Parookaville Stage

What to Expect at Parookaville and Festival Season in Germany

A little late to the party, but music festival season here in Germany isn’t over yet, mind you! There are still a few upcoming major events until just before Oktoberfest kicks off in September, so don’t fret. I’m not attending any this year though, so let me just recount hazy details and reminisce about the biggest music festival I have ever been to which was Parookaville.

Parookaville 2017 Panorama

Parookaville is a massive three-day electronic dance music festival held at Airport Weeze that annually converts a former air force base into an entire vintage Wild West village. Hence, all attendees get a visa/passport for entry and are called Parookaville “citizens”. Pretty cool concept to be honest. Even though EDM isn’t exactly my cup of tea as my system is wired to be controlled by a majority of lyrical alternative rock music, I gave in to peer pressure just this one time. Seriously, all I was after the company and the experience – you know, just to try it once and have something to tell my grandkids decades down the road – that granny had been there, done that.

We booked our tickets, like the day it was released a year before it took place because we’ve heard that it normally sells out like hotcakes in a matter of days. True enough, two days later, ticket counters closed. But no worries, closer to the date, they will open a platform on their website for Parookaville ticket resale and you might find luck there if you really want to go. Some people also post on Parookville’s Facebook page – but it’s on you to check whether they’re legit.

Parookaville 1st day

There are a few entry and accommodation packages available, you can opt to just go for a day or two, spend the entire weekend there and pitch your tent within a designated campsite, go glamping in a tent already set up for you & your friends, or even upgrade it to stay at a VIP hotel. Seriously, if you are willing to splurge more than we did with getting the regular package at 285 EUR, by all means, max that budget out! It might be worth it. Check the ticket and add-ons prices here.

It was already painful for me to part with that amount of money and on top of that, you still have to budget for the food and drinks you will consume (and surely that will be a lot) during the festival days. I don’t think I would even consider upgrading to a luxurious tent knowing I won’t spend a lot of time sleeping anyway! And if you want to do some extras, like bungee jumping or riding the Ferris wheel, for example, you have to factor that in, too. Basically, nothing is free once you are in…hmm, except for using the toilet! No, you don’t have to pay 50 cents each time.

Parookaville Crew 2017

This year’s Parookaville festival weekend took place just last weekend and from what I’ve heard the number of attendance was comparable to last year hitting 80,000 maddening crowd. The 2017 edition was epic though with over 80,000 festival-goers who flocked Parookaville almost quadrupled the number of attendees from the first time it opened. Not to mention it’s because we were there… that’s what really made it absolutely banging!

Summer came and days roll on by leading to the day we’d move our aging bodies (we’re a group of late 20 – mid 30s kids) again to the beats our younger selves would be more tolerant to. I hadn’t been practicing drinking and staying up late, so I wasn’t exactly sure how I’d fare that weekend. My biggest concern was how to “watch” these performers on stage and how I can be as close as possible to the action to get my money’s worth and because of my size. In concerts, I always worry about that when it’s standing room only. Well, turned out that I didn’t really have to see them perform – you’d only care about what they spin. Haha! And near or far, it’s impossible NOT to see the gigantic stages – they have at least four and other smaller ones set inside hangars. Not once did I have that feeling I was missing out on anything. Just dance to the music and have fun. On our first day, I’ve started to see the actual point of EDM festivals and why people are crazy about it.

Parookaville Festival Germany

It’s like I’ve entered into a trance and been vacuumed into an enchanted amusement park for grownups who dare to let that inner child in them go berserk with zero inhibitions. Yes, you see that in reggae, rock, or heavy metal concerts – but it’s an entirely different vibe altogether. I might not be a fan of the music, but I could enjoy myself and still have loads of fun! And if you open yourself to it, you really can dance to anything all night long. You just really have to make sure you tag along with the right people. Good company is everything, at least for me!

Considering my peak partying years are already behind me, we’ve all handled the non-stop partying for 3 consecutive days pretty well. I gave myself a pat on the back for remembering everything, keeping myself awake ‘til the wee hours, and not puking even once! I survived!

 

The only downer was the intermittent downpour on the second & third day – yes, typical German summer or weather. Although it didn’t really stop anything, it resulted to turn the soil into a thick, muddy, soppy wet ground. Even with the mudslides I’ve powered through in the past, this was something else. I should have bought a pair of rubber boots from Penny when I had the chance. I was a bit weirded out when I first saw it sprawled out in front of the supermarket, but somehow they had prophesized that something like this was bound to happen! So we had no choice but to wrap our feet in plastic bags and tape it up. Well, that worked for a while until it ripped open midway trekking through the mud. What a dreadful experience – cars had to be pulled out of the sludge, people including myself gliding out of control towards different directions. It’s like ice skating for the first time for me except that this one posed an extra challenge with the backpack and camping gears you had to carry back with you. You get the picture, right?

