What do you get when you cross a Croatian beach with an ancient fort? Outlook festival! By day, picture beach parties with great reggae bands, hammocks, people swimming, and everyone just hanging out. By night, walk up a hill to “The Clearing,” aka the mainstage. The speakers and lights perfectly synchronized for maximum boom and bass. Continue down the path to “The Fort,” which is actually the Fort Punt Christo. Inside you’ll find a tiny stage, yet the crowd is just as wild. Down in the moat, is another stage. A long corridor quickly filling up. There’s a stage on top, a stage in the old horse stables, a couple stages here and there.
Everywhere around you are the sounds of drum ‘n’ bass, dub, bass, and dubstep. This is Europe’s largest festival for this kind of music. The stages open at 9pm and the music goes on til 6am. The atmosphere is perfect for these kind of sounds. The forest and fort create a spooky, yet safe-feeling environment for all to dance in.
We only got one day passes, which was all we had time for, but one day provided us not with a taste, but with a whole meal of music, dancing, and more. I actually didn’t know any of the artists on the lineup, they were mostly European artist and producers. Although I knew that if I followed my ears, i would be able to find good music the whole night. And that is exactly what happened.
Tomorrowland is the definition of a melting pot, in one of the most amazing ways. Standing in a field seeing flags from almost every country, everyone dancing in unison and having the absolute time of their life. Everyone is happy to see you, because everyone is happy at tomorrowland. They need no worries and all they have to do is smile.
There was this moment at the main stage, where they were showing clips from the UNITE events happening around the world. UNITE events stream tomorrowland live on big screens and with loud speakers and special effects. It gives you that festival crowd vibe even if you can’t make the festival. The main stage was showing clips of people dancing from all over the world and celebrating us and the power of music. Every continent had at least one event. It reminds us that in the end, we as humans, we are all one. We are connected even if we have different culture and speak different languages.
I made a last minute decision to attend a festival in Amsterdam. The Netherlands is home to so many world-class DJ’s so I thought it would only be appropriate to check out what their festival scene is like. I have to say it’s a lot different from those in America.
I talked to several locals and Berlin enthusiasts and thought I would share some of their suggestions with the World Wide Web.
First of all….
Tourist club or Berlin club?
Tourist clubs are those that are large, flashy, have lots of lights, and play a variety of popular music. A Berlin club is usually “weird,” as one local told me. Weird meaning it feels a little shady and there can be some strange people inside. Berlin clubs are usually dimly lit, grungier, and play the Berlin sound. Berlin is known for techno and there is A LOT of techno. If you like deep house, funk, acid house, etc you’ll probably also like this scene a lot. (Fact check plzzz) There is the basic four on the floor beat plus a variety of layers, typically really heavy sounds that build on each other to create a dark and almost spooky ambience. Don’t expect anyone to “drop the bass” or play popular songs you may hear on the radio. How do people tolerate listening to this heavy music sometimes for over 30 hours nonstop? Apparently Ketamine. You can find it pretty easily because people on the street will look at you and discreetly ask or gesture. Although I don’t encourage any of that, those people are shady, and we saw some pretty messed up looking people at the club.
Things have gotten better. I saw Macklemore a couple nights ago and it was a great party. Last night I was blown away by DJ PayPal, playing bass music mixed with hard techno. It was fast, loud, but had a good mix of bass and treble counterparts.
It’s still hard with the language barrier, and being all mostly alone here, but I’ve gotten better at coping. I showered again today and it was great. I think it’s getting colder. When I went to Copenhagen for the day I picked up some more clothes at the thrift shop, including a windbreaker. That’s the Best Buy I’ve ever made.
I am very happy today is the last day and tomorrow morning this doesn’t exist anymore. It’s been a very challenging week, but I’m almost done and I survived!!! I’m ready to leave Denmark on Monday and head to Germany. The weather in Denmark is awful, I’m so sick of this rain.
