect my hair because my cousin throws eggs on our heads to take Holi a level higher.

Where to go to celebrate Holi?

Usually the best (and the safest) places to go are local parks, colleges, or a local family’s house. Try to find a Holi party if you can. I usually know of a few, so email me if you can’t find one.

Where should you keep your valuables on Holi?

Carry a waterproof pouch and keep a little money. Try not to carry your phone, but if you still insist, at least invest in a waterproof bag or a pouch. For many years I just carried a little money in a plastic bag and kept it in a cheap pouch.

So do people just apply color on each other?

Many of them do, but mostly it’s like a color war. While some people will politely put a few dots on you, others will take this opportunity to get rid of their yearlong frustration and literally bash you up with colors. More than just colors, it’s also watercolors and waterballoons.

Don’t get shocked when you see people throwing eggs at each other, its pretty normal for a few of them. Back in Punjab, I also saw a few boys who were putting grease on each other’s faces!

About buying Holi Colors, Waterguns and Waterballoons

Holi in India - Holi colors on display in a street market

Holi in India – Holi colors on display in a street market

If you love colors, you’re going to love Holi markets because they’re full of colors. Buy chemical free colors that are made of herbs so that you don’t cause any damage.

You don’t have to buy all the shades but just one or two will suffice. Trust me you will look like a rainbow by end of the day, because everyone would have picked different colors to apply on each other.

Want to go a level higher than colors? Get a water gun! I’m sure if my mom would shake her head in disapproval if she ever reads this article. I don’t personally carry one but I am lucky that I celebrate it with my nephew and I borrow his from time to time to annoy my friends. Water balloons are even a level higher because they can seriously hurt! I don’t ever carry them but normally I get thrown at.

What is Bhang?

Bhang is eatable preparation of marijuana. It is usually in the form of milk-based drink such as lassi or thandai. Lassi is a yogurt drink and thandai is a milk and almond drink. It can also be in food, such as pakodas. It’s much more potent than just smoking a joint. You will not feel the effects while consuming it but it can really hit you hard after an hour.

On Holi, people openly consume Bhang in form of thandai, pakodas or lassi. So please be careful of what you drink or eat.

What should you keep in mind for general safety?

Don’t move around on the streets alone. There are enough frenzied groups that turn into mobs and circle around on Holi to look for a new target.

Don’t throw colors on animals. It irritates their skin and they end up licking it which can cause them poisoning.

In many places in India, small children hide in the balconies and throw water balloons at people. This doesn’t just happen on the day of Holi, but also a for week before the festival. These balloons really hurt when they hit the flesh, so please keep your eyes open. I once had a water-balloon thrown at me while I was safely sitting inside my car. It was funny and annoying at the same time!

Want epic Holi photos? Buy an action camera like GoPro! (this is an affiliate link, if you click this link and buy something from Amazon, I may earn a little commission at no extra cost to you 🙂 )

Be a child and have fun. Seriously, it is the most fun filled festival that I know of and I hope you make the most of it.

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