Hellfest 2017: How to Get the Most from a Festival Line-Up
Festival season is just around the corner, and if you're anything like us over at Kate's Clothing, you're already daydreaming about lineups, going over travel plans in your head and planning your outfits months in advance - we are so ready! In the meantime, we've decided to make a list of some handy tips for getting the most out of a festival lineup this summer, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the exciting leadup to the summer festival season!
Kate's clothing will be travelling to the beautiful countryside region of Clisson in the south of France once again this year - not to take a picturesque bikeride over rolling hills and vineyards, but to rock out at Hellfest, one of the most epic metal festivals in Europe! With over 130 bands playing each year, and six stages each featuring different styles of alternative music, from thrash to sludge, pagan metal to punk, there is just so much to see at Hellfest, so here are six tips to help you squeeze as much musical goodness out of your festival experience as possible, and leave knowing you got your money's worth.
1. Plan ahead
If lineup announcements have been ticking all your boxes this year, and there are a lot of bands that you're looking forward to seeing, a good idea might be to start compiling a list, and ranking your preferences from the bands that are an absolute must-see, to those which you wouldn't mind skipping this time around. This means that if you later find clashes, or simply don't have the energy to watch them all on the day, you'll already have some idea in mind about what to prioritise. This will save some hesitation and debate when you arrive at the festival, and will hopefully mean that you aren't too disappointed if you have to skip a few bands. Alternatively, you could make a list of must-see bands, and then add a few 'bonus' options on the side for if you're feeling up to it. Get your felt tips out and make a few diagrams if this helps you to visualise your plans!
2. Discuss the lineup with your friends
If you're traveling to festivals with a large group of friends, it might be a good idea to start discussing with them what they want to get out of the lineup, to avoid conflicts later on. Facebook and Whatsapp group chats are great for this! Be willing to compromise, and don't be afraid to break off from the group if there's a band you really want to watch that the others aren't so interested in; after all, you can always catch up later on at the campsite, but it might be a long time before you get the chance to see that band again! Other good options are splitting up into pairs and sticking with a buddy who shares your music taste (and energy levels) and then meeting with your whole group for the big headline acts that you all enjoy. If phone signals are patchy, pick a landmark to act as a meeting spot so you can always find your group if you split up to watch different bands!
3. Do your research
If you discover clashes or are worried about missing bands, have a quick look on Google or the band's Facebook page to see what their upcoming tour dates and prices are. If they're playing an affordable gig somewhere reasonably nearby in the not-too-distant future, you might want to skip them in favour of a band that you can't see anywhere else. Also, if you're the type of person that likes to discover new bands at a festival, you might want to at least have a look at a few live videos of their songs to see if they're worth checking out and avoid disappointment if they don't end up being quite your cup of tea.
4. Technology is your friend!
Hellfest - and many other festivals nowadays - offer apps that you can download to keep you updated on news, scheduling, site plans and more. Hellfest's app is great as it gives you live updates, maps, notifications and reminders, and allows you to customise it to your needs and tastes. For all those technophobes out there, make sure you print out or note down all the info you need before heading to the festival, especially if you're heading overseas or to a festival you haven't been to before, and keep it somewhere handy so you can refer to it on the go. The last thing you want is to miss a band because you forgot the schedule, or got lost and couldn't find the right stage!
5. Be aware of distances to and from the campsite
If your campsite is a fair way away from the main festival ground, as they often are, plan any trips back to the campsite carefully to avoid missing out on the action. Try and limit returns to the campsite as much as you can - we all know how pricey food and drink can be at festivals, plus queues can be a pain, but it might be worth splashing out now and then to grab food and drinks from vendors inside the festival grounds rather than running back to your tent for snacks and top-ups.
If you've got a bit of extra cash this summer, there are usually premium campsites that are more convenient and secure, like the Easy Camp Village at Hellfest, so if you really want to get the most out of the festival and are prepared to pay extra, this might be a good option. But, if the gritty camping experience is half the fun for you, just make sure you are aware of the time it will take to get to and from the campsite and plan accordingly!
6. Be realistic
It's impossible to see everything at a festival, so you do have to be realistic with your plans for what you'll be seeing each day. This is especially true if the festival has a huge arena where the different stages are far apart - consider sacrificing a few bands that are going to be hard to get to from where you are, in favour of some that are playing nearby. This means that you'll get to see their full show, rather than rushing over to catch a set that's already started on the other side of the grounds.
Luckily at Hellfest the stages are arranged pretty conveniently, plus their map is super easy to use and includes a handy key showing all the amenities near to the stages, but this isn't always the case with other festivals, so a bit of forward thinking is advisable!
Also, when planning in advance, remember that you might be tired, hungry, drunk, sunburned, jetlagged or hungover (or a horrible combination of all of them, yikes!) especially towards the end of the festival. Give yourself time to eat, sleep, relax, and nurse your pounding head, so that you'll be fresh enough to actually enjoy the music! Give yourself some downtime in between acts, and if you're heading to sunny France for Hellfest this year, kick back and enjoy the weather and gorgeous views! Remember that missing out on a band isn't the end of the world - you've still seen some great music, socialised, and hopefully made some fantastic memories...plus, there's always next year!
For more information about Hellfest 2017, including lineup, practical information, and a link to download their app, check out their website here.
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