- √ 48 hour babysitting (thanks Lel and Rob!)
- √ Tickets for Colombia’s biggest EDM festival
- √ Playsuit (for me) and string of cheesy flashing lights (festooning JB)
James and I set off with much anticipation to conquer Storyland, to be held in 2019 (for the first time ever) on the beach!
Gates opened at 3pm, and figuring we didn’t want to miss too much of the afternoon fun, but equally didn’t want to frazzle in the sun, we rocked up at around 4:30.
Security was EPIC! There was a series of 5 consecutive gates, each of which required queueing, frisking, and detailed examination of tickets plus identity documents. We eventually made it to the 5th. Nearly there! At which point we were refused entry on the basis of invalid tickets. WHAT?!?! Cue some of the most fluent Spanish I’ve ever spoken….. No joy. So we retreated back to the no-mans-land between gates 1 and 2, to join a group of disgruntled gringos loitering in a similar predicament (all of whom had bought their tickets through the same international vendor as us). We got on the case and eventually identified the ‘service’ desks and associated queue for ‘Festiticket issues’ (which was immediately next to the queue for ‘Groupon issues’ which was in turn next to the queue for………).
After some if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them latino style queueing and gesturing, we eventually got a paper printout which would apparently get us through the elusive Gate 5! It did! Hurrah.
So, thrilled to finally get in, we were then distinctly less excited to find the crew still building the main stage……. So much for our Space-reminiscent afternoon boogie!
Resort to booze. We found the only covered seating area with a bar that sold G&Ts, and enjoyed some drinks and people watching while we waited for the gig to kick off. The clientele were mostly Columbianos (great!), including lots of young couples, and (just the) one of those ‘older’ international couples that look like they spent a few too many years stuck on Koh Pha Ngan beach that always make me feel a little more fresh-faced than I usually do.
Not only had the festival not yet actually started, but neither was it on a beach. It was more of a rocky wasteland, with just enough sand to blow around and get in your eyes from time to time. I wasn’t the only deluded muppet to turn up in flip flops (you know who you are D), but trainers would have been a better move!
Eventually the music started (on both stages), and we had a wander and a bit of a warm-up wiggle with our new friend Leonard.
A few monstrosities shocked us.
The spaces directly in front of each stage were reserved for VIPs. Annoying yes, but not in principle too shocking, except that the gap between the entitled-nose-bagged-up-VIPs and the fence keeping out the plebs was about 30 feet! Not the best for atmosphere or a sense of inclusiveness! We spent most of our night the ‘wrong’ (far) side of the fence, with the ‘right’ type of people.
The Storyland venue was set up as a travesty of modern marketing: an Instagrammer’s dream. I couldn’t quite bring myself to snap people selfieing themselves in front of the food-stall sign (what? Not cool!), but Jonnie Walker was omnipresent and much pouted in front of.
Talking of Jonnie Walker, when James decided at some point that a shot of cheap whiskey was a good idea (!) he was told that he could only purchase by the bottle because they had run out of glasses! There is a good chance they were actually telling the truth…
And there were Ads. Yes ADS! The stage visuals were fairly basic (fine), but every 20 mins for the first few hours of the festival they cut to ads for cell-phone networks, metro lines and various other unsexy products. Sorry – WTF?
I had paid double for ‘Comfort’ tickets to Storyland as I’m of pensionable raving age, and have a bit of a dicky spine so fancied a sit-down from time to time. Said ‘Comfort’ turned out to be a giant wooden pallet in yet another fenced-off enclosure. So we thought we might checkout the ‘Chill Vibes’ area instead, but it turns out that that is where you go to have a fag!
And as for the music, if I was being harsh I would say that Sasha and Digweed couldn’t have been less interested, and were quite ‘samey’, and Cedric Gervais delivered the inordinate antidote in his excessive cheesiness.
But having said ALL that, James and I donned our white t-shirts and duly had a stonking nearly-all-nighter thanks to a great atmosphere (behind the fence) and fab new friends.
Acknowledgements, gratitude and sweaty hugs to: Leonard, Derek, Robert, Diane, Juan, and the guy who tried (and failed) to make my bum twerk.