Festival Diaries: Barcelona Beach Festival 2016 / by Alexandra Fox

Uggghhh. Such. A. Good. Night.

After many ticket struggles and trying to figure out who was going, I made it to Barcelona Beach Festival - a one-day / night event in Platja de la Pau

I was pretty excited for the lineup for one night, and was able to get a ticket via Twitter from a girl in Madrid for 60 Euro. Then, I planned to meet up with two girls traveling from Japan for the festival. The setup was smaller than I expected, but it was only a one-stage festival. I met Y- and M- at the train station in Sant Adria de Besos, and we walked to the festival (about 15 minutes) from there. 

We arrived around 9pm, with Nicky Romero on stage. I honestly didn't really like the set up of the place at all - Y- and M- had gotten tickets that included 10Euro in festival-money to use at food stalls. To pay for anything, you have to pre-charge the wristbands with cash at these charging counters (long lines!). But instead of putting the money on the wristbands when they scanned Y- and M- in, they had to get the money at the station instead, and stand in line again.

M- and I in one of my only selfies captured this evening!

M- and I in one of my only selfies captured this evening!

I was also less than impressed with the lack of water fountains in the place. I honestly find that so ridiculous and such a health hazard. With all the danger of dehydration present at any festival, it seems really ridiculous to only sell water, and not have a single public fountain or tap! I asked a number of people working, and they all said that you could only get water for emergencies if visiting one of the ambulances. 

My only other critique on setup would be the sound system - not the best, honestly. Since there was only one stage, I feel like they should have put speakers all around the festival from the live performance, and not just close to the stage. As it was, you couldn't really hear the music if you were out by the food area or further back --- not really feel it, at least, which was a shame!

Et voila - all you have to be prepared for when planning for BBF. All that aside, it was still a wonderful time. I met some really cool people - including a group from Zaragoza, Spain. We met them because I get super patriotic, and wanted to take a picture with the US flag one of them was wearing.

They were super nice and fun and young. Oh my god. 19 and 20, all of them. Y- and M- (26) had minor freakouts about it. Normally I probably would have, but the boys were having so much fun and so happy it was impossible not to enjoy it. Absolutely zero room for resentment or age-shame. Although when one of them told me he’s famous on Tumblr, and I almost cried.

I lost Y- and M- at some point, who neither had cellphone service. When my flag friends left towards the end of Hardwell as the sun was rising, I luckily almost immediately ran into a group who had, much earlier in the night, literally saved me with water. It was actually so nice - I had asked a woman near them if I could please have a sip of her water (the music was so good and I didn’t want to leave to go charge my wristband and then wait in the concession lines) - and she had refused.

As I was walking away dejectedly a nearby woman was like: “Do you need some water???” - I said yes, and she handed me this huge bottle that they had gotten by. It was amazing and she urged me to drink all of it. Her and her husband (Portuguese, but living in Spain) were so amazingly nice and good vibes. Then another guy in their group (English), also heard about my water crisis and gave me a full bottle he had just bought. I love good people!

And then, once again, when I saw the English guy in the final crowd ending the night (now morning!) with Hardwell, they saved me with water as my throat was literally burning at this point. Love, love, love <3

And that, folks, was a very, very happy Saturday. 

I’m so, so sad to be leaving Europe soon. After this weekend and this whole summer, I really think I could live here. I've met so many beautiful and open people. I know this exists everywhere, but I think there's something about known endings and language barriers that actually requires people to be more straightforward and open with each other. 

All the love, 

- A