Dear travelettes,

A while ago I shared my knowledge and experience on open-air music festivals with you. Just last weekend, I was able to put my tips and tricks to the test as a group of friends and I attended the Hurricane Festival in northern Germany. Since it was our third time around, we were much less worried about packing and planning, instead spending a great amount of our time gushing about the line-up and figuring out how to see as many bands as possible. Subsequently, we arrived at the campsite mildly unprepared without beer. Big mistake – since glass bottles weren’t allowed and all supermarkets were either out of beer cans or selling them ridiculously overpriced, we resorted to plastic bottles. A few of the things we were also missing/didn’t have enough of:

– flash light

– gum boots

– camping chairs

– food

As you can see, even experienced travelers screw up from time to time, but that’s perfectly OK as long as you don’t start freaking out about it. Luckily, we had enough ramen noodles to cover the first dinner and were able to stock up on other neccesities the following morning. Additionally, I’d like to point out that every night, one or two of our camping chairs were stolen by other festival visitors, causing us to sit on cardboard boxes and empty beer kegs instead. During our second night, somebody even stole my shoes – the only pair I had brought along on the trip (courtesy of an already overweight backpack)! I was ready to explode when I noticed this, since going to the last night of concerts barefoot didn’t really sound like a good plan. But I managed to keep my cool and ended up borrowing a pair of sneakers from my friend (3 sizes to large and with plenty of holes in them – but hey, I wasn’t going to complain!).

Although the main reason for going to a festival is definitely music, a lot of other stuff goes down as well. It’s a place to see others and be seen – sadly I didn’t have my camera on me when we encountered Batman jumping around on top of the portable toilets. Our camping neighbors invented a new form of entertainment: equipped with lots of beer and 2 signs reading “HOT” and “NOT”, they spent most of the daytime sitting in a row beside the main campground road, rating other festival guests as they walked by. Candidates ranked high enough were invited for a beer – and a bit of nighttime entertainment, as I discovered at 5 am when I couldn’t find my ear plugs and had to listen to the entire 2 hour frenzy three tents away. Tents aren’t soundproof, so if you do decide to follow that Julian-Casablancas-lookalike to “his place”, make sure it’s far away from your own. That way, you won’t have to endure whimsical smiles and annoying jokes by friends and neighbors for the rest of the weekend.

Despite the little glitches and minor inconveniences, this year’s festival was by far my favorite. Not only was the lineup absolutely incredible (see flyer below), but I had a great time hanging out with old friends, making new ones, and saving my team’s ass while playing flunkyball. Lesson learned: even when things go wrong, try to make the best out of it 🙂

line up

hurricane beer

home sweet home

hurricane flunkyball

hurricane festival grounds

hurricane lena