The 6 things I learned at Beyond The Valley.
So this year I went to Beyond The Valley.
If you’re unfamiliar with BTV, I’ll give you a quick debrief because I’m an inclusive gal who wants everyone to be on the same page (love yas).
BTV is basically a music festival that runs for three nights over New Years in the middle of freakin’ nowhere. It involved ample amounts of alcohol, dust, flies, pills of the non-legal variety, and half-naked men under the age of 23.
Having never been to an overnight music festival, I went into the whole thing intrigued. Armed with a slab of “water bottles”, about 24 crop tops and a pair of formerly-white converses, I thought I was ready for whatever the next four days of my life would throw at me.
But holy shitballs, you guys, I was wrong. So effing wrong.
Here are the 6 things I learned at Beyond The Valley:
1. Dust is the devil, so BYO bird-flu face mask.
You know what I should have brought instead of makeup and flash-tatts? A freaking bird-flu face mask to shield myself from what was approximately three thousand tonnes of pure dust catapulting into my lungs each night.
As an asthmatic (I’m turning you on I know), the thought of inhaling enough dust to make my nose and lips black doesn’t exactly strike me as a fab time.
And let me tell you, the dust was not a fujucking fab time. It was not a fab time at all.
A tip for future BTVers/anyone going to an overnight festival in summer: If a bird-flu mask is too close to social suicide for you, I HIGHLY recommend bringing a bandana to protect your respiratory tract (apparently it’s the more socially-acceptable yet undeniably less effective option).
Because looking like a flog > Dying from dust inhalation.
2. George Maple is a Queen with a capital Q.
Seriously, this woman actually does have the voice of Fergie and Jesus combined.
If I ever turn lesbian (which with each passing year is looking to be more and more likely) I know who I will be pursuing.
It’s Queen Maple. AKA My new spiritual leader.
Also, can I just add that Queen Maple’s body is just goals. Which isn’t even important, I just feel like it needs admiration and acknowledgment. I’m tempted to print out a photo of Queen Maple and stick it to the treadmill/step-ladder every time I go to the gym from now on.
Queen Maple, I worship the very ground you walk upon.
3. Being a girl = No problemo getting alcohol in.
It’s times like BTV that I really appreciate being born with two X chromosomes.
I was in a car with three other girls, and our “security search” went something like this:
Security dude: “Okay so which one of you is going to take me on a date? Hahaha ok that’s a no but I’m gonna pretend to check your car so just open your esky and boot for me please. Ok thanks you’re all good to go. Enjoy yourself ladies.”
Meanwhile, some of our guy mates had their cars strip searched and examined by police sniffer dogs.
Sure, there’s still huge problems like the pay wage gap, but at least BTV organisers were sexist enough to believe that girls would never bring in alcohol/studded belts/contraband to their event and that the male species is the source of all evil.
Ladies, find solace in the fact we at least have that.
4. There wasn’t enough shade or ice. At all.
I did enjoy BTV, I really did. What I didn’t enjoy was the fact that I couldn’t even step foot outside for the first 12 hours of the day out of fear I’d die of sunburn/heat exhaustion.
Can BTV control the weather? No.
But for a festival that is scheduled to run in the hottest period of the year, I’d expect WAY more shaded areas. Three small triangles of material erected in the sky was enough to cover about 100 people, not tens of thousands.
Like, when I say there was no shade, I mean there was no effing shade. I was so desperate for the cool embrace of shade, a handkerchief on a stick would’ve sufficed.
I’m assuming wherever the festival organisers were hiding the shade tarps was the same place they hid the FUCKING VODKA SLUSHIES THEY PROMISED US ON FACEBOOK.
@BTV where the feck were they? Seriously? Like I was more devastated about the absence of slushies and nutella donuts than when Jamie XX failed to play Good Times (wtf Jamie).
While I did enjoy the 29th of December to the 1st of Jan, and did absolutely love spending time with my friends, I can’t help but think BTV was unsafe.
Not providing ice to people until day 3 and refusing to turn on water in general areas until midday is nothing short of neglectful.
I have to say I was fuming when, after three days of losing half of my body weight in sweat, organisers charged $10 per bag of ice. I mean, $10 is just a touch steep when a local petrol station was charging $10 for FOUR BAGS.
Making a hefty profit off people’s heat exhaustion = not cool, BTV.
5. Trying to locate a drug-effed person was as easy as trying to locate your own earlobes.
Everyone’s pupils were bigger than my future.
Also, if you were one of those people dressed in a morph suit in 40-degree heat, then I was legitimately concerned for your life, son. Like, if that was you, I really hope your body’s heat regulation mechanism is back up and running, because you were clearly not treating your body like it was a temple. Not even a lil bit.
6. Paying extra for luxury camping is worth it.
Okay, confession: My friends and I didn’t actually pay for luxury camping, we won complementary tickets (my mate Maddie is a competition genius). But still. After seeing/smelling how poorly the general camping toilets and showers were maintained, I 110% recommend people to fork out extra for luxury camping.
Our showers and toilets were glorious. Thank the Lord Jesus Christ (George Maple).
I can’t even find adequate words to describe the stench of the general camping area on day 3, but it’d be somewhere between putrid and somebody-please-surgically-remove-my-nostrils.
While I did really enjoy BTV, I would put the good times down to the great people I was with and the stellar line-up.
But when it comes to organisation, Beyond The Valley really stumbled. Dangerously so.
And it left me wondering: Were other music festivals the same? Or did the BTV organisers drop the ball on this one?
Did you go to Beyond The Valley? What did you think of the festival?