This time was not my first traveling to “Life” festival as I had already experienced the place last year, so I was prepared to expect the unexpected, but I still got caught out on a lot of things.
“Life” festival for those who don’t know about it is an annual Irish Music Festival which held in Belvedere House and Gardens in County Westmeath, Ireland. As the venue located next to a lakeside castle, provided by some of the world’s leading electronic artists. The festival offers a broad range of cutting-edge music, traditional arts, workshops, and performances through a three day camping weekend of non-stop partying and dancing.
The location is ideal as the Belvedere House provides the optimal scenery for the venue with its vibrant set of lights and astonishing grounds, stages, eco-friendly camping facilities, lake, decorations and its different stalls.
What should you expect if did go?
Well, the answer to that is anything. The first time I arrived at Life I brought too much of everything; money which you will loose, clothes which will most likely get lost but not enough refreshments. Like last year I drove my car up and left everything in the boot such as drink in which I put a rain jacket over to keep it fresh and other vital essentials. If they left in the tent, they would either be robbed or be way too warm as the tent can heat up fairly lively. Typical Irish weather, enough to heat your drinks, short lived, so you better bring your wellingtons.
The one thing I didn’t have enough of this year was the battery, bring up at least one battery bank and make sure it has about 30’000mAh which should suffice to charge your phone a good few times. You could get a solar powered battery bank and is an environmentally friendly device. It is ideal for mobile phones and digital cameras of all sorts. With a built-in battery, this mobile power can charge electronic devices even when it is a rainy day. I found something I will be adding to my wish list and you can find by clicking the image below.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Without working phone, you can cause so much hassle, and it did for one of my friends as we could not call, or find him. He lost his wristband and tried to ask for a replacement but had no proof that he bought one in the first place. So he was made to buy another, but before you say why didn’t he charge it in one of the charging stations for €5, he would have to wait about an hour with the queue there, and he didn’t even have it on him he had it lost somewhere in the campsite. This poor lad found his phone on the second last day in his tent which was full of piss and number twos all over his clothes and what was in the middle of it all? Yes, his phone. Not only did he have to buy a new ticket but his phone was destroyed along with his clothes and his tent. People were using the tent as a toilet on the rainy day which was the Saturday. That’s Life for you, full of surprises!
How to prevent this?
The first thing you need to do is to befriend your camping neighbors. With them, on your side, you can set up a neighborhood watch where you all look out for each other’s tents in case people accidentally stumble into your tent and borrow your belongings and forget to return them.
Life more than likely tripled its capacity from last year, and I can see it doubling for next year as organizers outdid themselves with an amazing setup. In 2016 there was just one field full of Ireland’s drunken finest, but this year there was 2 and a bit in which I do not include its silk road tents and boutique camping by the lake which were incredible.
What to bring?
This year all I brought was my big bag full of “soda” cans and a sleeping bag which I left out in the pissing rain and my tent wide open for all the rain to gather in. It was grand the next day though as everything dried up within an hour because the weather was boiling leaving every person with some level of sunburn to add a bit of color for the festival. You most likely won’t sleep for the three days because of the fear of missing out or join resting partygoers sleeping anywhere. The clothes you’d want to bring would have to be colorful. I brought a rave jacket with its purple shoulders, red cap, white sunglasses and a bright yellow bandana around my neck which worked out surprisingly well because my friends easily found me every time. Now, this is what I call fashion meets function.
Everything. If I were to pick from two things it would have to be the scaldy District 8 tent which had some ridiculous tunes that would make you stay there for the whole day but it didn’t have the best act which in my opinion was the Magician who stole the show for me at the main stage. The Irish crowd doesn’t sleep and know how to handle these events as I went back into the festival early enough in the morning expecting nothing to be happening to find a massive gathering that wouldn’t even fit inside the tent and be going up and out onto the hill going crazy at 7.30 am. I’ve been to Creamfields twice, and you wouldn’t see anything like this at that hour it was brilliant. The last day when all the music has stopped can bring around the best kind of vibes as you will find a lot of camp raves inside people’s large camping tents, in the open air or just take over a chipper or stall to bang out a few tunes. You might even find a big Gazebo full of scaldy Dubliners who turn the campsite into a big rave train walking around with the speaker on their shoulders gathering new recruits along the way.
I don’t have much but the campsites really should have toilets at each corner to prevent people using their tents or random tents or even the field. It’s not attractive at all waking up and coming out of your tent hungover to see a girl squatting down to take a crap then turning around to look at her masterpiece and planting herself straight into it; I almost died laughing at the poor girl. There is enough food and drink stalls, but the prices are so high like how is €7 for a curry cheese chip right? There needs to be more battery charging stalls because the queue for the place was huge 24/7. Its not like the festival would be losing out on putting another charging stall there they are making a fortune. Then festival roots imply that it supposed to be the rave in the woods which did not happen. Continuous reggae music was nice, but the life had a perfect set up for banging out tunes at 6 am.
Would I go again?
Definitely! I’d pick Life over any other festival any day of the week. Mainly because of the atmosphere and the fairy-like decorations which make the place uniquely cool. These events aren’t just about mad electronic music and getting stoned. Don’t get me wrong; these things did exist. But the uniqueness of these festivals is the variety and coexistence of people who would never meet in a “real life.” I haven’t just only seen electronic artists but enjoyed rap, reggae, indie, funk, etc. And not everybody was intoxicated or drugged up to have an excellent time. The coherence that exists when the music drops with welcoming friendly people is something I don’t want to give up. To be carefree and doing what you want in an environment that will accept and get along with me is a truly freeing experience. You can’t contribute any of these moments in your lectures or at your 9-5. This is the truth.