MUSIC: Parklife 2018 - 8 Things You Should Know About Music Festivals + My Experience
Updated: Jun 20, 2019
Parklife 2018 was an interesting experience and I am glad I made the decision to attend. I purchased my weekend pass in January, about 5 months prior to the event. At the time, the lineup was available and there were a few artists that were scheduled to perform that I was looking forward to see, so the decision to go wasn't a difficult one. Although I had so much fun, the weekend was quite exhausting. I also learned a few things about music festivals and how they operate. Here are a few things to know if you are going to a music fest for the first time.
I. The Lineup Is Very Important ! --> Really check the lineup to see if you like majority of the artists that are scheduled to perform. If there's only one or two artists that you are familiar with then it probably isn't worth the hundreds of dollars you'll pay for the weekend. The goal is to get the most out of the experience and your money. Knowing at least a handful of the artists might contribute to a better experience. Another thing to keep in mind is that music festivals expose you to different artists so don't be discouraged if you don't know EVERYONE on the lineup. During the weekend you might discover a new artist that you'll learn to love, I know I did!
II. Stay Connected to Avoid Getting Lost --> I had to learn this the hard way. The original plan was for my friends and I to go to the festival together. However, on the first day of the fest, I wasn't ready (I'm always the last one in my friend group to finish getting dressed) and I didn't want to hold them up. I suggested that they should go to the festival without me and we could meet up later. As soon as we arrived we all realized that this was a bad decision. I definitely didn't think about how many people would be at the park prior to making the suggestion to come separately. The festival was way too crowded to find anyone and the cell reception was terrible. We finally found each other after searching for what felt like an eternity. I definitely recommended going as a group and leaving as one because it is almost impossible to find anyone.
III. Prepare for the Dust--> I was told that English Music Festivals tend to get muddy due to rain. Luckily, the weather was quite nice on both days and it only rained lightly on Day Two. Since the weather was nice, mud wasn't an issue but there was so much dust! By the end of the day my outfit and shoes were covered in dust. I inhaled so much of it that when I coughed or blew my nose, I saw dust :/ Some dust particles made its way to my eye contacts as well...gross right? I think bringing a bandana to tie around my nose and mouth might have reduced the amount of dust that I inhaled.
Although the dust wasn't fun, it didn't effect my experience. I think it's just something you should be mindful of.
IV: Know the Set Times & Stage Locations --> There is a Parklife App that you can utilize and it will tell you what artists are playing on each day. However, this app does not give you information on the set times/locations because Parklife wants you to buy the map when you arrive at the park. The map includes the set times/locations. Not sure if all music festivals are like this but If you choose to buy the map it makes it easier to get around. Fortunately, someone posted pictures of his map on twitter so I utilized that to get around. You can Check social media before buying the map or you could also ask people if they know where and when your desired artist is playing but it's a gamble. I don't think the map was expensive but it was nice to save the money.
V: Get To The Stage Early --> So many people want to see the same artist that you intend on seeing. If you want a good spot, give yourself some time to get to the stage and plan on getting there before your favorite artist begins. You have a better chance of getting to the front if you get to the stage during the last 10-15 minutes of the artist's set previous to your favorite artist. When everyone from that performance starts to leave, you can make your way to the front as they are exiting.
VI: Eat, Drink & Sleep -->
Music Festivals are so much fun but they are also exhausting! There's so much going on in one weekend and because of that you may forget to take care of yourself. Try to sleep as much as you can and don't forget to stay hydrated. On Day Two, my friends and I decided to leave for the music fest later than we did on the first day. We got there closer to 5pm (Last Entry) because the artists we wanted to see weren't going to be on stage until 7pm or later. This gave us time to sleep in, eat, and relax before tackling the day. Drinks and Food are not allowed inside the park and security will throw it out so don't try to bring anything in. They do sell food and drinks (alcoholic and non alcoholic) at the site but as you probably guessed...they are overpriced. If you are on a budget I would recommend eating before you go and then maybe purchasing something small during the day. You will be there for quite some time so I don't think there's a way to avoid buying food or drinks. At the very least buy some water to stay hydrated!
VII: Make friends & Take Pictures --> Music Festivals are a great place to make friends. Don't be afraid to chat to the people next to you during your down time. Photobomb someone's photo! The energy and vibe at music festivals are so positive because everyone is just there to have a good time. Take photos and make memories!
VIII: Traffic & Overcrowding --> As I mentioned before music festivals tend to be super crowded. On Day One, it took us 3 hours to get home via public transportation. We utilized the Tram as this was the best way to get to and from the Fest. On Day Two, the commute back home was better because we decided to leave a bit early. Skepta was the last performance that night. Although I like Skepta, I was willingly to miss his set in order to try to avoid some of the chaos that occurred the night before. My advice to you is don't wait until the end to leave the festival if you don't have to. If there's an artist that is closing the night and you want to see his performance, by all means go to his set and get your money's worth...if not beat the traffic and head home. You won't regret it!
Parklife 2018 was definitely one for the books! I had so much fun and was able to spend it with some great people. I definitely want to go to another music festival in the near feature. Any suggestions? Have you ever been to a Music Fest? If so, which one and what was your favorite part about the weekend? Sound off in the comments section below. Also check out my vlog on my Youtube channel (link down below). Make sure to Like, Comment, & Subscribe <3