In the beginning of April I had the opportunity to go to the Argentinian version of Lollapalooza. My husband and I had always been curious to see a music festival in our neighbor country. As we had miles in our card for the flight and the festival tickets were cheaper: Buenos Aires, here we go!
The day of the festival was one of those beautiful ones, very sunny. It was the perfect weather to spend the entire day watching different bands and enjoying good music. Once inside the festival, we double checked the schedule of the bands we wanted to see. Our next step was one of the most expected: this sun, this circumstance and this party spirit demand a beer!
We walked towards the tents that were selling food and beverage. Suddenly, something caught our attention: ‘That’s weird, I don’t see anyone holding a beer’, said my husband. I started to observe and in fact, no one seemed to be drinking one. I found that really odd.
We ran into a man selling water and asked him where we could find some beer. Very angrily, he said something in Spanish that we didn’t understand. Our search continued, we investigated a little further and found out what seemed to be impossible: beer was not allowed in the festival. What? Repeat?
It was prohibited to sell any kind of alcohol in the festival!
It was an immense shock for us. How come? In a music festival? A festival full of rock bands? In my opinion it was the same as going to an Italian restaurant and having the waiter tell us that no pasta was being served. How come?
It took us a few good minutes to absorb this information and accept it. Not that we necessarily needed a drink to have fun (ok, a little, come on!). But having a beer in a music festival has always been something so normal to me that this information seemed nonsense.
Even though we were initially very shocked, we decided to take it as an opportunity to see how an alcohol-free festival works, as I had never seen or heard of one before. In fact, toilets were nice and clean ‘till the end of the event. Despite the high amount of people, everything seemed to be working smoothly.
The crowd was absolutely focused on the concerts too. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I’d thought that Argentinean audience always seemed more excited than in many other places. On the other hand, a 100% sober audience clearly shows when the band is not pleasing them and don’t dance a bit to show some support (lol).
We had many other benefits from this new experience. We saved a lot of money – as we were not buying beer every now and then. Consequently, we didn’t miss any part of the shows, as we didn’t have to go to the toilet all the time. I didn’t ingest a lot of extra calories that beer has, I saved my health (if I can put it that way) and had all the benefits that comes from not consuming any alcohol.
I still haven’t figured out if this is a law for Buenos Aires; for all Argentina or just something applied for the Lollapalooza itself. If you know it, please share it, as I’m curious! All I could find so far was that in Lollapalooza Chile, it is not permitted to consume alcohol and neither smoke. This last one is breaking news to me and I wonder how they control it in an open space.
It was a very different experience for someone who has grown and still lives in a culture where consuming alcohol is part of every social event. Perhaps, for those who don’t care much for beer or lives in a place where this same law applies, this post may seem pointless.
Most of the people that I told about the alcohol-free Lollapalooza made the same shocking face that I probably made when I got this information myself in loco. Many frowned and said ‘I wouldn’t go there this way’. In fact, if I had known about it before, I would probably have said the same thing.
This experience proved that one can have fun without alcohol, of course! By the way, my pictures speak for themselves! It seemed I had an amazing (sober) time!
Have you been to an alcohol-free festival?
Let me know at the comments!
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