People keep telling me this is a natural occurrence in summer festivals here though, yet none of us were prepared for it. So that’s why before you go, I’ve got some tips and hacks to survive Parookaville and any other music festival where you’d have to go camping for days.

Important things to know and Survival Tips for Parookaville

Here’s their official website where you’ll get most of the information about Parookaville festival such as lineup, campsite, interactive maps, ticket prices, photos, rules and regulations: https://parookaville.com

Parookaville & Music Festivals - Things and Tips to Know Before You Go

 

  • Check your visas/tickets and take note of the check-in times. DO NOT go beyond those hours otherwise, they won’t let you in anymore. They are pretty strict, no just with security! Eventhough check-in on the first day should have been open for 24 hrs! Believe me, we almost went back to the car and slept there if we weren’t too insistent and charming! We still had to wait for a while though and that still sucked.

 

  • Looking at the map they’ve provided on their website, you won’t really guess how far the parking lots are from the event or campsites. So I am telling you now, that the earlier you arrive for check-in, the better chance you’ll have at securing a parking space close or closer to the campsite or base ground. We arrived quite late so we had no choice but to walk almost 3 kilometers from our parking lot to the entrance and that is no joke when you are carrying a backpack full of festival necessities, camping gears, food, and booze! And a nightmare when you had to walk the same way deep in the mud on our last day.

 

  • You are to buy tokens to pay for everything – food and drinks, rides, etc. at the festival grounds – except at the supermarket where you can pay in cash. A lot of people assume you won’t be able to return/exchange those tokens anymore if you end up having a few leftovers, but you CAN! They are quite sneaky with it as we couldn’t find any information about it so I had to ask someone at one of the information boothsand yes, exchange them at these booths beside the banks/ATMs close to the festival site main entrance perpendicular to Penny supermarket. I know if they shuffle up the structure yearly, but the point is – you can definitely get your money back even if they won’t openly tell you.

 

  • Decide on a designated place to meet your friends at just in case you lose each other or decide to just meet back at your campsite so you won’t have to look for each other frantically each time someone disappears.

 

  • Bring drinks at least for the first night/arrival and just buy the rest from the supermarket unless you are really picky about your drinks. Otherwise, you’d be happy to get cool beers and not fight over ice cubes. You just got to wake up and do your supermarket run a little early though as the “ration” gets polished off pretty quickly and when they do, you’ll only get an announcement when you can come back again. Queuing in the heat is also something you don’t want to do.

 

Things to bring to a festival

  • Festival tickets and IDs
  • Money and money bags/cute sling bags
  • Wet baby wipes for your bum and cooling your skin and an anti-bacterial one to clean the toilet seats and wipe your hands with because soaps run out and the queue to the sink can be long especially in the mornings.
  • Of course, take your toiletries kit – you can also bring your hair straighteners or curlers, and blow dryers. You can plug it in outside the shower areas.
  • Power banks/portable chargers – I’m sure I’ve seen charging stations there but it’s always full of people. You wouldn’t want to waste your time there, really!
  • Poncho and rubber boots for reasons I’ve previously mentioned
  • Sunscreen and hydrating facial mist as it can be scorching hot.
  • Popup tent if you have it as it’s so much easier to set it up and stow it away.
  • An extra mat or yoga mat to put your sleeping bags on. You don’t want to wake up drenched when/if a storm strikes.
  • Rubbish bags and tape (duct tape even)!
  • Small torchlight
  • Important medication if you require any and anti-diarrheal medication – you never know! This saved my life a lot of times especially when traveling.
  • Festival outfit you are comfortable with – seems like the more colorful, fancier, and louder, the better.

8 comments

I love when you said that you hadn’t been practicing on staying up late and drinking haha My friend and I went to a festival last month and I had the exact same thought!
I’d also love to experience an EDM festival to see what all the fuss is about!

Can’t believe I’ve never heard of Parookaville… mmmm, the mud is giving me PTSD from Glastonbury days… I have a similar EDM sentiment Sarah but a great insight, thank you!

poseidonsadventures

This would be cool to experience. We have huge music festivals here in Austin. I’d like to compare ours and others.

I’ve never been to any music festival yet but i think this is really informative, especially the tips & important things to know and what to bring. Hopefully, I can visit Germany next year.

poseidonsadventures

I’d love to see this and compare our music festivals that we have in Austin. We also have 2 huge week/s long festivals that bring a lot of visitors.

NAMRASTAN

I’ve never heard about this festival before, looks like you had a lot of fun tho! I’m mostly in to other types of festival, but I have been curious about these electronic dance music festivals, since I love to dance. Now I know more, and who know on which festival I end up next – or I’m going to the Oya festival in Oslo next – but yeah – after that 😛

What’s Katie Doing?

I’d love to go glamping there – no worries about carrying the tents or sleeping stuff then! Sounds like you had a great time

I haven’t been to Germany yet but if I decide to go, it will be during this festival. Thanks for the most practical guide for the festival. I’d love to camp there and soak all the fun, Sarah!