I came up with the concept of this website because when I was travelingover spring break I had times when I was very uncomfortable. I crossed the boundary outside of my comfort zone. I knew going to Europe would take me outside of my comfort zone, but I couldn’t even imagine the kind of zone I would be in. Everyone always told me, “You’ll be fine! Everyone speaks English.” While that is true, it doesn’t mean that they always speak it. I walk around and all I hear is a sort of jibberish of the Nordic and Germanic languages. Not once have I heard a Romance language (which I have studied and feel somewhat more comfortable with).
Someone will try speaking Danish with me and I’ll say something along the lines of “I don’t speak that,” “I speak English,” or simply “What?” It feels embarrassing and I feel helpless. I can’t tell what anyone is saying. I can only hope that they aren’t gossiping about me.
Coming to the Roskilde festival, I feel so lost. This is unlike anything I could have imagined. It’s what I imagine Burning Man to be kind of like. The festival is its own city and people camp out in their neighborhoods and just sit outside their tents drinking and chilling. People have speakers everywhere; there’s a lot of soundbleed. People have themed camps, some more decorated than others. There are flags of all sorts everywhere. I found a confederate flag, which made me upset a bit. I found a USA and a Mexican flag, but that camp was filled with neither Americans nor Mexicans.
Fourth of July is coming up. I’m feeling real homesick. Who will get excited with me? Will I even celebrate? I’m starting to miss American food, especially Tex-Mex. I miss spices. I miss English being the norm. I miss my American traditions.
I miss bass music and crazy electro music. I can’t quite describe what people play here. They play everything. I went to a major lazer themed party at a camp. That was fun.
I’m tired of feeling alone and lost. I am way out of my comfort zone, it’s getting easier but it’s still hard and uncomfortable. I can only hope this unsettling feeling subsides and I can enjoy myself the rest of this week.
I’m here in the second city of Chicago hanging with my friends, attending the Spring Awakening music festival.
It was a day full bass, trap, dubstep; so much that we had to take a break and go to the techno/house stage which was the only one not playing the aforementioned. We went on a water slide, we hung out at the silent disco, and met a TON of amazing people.
The most amazing thing happened during deadmau5 though. I’ve always thought deadmau5 was a jerk, and he is, I’ve seen him be an ass. His music and composition is beautiful though. He ended his show with Strobe and it was absolutely beautiful. So beautiful in fact that I had to write about the moment as it was happening.
“Watching deadmau5 play strobe and just thinking how he may be a jerk but his music is truly beautiful. The lights and sounds are so in sync. I feel at peace. No negativity. I see people around a little Intoxicated but I don’t judge. As long as they are okay. I see a couple just look at each other in happiness and it’s so beautiful. Someone jumps over a sitting girl and luckily he lands is okay; but it’s so fun and playful. The weather is awesome. The wind is blowing perfectly. And beautiful calming music is flowing through my body.”
I have to mention here that yes I was sober, so this feeling was all natural and not created. In the coming days of the festival I hope to experience this peaceful and exciting feeling more. I came to this festival mostly to hang out with friends and experience good vibes, and so far I’m getting exactly what I came here for.
That’s right! Through a mutual friend I was hooked up with a job working security for the X Games during their music portion of the event. Blink-182 and All Time Low were playing. While I’m not a hardcore fan or anything, I still know most of their songs from being an avid fan in middle school, and so I sang along while I worked most of the time.
I got to chat with patrons and fans, most of which were really cool and had so much passion. They told me about how they liked to skate and were sad most of the competitions for saturday got rained out. Others said they drove from Dallas, Brownsville, Houston, and all over Texas to see Blink-182 play (the cost was only $60 compared to some other shows with ticket prices up to $200, plus you get to experience the X Games).
Since most of the patrons weren’t ridiculously drunk, and only mildly intoxicated, it made for a really easy security shift. No one was pushing, everyone cooperated, and the most I had to do was tell people not to walk down this hill to the exit (and instead go around to the less muddy and slippery area).