after my hasty journey to the lowlands festival
with jeremy on thursday evening, with my 40 euros of camping equipment (not bad for a new tent, sleeping bag, and air mattress!) in hand, i traded in my euros for plastic "tokens"
, we spent 3 nights and 3 days of camping in the densely packed campground
, meeting random festival neighbors, and seeing lots of bands (along with the occasional side trip to neighboring walibi world
to ride roller coasters between seeing bands at lowlands). i hadn't been to a european music festival since roskilde
several years ago, and was definitely looking forward to lowlands. for those of you who haven't been to one, there is no experience like a european music festival, and i highly recommend going to one.
one thing to know about lowlands is that's it's a very dutch festival (at least until it was featured in a recent copy of the NME
. because it's not absolutely saturated with people visiting from other countries on the festival circuit (oh wait, i'm from another country too -- ah, the contradictions of independent travelling!), it's also just a good chance to see how the youth of the netherlands enjoy themselves.
the one thing that truly shocked me at the festival was how well behaved people were. the minimum festival entrance age was 16, which is also the age when you can buy alcohol and do just about anything else permissible in holland, and yet there were no kids passed out, no dangerously out-of-control behavior (at least none that i saw). i've seen more antisocial behavior in one day of daily life in some other countries than i saw in the entire lowlands festival.
, dj shadow, placebo
, and the various DJs present (including the mystery mashup dj who also was cooking a traditional dutch dish while playing music) all put on great performances. however, my absolute favorite of the show was seeing massive attack
perform live, complete with liz fraser of the cocteau twins to do the vocals for teardrop (arguably their best song). fantastic lighting, artists in peak shape, and just a sublime experience overall.
after this musical feast, the arrival of rain on the 3rd day was pretty unwelcome, especially when tents began to collapse into the mud
. so we packed up our gear and hightailed it back to amsterdam before all the bands had finished playing and enjoyed the comfort of having a roof over our heads and not having to pay for everything in small pieces of plastic. and that's the story of my lowlands festival experience!