Day 20 & 21: Rock Werchter Festival ///// Part 1

Comments (1) Belgium, Leuven, Music, Travel

Rock Werchter was one of the highlights of my summer trip (actually, every country was a different highlight for me so i take it back) but definitely something i’d been looking forward to longer than all the other places i anticipated… and TRAGEDY occurred. Yishyene and i bought our tickets online MONTHS before the festival, and ended up selling them away online when Rahul said he got some band guys to get us passes for it. I should have known… i had this tiny voice nagging in the back of my head that i should hold on to my bought tickets, but i was so busy with work at the time, i didn’t have a proper chat with Y, and confirmed with her to SELL off our tix after i checked with Rahul THREE times about our festival passes.

As you can guess… we didn’t get our passes. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN! NEVER TRUST EVENTS/MUSIC PPL for this kind of thing, cos they have so much on their plate that things just SCREW UP. Rahul was supposed to get 4 passes, but they only got us 2. Not only that, but the passes were for Thursday only, and not all four days.

Oh my god.
You really cannot fathom how Y and i felt.
I felt this deep disappointment, fear and horror in my stomach.

It wasn’t even possible to BUY tickets cos all 85,000 tickets had SOLD OUT a month before the fest! The only thing we could do was hope Rahul was able to get in touch with the right people to get us in… It was quite stressful, Y and i were trying our best to be SUPER positive and ENVISION our PRESENCE IN the festival, while poor Rahul ran around/made phone calls/texted/emailed anyone he could think of.

Anyway, here’s an account of our Rock Werchter weekend…

We arrived on Thursday afternoon from Brussels, and chilled out at our hotel while waiting for Rahul and Iqbal to arrive from… (i forgot where they were flying in from). Y and i wanted to get in as soon as possible into the fest, so we waited outside their hotel for them to arrive. I was ecstatic to see Rahul cos having him anywhere will be a real party… although sometimes a bit TOO dangerous. Anyway. They took quick showers and we headed to the festival area by taking a taxi (Rahul had to hail a Merc -_-) so we’d be faster. (Faster for nothing in the end >.<)

Vehicles can only go up to a certain point approaching the festival, so we had to get out and walk about a km or two. Walking a km or two is considered nothing now after hiking so much here!

We didn’t camp like we did at the Isle of Wight fest cos Rock Werchter doesn’t have prepared tents for people to rent (aka Tangerine Fields). It’s not like Y and i are going to lug a freaking tent all around Italy… hence we went with a hotel room. Which is definitely a lot more hygienic.

Thousands of bicycles parked.

The entrance isn’t very appealing with its full-on plastering of sponsors’ logos.

OK. So at this point, we’d queued up and discovered our predicament. It was decided that it was best Rahul went in to try to find whoever it was he was in contact with and try to sort this out, while Y and i… sat outside. Like losers.

There’s no point sitting outside and doing nothing… so we drank beer the whole time, made friends with random people who were also trying to get tickets, and talked a lot of rubbish.

I met a midget! So cool! I’ve always wanted a midget friend… imagine all the FUN THINGS you can make them do/convince them to do/do to them! (in a nice and not evil way!)

Nai was the only other Asian person we met. Tho he’s not truly Asian… Thai by blood but brought up in Belgium. Y and i laughed so much at his “i’m a bad boy” act, when we saw him as a little puppy in our eyes (he’s like 20 or something).

I didn’t really feel the time go by cos i was kinda having fun getting drunk outside. Also i was just trying not to think of the acts i missed out on that night, that tore my heart out. The ones i was aiming to catch on Thursday were Garbage, The Cure, and Justice. Just typing that made me feel a bit sad but it’s okay… i, er, heard The Cure from outside? Damn, look how positive i’ve managed to practice myself to be!

Y calculated that we’d been hanging around outside for exactly 5 and a half hours, which was a lot longer than what i felt! Rahul kept on coming out to see us, looking awfully stressed out and i felt SO bad he had to go thru this! In the end, we went home and told ourselves we’d DEFINITELY get in the next day.

FRIDAY MORNING.

I woke up thinking about how screwed up the trip suddenly got and felt sick to my stomach. Then i thought, “No, i can’t think this… i have to be positive!! We’re going to get in today. WE ARE GOING.”

I even brought down my notebook and pen to breakfast so i could write down “We are going to Rock Werchter festival” over and over again, while truly envisioning it WOULD HAPPEN. After breakfast, we went back to sleep cos we were kinda hungover.

We spent the afternoon in the room, waiting for word from Rahul.

Yishyene got attached to the lemon she threw into the bed next to me in Italy. She took one of my blue crayons, drew a face on it and dubbed it the Contented Lemon. I knew right then that she’d end up taking it along with her… and she did. Dahlah she had so much luggage, she carried that LEMON all the way from Italy to the tiny town that is Leuven. -_-

She even napped with it in front of her.

