I thought I’d start the Travel section off with a little story, because who doesn’t enjoy reading about other peoples’ disastrous experiences? This is not to turn you off going to Benicassim, it’s just the story of one experience; an experience that turned out disastrous for reasons less to do with the festival itself and more to do with an intensifying of Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.
Four of us set off, fresh-faced and excited. It was a long day of travelling but, after about 17 hours of public transport, we made it to the festival. Two of us had booked pre-pitched tents, the other two hadn’t, but we prepared for that by bringing a two-man tent as well, or so we thought. It turned out to be just the inside lining of a one-man kiddies-size tent, so not even a tent at all, unless you’re cool with sleeping and changing your clothes every day in something not even a metre high, entirely see-through and not one bit water-proof. So the pre-pitched two-man tent acted as a four-man one for the first few nights. After that, most of us slept outside on blown-up lilos (it was that hot, even at night).
I love music festivals. I’ve gone to a foreign music festival every summer for the last 4 years. I’ve always felt there to be an etiquette in crowds at concerts; people generally mind each other, at least as far as I had experienced. At the second concert we went to I ended up being pushed to the ground and trampled on because a group of rowdy lads thought that collectively ramming everyone in front of them forward would be great craic. We were on tarmac, not grass, and I had worn flip-flops (my bad, I admit that). Luckily a really nice English guy reached out his hand and pulled me out from beneath the pile of people. He took one look at me, my bloody knees and feet, and himself and his three friends all gathered round me to protect me as they walked me through the crowd and to the medical tent.
That’s just what happened to me; one of my friends lost her new phone and her spare phone and wallet were stolen (we got the new phone back, at least). This same friend got a mosquito bite on her ankle that swelled up so much she could hardly walk.
Cherry on top of it all has to be the journey home. Our flights home were cancelled. Ryanair (yup, probably our first mistake was booking with them) offered us the next available flight home, which was 3 days later. The best deal we could find for that day was 363 euro with Aer Lingus, and that was into Dublin, not Cork. Our hearts were in our mouths as we each rushed to book our tickets, because there were only 4 seats left on that flight. We got them, and so we finally began our journey home. When we arrived in to Dublin, smelly, entirely defeated and completely drained, we went straight to the baggage claim belt anxious to get out of there as fast as we could. We waited, and waited, and waited, until the belt stopped moving. Two of us were still without bags. Our luggage had been lost. We spent another hour queuing and filling out forms. We got our luggage back, a few days later.