As diverse as Nigeria’s ethnic groups are, one thing they all have in common is festivals. Even those who denounce their places of origin, still attend one festival or the other.
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We have the Durbar, Calabar Carnival, Book festivals, New Yam festival, film festivals, sports festival, Felabration, Festival of arts and culture, Argungun fishing festivals and more. Whether it is a religious festival, cultural festival or even a music festival, festivals are the perfect opportunity for fun, fashion, dancing, food tasting and celebrate.
But travelling to attend a festival comes with unexpected challenges. Besides the entry ticket costs, attendees need to figure out accommodation and transportation costs, feeding and venue accessibility. That’s why it is important to plan before embarking on a trip to witness a festival.
Here are a few tips to assist your planning phase:
Get The Event Schedule
Getting your hands on the schedule of events surrounding the festival before you travel is very important. It helps you decide where to stay, what to pack, how to plan for feeding, transport routes, etc.
Even if it is a one day, all-night music festival, you need to know a bit of how the program flows so you plan adequately for attending. You can visit the event website or download an app tied to the event to get updates on the festival schedule.
Plan Your Festival Style
Some festivals come with dress or colour codes for attendees. But even if ‘anko’ is not your style, you have to decide what would be a comfortable fit for the kind of festival you are going for. For instance, if you are going to the Calabar carnival, you might want to wear breathable clothes with some face painting and colourful headgear.
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If you are going to a sports festival, you might want to put on something sporty. If you are going to be on your feet most of the time, be practical in your choice of outfit. Just know that your outfit can add to the overall vibe of the festival for other attendees also.
Pack Things You May Need
When you coordinate ahead of time, you will have an idea of some of the things you may need. Such as a big blanket for outdoor events with no chairs, sunscreen also for outdoor daytime events, backup phone chargers and power banks, rain gear, etc.
You may also need to have some items people normally forget to pack like portable speakers, gum, baby wipes, hand sanitiser, an extra pack of tissues, a lighter, and face paint. If these are too much to travel with, you can share the items you may need among your group of friends attending the festival. Or buy some when you reach the town of the festival before heading to the venue.
Figure Out Your Transportation
With your event schedule, you should be able to figure out the routes you need to get to the event venue. Sometimes the organization of a festival comes with hold-ups along routes to the venue.
This can be due to the barricades put around the venue to divert traffic from interfering with the festival. So you need to know where to park if you are driving. And if you are using public transport, you need to know where to stop and how far it is from the venue on foot (the closer the better though).
To help with this you can print the map of the venue if possible so you have a visual of how transportation to the venue will be.
Choose Your Accommodation Wisely
During special events like festivals, hotels closest to the venue are usually expensive. So if you want a room in that area, you have to book weeks in advance. Some organizers pay a month in advance for rooms to house special guests.
This might make finding a room there difficult or expensive. So you might need to consider sharing a rented room in an apartment or hotel for the night with some friends to help cut cost. If you have people in the city you are visiting, you can stay over at their place too to cut down on the cost of accommodation.
Have you ever travelled to attend a festival? Tell us any tips for travelling to festivals or special events that we may have missed.
Featured Image Source: The Sun NG
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