I read my book while waiting… and started gambling (not something i’m advised to do, i know) with the Universe. Thinking, okay, if i finish my book, then Rahul will call and tell us he got the tickets! It’s just that the Universe WANTS me to finish my book now… cos it’s something i SHOULD and NEED to read, and knowing how hard we’re gonna party the next few days, NOW is the time for me to finish it. 

So i diligently concentrated and read the last 30 pages of my book.

But Rahul didn’t call.

Then i thought, well, that didn’t work. So it’s not the book. I just must be patient AFTER reading the book. In fact, i should take a nap right now, cos i’m going to be so tired from partying later so i BETTER nap cos i WILL be partying later! I bet Rahul will call WHILE i’m napping to tell us the good news. I can just hear Yishyene’s voice waking me up from my nap with the GOOD NEWS.

I told Y my intentions for a nap and headed to the bed to try to sleep. It was a bit hard but i managed to seriously pass out, and woke up to Y’s voice going, “Joyce!” I woke up, thinking i was still kinda dreaming, and heard, “Rahul said he got us passes for today! Let’s get ready NOW!”

I was so much in a sleepy daze that i didn’t really feel excited till i washed my face and realized i WAS AWAKE AND IT HAPPENED.

Gosh, practicing the power of the Secret is hard work.

BUT WE HAD TICKETS! Although it was just tickets for Friday, we’d worry about Sat and Sun tix later!

A picture cos we were so happy to be IN. WE WERE INSIDE!!! YEAHHHHHH

First thing we went to do was EAT. We both needed energy to drink and partayyyyy

Cute pic of Yishyene. Thanks for letting me steal ALL YOUR PICTURES (cos i didn’t bring my cam out that day. We’d decided that i’d bring mine out the next day. Cos we were so sure we’d get tickets for the following days. That’s how you do positive thinking. You convince YOURSELF that it will happen!)

Wilson and Contented Lemon. Very Contented Lemon, i might add… for he MADE it into the fest! Yay!

I got seriously photo bombed on this one. Didn’t even know who they were.

We caught Jack White (from The White Stripes) and he naturally performed Seven Nation Army nearing the end of his set. He’s pretty crazy. Crowd was crazy too. I got a vid but it’s on my phone. Y and i were quite focused on getting drunk, which turned out to be easy cos 2 glasses of wine was 7.50 euros, and one beer was 2.50 euros.

We were walking from one tent to another, when we spotted this sign on the ground…

A discarded sign!
A bit trampled on… but still…
A GREAT discarded sign!

We decided it was too great a sign to leave to die and drunkardly carried that sign around with us for hours. There was a point when i was confused, wondering which way it should turn, and we discovered that the same thing was written on BOTH sides of the cardboard!
Ingenious! (A lot of things were ingenious to us then.)

We held the sign for so long, that we FORGOT that we were holding it as we walked around the festival… Till a guy stopped us, pulled out a giant bag of you-know-what, gave us some and refused to take any money or drink coupons. Score!

This is the set up for The Barn where Lana Del Ray was performing. I was really happy to catch her live… cos i love listening to her songs by myself. I ended up crying with happiness -_- (probably cos i was nothing near sober) cos i was just so HAPPY to be there listening to her LIVE.

Y was like, “Oh my god Joyce… you’re like, the only one crying here…”
Me: I’m sorry! I’m so embarrassing! I’m just so happy!!!

Well. After i made myself stop crying and listened to more songs, i felt like putting a knife to my wrists. It’s great to hear Lana Del Ray when you’re chilling by yourself in your room or while driving, but after more than a few songs at a festival… i felt suicidal. So we left cos Y couldn’t take it too.

My memory is a little hazy from after Lana Del Ray. I remember we went to hang out with this bunch of English guys we met outside the entrance the night before. They were also looking for tickets and managed to buy some for Friday.

They were a super nice and funny bunch of guys, no tricks up their sleeves and we didn’t get any bad vibes bout them (come on, George is wearing a Bob Marley shirt!) so we continued hanging out for the rest of the night.

Remember Yishyene’s prized pet lemon? Someone asked whether he could bite it, and she thought they meant ‘pretend to bite it’ for a picture, and said yes.

Well guess what happened…

And that. Was the end of the Contented Lemon.
There are pictures of them biting Wilson too, but i’m glad no one dared to eat him (cos that would have been stupidly fatal).

We partied through Pearl Jam and Deadmau5. Y said i disappeared in the front to dance for ages and they thought i got LOST. I was just so ENTRANCED by the music that it lured me closer…

After the festival, we got hotdogs and hung out in a caravan till we decided we needed our own beds to rest and left!

Next morning, we found scribblings of their names and numbers all over Y… They didn’t write anything on me cos i told them i have a boyfriend (See! Nice guys don’t try to hit on girls when they tell them things like that. Unlike Italian guys… who just don’t give up and end up annoying. But that’s not a story for here.)