With so many festivals to choose from, it can be overwhelming and hard to know which is right for you; especially if this if your first ever festival! Use my handy guide below to learn how to choose the right music festival for you to ensure you have the best possible festival experience!
A Guide To Choosing The Best Festival For You
Of course it goes without saying, the lineup at a music festival is VERY IMPORTANT. Think about the genres of music you like to listen to, and if you like a mixture, then that’s important to consider too.
TIP: To get an idea of the festival’s vibe, check out their lineup, find them on Spotify, Look at their previous lineups. Don’t just look at the headliners either, see which lesser-known artists are playing too. I have discovered some amazing bands on smaller festival stages that I now keep an eye open for!
The size and capacity of a festival is a huge consideration. Both small and larger-scale festivals have their drawbacks and merits.
Do you want a more intermate setting, where you are closer to the stages? Do you want to see smaller, more niche bands which may be ‘the next big thing’? Are you not a fan of large crowds and perhaps want something that’s a slower pace and easier to navigate around? Then a smaller festival might be right for you. I have done some fantastic smaller-scale festivals with only 3,000 – 5,000 attendees and LOVED THEM. Highlife Festival in New Zealand, Hogsozzle, Cool Britannia and Neverworld in the UK are some of the best smaller festivals I have ever done.
If you want multiple spectacular stages, fabulous fireworks, huge production efforts, big-name artists, being part of a huge community of festival goers, or simply want the spectacle of a big show, then festivals like Coachella, Sziget, Tomorrowland, Glastonbury, Electric Av, EDC and Boomtown could be the ones for you!
Where the festival is actually held is important when choosing the right festival for you. There is no point looking at music festivals in New Zealand if you are based in the UK ( unless you are going there for another reason as well). Think about how far you want to travel and how you need to get there.
Cost is a HUGE factor when considering a festival. The cost of festivals vary hugely, with some costing far less than others! Think about how much you want to spend on a festival, create a budget, and work backwards from there. Make sure you consider accommodation, travel, food/drink and other expenses as well as the ticket price!
Additional Activities and ‘Things To Do’.
Music festivals, more often than not, have an amazing array of activities and things to do. Latitude Festival has wonderful comedy and spoken word poetry, craft making courses and kids areas. Wilderness Festival is a foodie’s heaven with fabulous pop-up restaurants and eateries as well as woodwork courses, cocktail making classes, yoga, hunting courses. lake swimming and more!
R18 or Family Friendly
Some festivals are strictly 18+ whereas others have a wonderful family atmosphere with family-friendly campsites, kids zones and kid-friendly performers. Glastonbury, Latitude, Wilderness, Splore and Bestival are some of the best family friendly festivals I have come across. So, if you are thinking of making festivals a family affaire, consider which festivals cater for kids and families!
Camping & Accommodations Options
Not everyone likes camping at a festival, and that’s totally ok! Every festival has very different arrangements when it comes to accommodation options. If camping is not for you, look out for festivals that offer Glamping, pre-erected tents or Tee-Pees, or go one step further and have a look for a local BnB, Airbnb or hotel. Don’t miss out on a festival just because you think you have to camp!
Reviews and Recommendations
Read blogs, ask around, get recommendations from friends and family or simply get in touch with people through social media to see what they thought of the festival you are thinking of going to. Nothing beats old fashioned word of mouth and a good recommendation.
Festival Dates & Time Of Year
Most festivals are held in the summer months, which means there will undoubtably be festivals which you want to go to that fall on the same dates. If you are lucky enough to get tickets to a festival like Tomorrowland or Glastonbury, then perhaps look for one at another point in the year to spread out the festival fun!
In saying that, there are heaps of amazing Winter festivals in Europe if you fancy a different vibe. Not only that, summer falls at different times of year depending on where you live! In the UK, peak festival season tends to be May – September, whereas festival season in New Zealand & Australia is November – April!
Not all festivals are weekend long extravaganzas. If you fancy a cheaper festival option, without camping and perhaps a toe dip into the festival world, then a day festival could be ideal for you! SW4, Highlife, Electric Avenue, Homegrown, All Points East, Mighty Hoopla and LoveBox are all fabulous day festivals. If you want to push the boat out, Sziget, Glastonbury or Tomorrowland could mean a 4 to 7 day commitment!
Festivals are so varied that I am sure there will be a huge selection of wonderful festivals which are right for you!