Festivals: Get out of here. | TQS Magazine

The festival season is upon us, winter is dragging on for ever so slightly too long, so it’s likely you’re staring out the window daydreaming of warmer climes, or sending exasperated group messages weighing up your options for summer.

Work is a pain, so the chilled beach holiday, lounging in the sun with drink in hand, certainly appeals, but what of the festivals? Every line-up that drops seems to be bigger than the last, and the FOMO is gaining serious momentum.

UK festivals are….kind of expensive. And the weather is….hit and miss. At best. Hey, if it’s sunny, its glorious, but as well know, it’s British good luck for unprecedented downpours on the weekend of whatever festival you’ve been looking forward to for the past six months. So, want to know how to avoid a scene like this:

Allow us to make a suggestion – HOLIDAYFESTIVAL. HOLIFESTIVAL? FESTIDAY. You see what we’re getting at – combine the two, find yourself a festival in a sunny corner of Europe and kill two flower crowns with one wristband.

1. Weather – it’s been touched on, but COME ON. You’d rather a sweaty English summer than a nice dry, hot, tan inducing scorcher in Spain? Benicassim is a case in point here – the festival is huge, and the lineup is always a cracker, but the best bit by a long way is that you can spend the entire day on its absolutely glorious beach. All day. Hangovers don’t like beaches. Or so I’m told. See also: Hideout, Unknown.

2. Food – Lets review the UK. I’m being super reductive to make my own point, but burger vans and cans of beans? Let it be known that I’m aware of a lot of incredible pop-up food providers at festivals here on our fair shores, BUT you could be expanding your horizons and trying some local delicacies in a place you’ve never been before. And frankly, Paella has all the key ingredients for not feeling like crap at any point. Seeing a theme here? Don’t say we don’t look after you.

3. Costs – Let’s be real here. None of us are rolling in it at the moment, there’s never been a worse time to be a 20 something in full time employment, or otherwise. When you cost up the ticket, travel, food, alcohol, it’s all a hell of a lot more expensive in the UK. Head to the continent and you’ve got bottles of vodka for less than 5 euros, much cheaper weekend tickets, and getting to another country is ironically cheaper than forking out more to sit on a stinking bus to get from one end of the UK to the other. Quick google, and First Choice have crazy cheap flights to Spain, which has a shedload of festivals – if you want our recommendation then the line-up for Sonar is so good it could make a grown man cry.

Now it wouldn’t be fair to let Sonar scoot by with just a minor mention – this really is our genuine recommendation. The line-up reads like the best playlist ever made, James Murphy will be there with his amazing Despacio show, NILE RODGERS godfather of disco and funk is putting in an appearance, and between Caribou, Bonobo, Four Tet and Todd Terje, its likely you’ll do yourself some sort of injury dancing. In a good way, obviously. If that wasn’t enough for you, Massive Attack are there, and for the uneducated, I think we all rather like the Luther theme tune don’t we? Another reason to love Sonar is that its not in the back end of nowhere. No sir, it’s in one of the greatest cities in the world – Barcelona. Tickets go for a phenomenally reasonable €48, to an equally frugal €180 for the whole weekend.

I reckon that’s a case made. Naturally the blighty festival can be a great laugh, but if you want a week or two of awesome music, guaranteed great weather, dirt cheap alcohol, gorgeous food, sea, sand….do I need to continue? Go forth and book!