Europe Festivals vs Philippine Festivals
by: Anna Maria Cos Alcantara
Last July, I was able to attend my very first international music festival in Amsterdam. The event was called Woo Hah, and it’s a yearly music festival that mainly features international hip-hop artists. I was able to attend the second day of the three-day event, and I was pleasantly surprised with my experience even if I’ve only ever attended one music festival in the Philippines.
The Woo Hah festival grounds was located an hour away from Amsterdam, and it only took us two train rides to get to the town where the festival grounds were. From the train station, there was a shuttle service to get to the gate of the venue that costed about 5 euros – not bad, although there were some that opted to walk the extra 5 kilometers.
In the Philippines, there’s a limited selection for music festival venues, and the one that I attended was simply at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, where it’s everyone has a lot of options on how to get there, whether by commute or by driving. Other popular outdoor venues for this kind of scale include Circuit Makati and Filinvest Event Grounds.
It wasn’t until two days before Woo Hah when my family friend invited me to go with them to the festival, so I thought that it might be too late for me to go with them simply because the tickets might have already sold out. True enough, they were, but in the Netherlands they have this third-party service called Ticket Swap, where people can safely resell their ticket for whatever reason that they can’t use it anymore. It’s proven to be a very efficient way to get rid of ticket scalpers, because the website only holds official ticket QR codes, and will only release it to the buyer after making the payment. After paying for the ticket with my credit card online, I immediately received an e-mail with my ticket’s QR code and I was good to go.
In the Philippines, it seems like we can’t get rid of the ticket scalpers. The only way to make sure that your ticket is legitimate is buy it directly from the organizers or the official ticket company. Otherwise, if you buy from a reseller, there’s a big chance that you’ll be receiving a fake ticket and your money ends up with a scammer.
Entering the Woo Hah grounds, there was already a bunch of security checks that made sure that no one was bringing in any forbidden items inside the grounds. The security also made sure that all tickets presented were real before securing each person with a festival wristband. The grounds also had locker rentals for those that wanted to leave their bags and jackets, which was very convenient especially for those that brought thick jackets for the cold night.
There were five performance stages in the entire festival grounds, with food stalls lined up in spaces between them and there was always a security guard to be found wherever you go. Especially in the main stages, there would be lots of security guards that made sure that no one was causing a mess and that everyone got to enter each stage properly.
In the Philippines, festival grounds can only accommodate one stage so the demand for security guards isn’t as high as ones internationally. However, the actual level of security that these personnel actually bring is significantly lower because there have been numerous cases of prohibited items getting inside the venue. It is also common that snatchers would buy festival tickets just to go around and steal people’s phones right off their hands or belongings that are left unattended.
Upon entering the Woo Hah grounds, everyone is given a little pamphlet that has a schedule that shows you who’s performing at which stage, at what time. For me, that was already exceeding expectations because festivals in the Philippines never release schedules like that because everyone already knows that everything’s gonna be later than planned. But what absolutely got me impressed was that the entire schedule was followed on the dot. Maybe one day it will be part of the Filipino culture to be on time.
Last but certainly not the least, the ticket price for this festival was around 60 euros, which is less than Php 4000. Considering that the main stage alone had Ty Dolla Sign, Migos, and Asap Ferg, already made me feel like I got so much more than my money’s worth. These artists are famous in the hip hop and rap scene that I’m so sure that when they perform in the Philippines, it’s gonna cost at least Php 7000 just to see one of them.
Sadly, there’s a big difference between festivals in the Philippines and festivals held outside of the country. I definitely recommend people that love to attend music festivals to get yourselves a ticket because you’ll definitely get your money’s worth compared to watching that same set of artists in the Philippines. Not only do you get to see more than one artist in a festival, you also get the security that you can simply just enjoy the music and not have to worry so much about your safety.