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.