Festivals: Is Bigger Really Better?

Crowd and Atmosphere at Sziget Festival 2015, Budapest, Hungary- 10 August 2015

We’ve all seen the iconic images of Glastonbury – mud slides, wellies and rain coats. It’s seen almost as a rite of passage for many, a bucket list check-point for others. For me, my rite of passage was Reading and Leeds festival. I still remember arriving at Little John’s Farm after an excruciatingly long coach journey. We lugged our bags across the festival, finally settling in brown camp. We came to love the newly christened brown town, the 20 minute walks under the bunting and lights to the festival gate and our ever so slightly drugged up neighbours. Seeing Blink-182, my childhood favourites, ignite a spark in the crowd around me was magical. I was 17, pissed in a rainy field with my best friend, listening to one of my favourite bands. Frantic runs from tent to tent to make sure we didn’t miss a second, over priced food stalls and freezing cold nights in the supposed british summer time all contribute to what makes a festival so special.

However, like many young people, I’m becoming disillusioned with big name festivals. Gone are the days of stellar line ups and fresh ideas. Instead, we see the same old line-ups regurgitated in a slightly different running order, with a mainstream act chucked here and there for ‘credibility’.

Reading, Latitude and Download all cost upwards of £200. Add in camping equipment, food, drink, travel and other necessities, you’re looking at the best part of £500 invested into three days in a field.

However, this is paving the way for smaller, independent festivals to take the reigns for half the price. 

But is the price jump worth it? Do you really get more for your money at larger festivals?

Holly McLaren

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