Last weekend saw hundreds of people crawling around Camden for London’s most recent City festival. It is easy to see that it is becoming more and more popular to make our way to City festivals rather than lug it across the country into a field in the middle of nowhere. City festivals are definitely the way forward, primarily making it more accessible to a wider audience and opening the experience to people who have never been to festivals until now.
Cities such London and Brighton have always been a destination point, getting there is easy, with direct trains from other areas of the UK and constant public transport in and around either city. This consequently removes the initial festival panic of meeting friends in the middle of a field and eliminating the idea of getting lost somewhere in Somerset. The tickets are drastically cheaper than camping festivals, allowing festivals like The Great Escape in Brighton to boast a line-up full of new, exciting music and huge names. This also is true of Camden Crawl, with the venues already existing, creating cheaper tickets, allowing you to hear gigs in a variety of settings. No muddy fields, just a large pub crawl with your mates and decent music. Another plus is it is easier to buy a day ticket if you’re not feeling the rest of the weekend and at the end of the night you can sleep in your own comfortable bed.
City festivals are just ridiculously more laid back and do not have the stress that comes automatically with camping festivals; where you queue, struggle to finding a place to camp, set up, lose the will to live, then queue to get beer, to get the tents - and then back out again.
I remember bracing myself for queuing the first time I went to Wireless in Hyde Park; being so used to becoming drained from wasting hours squashed next to hundreds of angry people clearly becoming less and less high on life and tripping over everyone’s crap. I was more than pleasantly surprise when we just walked straight in!
City festivals also remove the worry of leaving your belongings in an open field, your mind is not elsewhere thinking of your tent floating in a stream of mud and rain. You can just take enough cash for the day and keep it on you. There is no chance of your belongings being taken or worse - set on fire. Plus you won’t lose your way back late at night after being way too intoxicated to remember you own name, let alone where you pitched. City festivals are not loud or intrusive to locals; the days are positively tame compared to camping festivals. People need to get home, so there are no burly drunks disgracing the streets - well no more than normal. The public are definitely more willing to go to City festival’s nowadays, being cheaper and more accessible, they are almost certainly the future of festivals.
What do you think? Do you prefer camping - or concrete, when it comes to picking your festival experience?