Niamh Devereux on the weird world of Lowlands.
I’m sitting on my flight home from Amsterdam, glitter still etched in my soul, and I’m slightly disorientated. Did those few days really just happen?! I had made the journey over for Lowlands, a festival located just an hour from the airport, which is the most weird and wonderful alternate universe I’ve ever stepped foot in. Forget OOTDs and Insta posing; this festival is the very definition of letting loose and being utterly carefree. And I loved every second. Here’s why I’ll be back next year.
As a collective group of people, they are now my favourite. Every single Dutch person I met was incredibly sound, on the same Irish sense of humour wavelength, and had impeccable English. They’re cool, helpful, friendly and… aggressively good looking. People watching is fun/depressing when everyone looks like a hip Barbie and Ken.
Lowlands quite literally caters for EVERY taste. There was the inoffensive indie rock (The Vaccines) pop stars like Billie Eilish, 80s legends New Order, funky hip hop (Anderson Paak), electronic music (Jon Hopkins), and rockstars De Staat, who replaced The Prodigy after Keith Flint’s tragic death.
My music highlights were Marc Rebillet, who played a totally improvised set in his underwear – including transforming his orgasm noises into a banging dance choon – and ASAP Rocky, who encouraged pockets of mosh pits to go totally ape-shit to his version of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.
I will never be able to camp at a festival again. The glamping at Lowlands has truly spoiled me. I stayed in the Flores huts, which had beds, lighting and working plugs. There were clean showers and toilets nearby, and a bar that cooked fresh breakfast. A slight upgrade from my usual soggy tent.
I’ve never experienced better food at a festival. Forget a plain ‘ol burger and chips, Lowlands dishes up some fine cuisine, with big portions at decent prices. Over the course of the four days, I had Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican, and ‘Meat Pie’, served with a smiley sriracha face, because again, the Dutch are adorable.
Go for a stroll in Lowlands, and you truly don’t know what you’ll come across. It might be a voguing workshop, it could be a Dutch man shouting about coming to him for free therapy, it could be the secret shag pad area, where you can rent out pods for half an hour to, eh, get it on, or Sexyland, where you don’t know if you’ll walk into a magician or a man with his arse on fire. Oh and the Armadillo area, which is open for 24 hours the entire time of the festival. As we left on Monday at 11am, people were still beating up the beat at a feral rave while we ate our egg baps. Trippy, to say the least.
Find out more about Lowlands festival here