From Amsterdam we headed down to Belgium to a little town called Werchter for this year’s Rock Werchter music festival. 4 days of live music, over 80 bands across 3 stages and all the festival craziness that goes along with all of that.
Firstly, getting from Amsterdam to Werchter was a slightly long & tricky process. We took a tram from our houseboat to Amsterdam Central. Then a train from Amsterdam Central to Rotterdam. Then from there we hopped on another train to Leuven (this part of the journey was free as you get free Belgian train travel with your festival ticket). Then Rock Werchter busses shuttled us from Leuven station to the festival grounds just outside Werchter. Followed by a bit of a walk to get to the campsites. And throughout all of this we also had to lug all our suitcases along with us. Mission. We had hoped to leave them in lockers at the train station in Leuven, but there was like 10 lockers there and with 85000 people attending the festival this year, it was a bit of a mission impossible…
But you know what, all that stress and effort was still totally worth it. To set the scene, here’s the official Rock Werchter 2013 post fest video – even the SA flag gets a little feature – see if you can spot it:
A-ma-zing, no? You must be seriously bummed you missed out… 🙂
We arrived at our camp site around 3:30pm in the afternoon. And after a quick tent setup, and “loop dop” mixing, we headed out. (you can’t take alcohol or any bottles plastic or glass into the festival area – so to save some monies we would make up some drinks for the walk from the campsite. We’re sneaky like that.)
Like I mentioned above, there were 3 stages: Main stage, the Barn (yellow stiped tent) & Klub C (pink striped tent). Then there was also lots of food stalls, bars, chill spots, merchandise stores, festival gear stalls, and more. It was seriously well kitted out actually. I was really impressed. If I just think of Rocking the Daisies last year and how everything was an absolute nightmare with only 15000 people, compared to here where they had to cater for 85000 people and I rarely stood in a long queue for anything… high fives all round to the organisers, that’s for sure.
Currency within the festival grounds came in the form of tickets which cost you 2.5 euro each.
A beer / Red Bull / water / fizzy drink was 1 ticket each. A glass of wine was 1 1/2 tickets, and food options started from 2 tickets up to about 6 tickets, depending on how fancy you wanted to go.
In total I spent 50 tickets over the 4 days, that’s 125 euros or at the very painful exchange rate at the time (which was sitting around 13.6 to the rand), that means a whopping R1700. Yeah… ouch… but hey, I’ve learnt that while travelling in Europe, you kinda have to let go of all that converting back all the time and just suck it up at some point. Great adventures certainly don’t come cheap.
Now let me give you a little tour of the festival grounds:
Now even though we got there in the late afternoon, day 1 still blessed us with several amazing bands. My favourites were:
- New Yorkers, Vampire Weekend at the main stage:
- Belgian band, Balthazar, at The Barn:
- Scottish band, Biffy Clyro, also at The Barn:
- And much to the surprise of Vo & myself, we had a freakin’ insane time watching Dizzee Rascal at Klub C:
We even rocked it out with a guy in a full gimp suit! Now where else does stuff like that happen?
General freakin’ awesomeness all round actually…
I might also have some usable video clips from day 1 – still working my way through those – but will definitely share if there are any good ones.
Now can you believe this was only day 1? 3 more to go…