It’s the 27th of June and I’m sitting at the London central bus station waiting for my GoEuro bus to arrive so I can depart and start the overnight journey from London to Brussels. I know 9 odd hours on a bus what was I thinking when I could fly in an hour. Well, the price was too good to resist at only 13 pounds, this was the start of travelling for the rest of 2017 thanks to Busabout, starting at Rock Werchter Music Festival, so every cent was going to count. I had caught an Uber that was more expensive than that just to get halfway across London.
I survived the bus ride easy enough and as horrible as it sounds, 9 hours on a bus actually wasn’t the worst experience ever. We caught the ferry across from the UK to France and during that time we had to leave the bus and got to stretch out and sleep on some half comfy seats on the ferry. Once I arrived in Brussels I made my way to Brussels airport to catch up with the other half of the duo that was preparing to tackle Rock of Werchter 2017. We enjoyed a quick beer and talked some rubbish as it had been far too long between beverages and then started our journey by train to Werchter.
It was the day before the Rock Werchter actually began but that didn’t stop thousands of people doing the same thing as us and setting up camp in the grounds the day before. It’s a top idea to do this if you head to this festival as you get a camp location closer to the facilities and makes getting that greasy required feed each morning far more manageable. Once we put the tent up that was home for the next 5 nights and organised our rough beds consisting of the cheapest blow up mattresses you could imagine and the use of our clothes bags for pillows we went and checked out the area of the pre-entertainment for the evening and cashed in some of our purchased drink vouchers. A very good tip is to pre-purchases these before Rock Werchter as they are at a discounted price compared to when at the festival. The rest of the evening was a mix of listening to DJ sets, dancing, people watching and catch up talking between ourselves.
The next morning we realised the beer count must have snuck up on us and it was apparent early we were in need of our first greasy feed morning 1 of the festival. The excitement levels were pretty high and we soon made our way down to the entry gates of Rock Werchter. This was a short 5-minute walk from the campgrounds on a sealed road. Once there we lined up with the thousands of others and patiently waited to get in. It didn’t take to long considering the amount of crowd there was and before too long we had our wristbands and were exploring the facilities inside the arena. It had 3 big stages for the bands, a huge variety of different food options, cash machines, bars, cocktail areas, big screens in case you miss out on entry into the undercover stages and Wi-Fi available. We soon went and got the program for the festival and quickly nicknamed it “The Bible”, we labelled each not to be missed set and were pleasantly pleased and somewhat surprised that there was minimal overlap of bands that we wanted to see.
Over the next 4 days and nights we got to listen to some great sets from bands including Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, The Chainsmokers, Xavier Rudd, Lorde, Imagine Dragon, Radiohead, James Blake, Dua Lipa, White Lies, Linkin Park, Blink 182, Passenger, System of a Down, The Avalanches and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man just to name a few of our highlights. It was a fantastic lineup spread over the 4 days and made it very hard to identify which of the days had the better line up.
Rock Werchter itself is a very well organised festival that generally speaking only attracts mostly Belgium, French and Dutch people. We were asked on multiple occasions how we had even heard about the festival and what made us choose to attend it. We were a little surprised by this as we found the festival on the internet and were surprised at the quality of line up as well as the reasonable price for the tickets compared to some other festivals throughout Europe. With this being said there was never an issue with us speaking in English to order food or drinks and the people at the festival were all very friendly and there to enjoy a good time with little drama. The facilities were all well positioned at the venue as well as the camp areas. Even the showers worked great and provided a great way to recover of a morning, although as always with festivals the line up at times was pretty long.
Over the 4 nights, we danced, sang and drank our way through Rock Werchter with lots of fun and laughs had. I would highly recommend this festival to anyone looking to start summer with a bang. As mentioned it is not the most known festival throughout Europe but one I’m sure will continue to attract more and more tourists as the word gets out about this hidden gem. Do yourself a favour and check it out if your into this type of thing.
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Happy Travels Brodie