REVIEW : We Are Fstvl 2017


If you're anything like me, your favourite time of the year will just be beginning: sun, holidays and FESTIVALS. And for me, my first festival of 2017 is one I'm a stranger too. This being the no.1 British tech fest: WE ARE FSTVL.

Newcastle > Hartlepool > Upminster 

What's better than throwing away all your work notes, assignments and cares in the world and just getting lost to somewhere for a weekend? No responsibilities, no university and not a care. For me, that's what two weeks ago was like. I had handed in my final assignments of 2nd year (with some slight panics amongst it all, ngl) and I was about to drive home from Newcastle and catch a train to London's King's X. This will be my second trip to London so far in 2017 and it felt sooo good to be back in the capital. 

We traveled by Grand Central which was a joy as always and stayed in an Ibis Budget in Barking (which was not our first choice and was royally messed up by - that's a lonnggg story for another blog post). Honestly... the hotel wasn't ideal but it was clean and tidy and for the price we paid at such short notice, we couldn't really complain. I mean, it's 'budget' for a reason. We made the most of it anyways. 

But it was my first time at We Are Fstvl and honestly, it did not disappoint. I can honestly say that I have never been to a festival that is more suited to my music preferences and tastes. The line-up is majorly filled with the world's best tech and electronic DJs, with a little bit of grime and rap thrown in the mix too, and the stages and tents are nothing I've experienced before!

Obviously, amid all of the awful and horrendous events that have occurred in the UK over the past few weeks, security was on top form and it did take a little longer to get into the festival, but that was expected and was a great comfort to know people were getting properly searched. I know it did make a lot of people in my friendship group feel nervous and frightened to even be at a festival after the Manchester events, nevermind in London. But we all felt at ease and the organisation and planning was excellent. 

So, instead of me rambling on, I'm going to list the top 5 features of We Are: the goods, the bads and my faves. A whole run-down of what you need to know if you want to head down to Upminster for next years fest. 

1. Stages and Production:

- From outdoor stages to the all new terminal 1 stage, We Are Fstvl really pulled it out of the bag production wise. I have been to two Creamfields, which is renowned for it's production and outstanding stages such as the Steel Yard, so to be honest, I wasn't expecting much- at all. I thought because of the festival's size, it would be pretty similar to Parklife: a decent line up but lacking on the 'show' front.

But honestly I was so so surprised. There was oversized flowers, flags, huge screens, amazing light shows and smoke cannons by the dozen in each tent!! Pleasantly surprised. And the whole thing seems to be inspired by aircrafts/aeroplanes (which does seem pretty bizarre but it was honestly sooo cool). There was bits of shrapnel and propellers everywhere and there was tents named Terminal 1/2/3 and Aerodome. Amaze.  

2. No Cash Allowed! Token system:

- A new one for me, We Are doesn't allow cash on site. It all works by a token system, which is rather smart because it means you won't be loosing any money whilst at the festival. All drinks at the bar are accepted through tokens which you switch for money throughout the day and there are both cash converters and card converters on site! It seemed pretty awkward to me at first just because it meant it was ANOTHER queue we had to stand in before we could get in, but surprisingly the queues were quick and it ended up being very convenient because the service was very quick.

However, I must say, the token 'exchange rate' was very pricey. The more you bought, the cheaper it was basically. First day I bought £30 worth, which got me 18 tokens in return. A 330ml of cider/lager was 2.5 tokens. So in all, I think I ended up with 5 cans and a bottle of water for £30... not the best I know. But it's festival prices and you kinda have to expect it! It didn't ruin my weekend I'll tell u that for certain. 

3. Dressy Attire:

- Similar to Parklife, this festival was very dressy! The amount of insane looking girls and guys that was there was ridiculous. All day long I was sat making fashion notes and taking inspiration for Parklife outfits which was just a mere few weeks away! It's obviously down to the fact that most people stay in hotels so they have access to straighteners, a shower, a clean toilets, a mirror... We loved it! It meant we could make an effort with our makeup and hair and not feel like we'd 'went over the top' with anything. 

4. The HEAT: 

- Right so, weather... always a risky thing with festival season. I am in the UK, so it's probably 80% going to rain: it's just the norm! So forget that suede biker jacket or that satin top, get yourself a raincoat and be religious with it!!! So we obviously all expected the same with We Are... WRONG! The weather was INSANE!!! Britain was definitely experiencing some kind of heatwave this weekend because it was ridiculously warm. I am a serious vampire when it comes to the sun- I burn... a lot. So I had to be religious with my sun cream rather than my rain coat- can you believe ???? 

Anyways, it was absolutely lush. 2 desperados in hand and a whole-lotta sun. 

5. Camping- It's a NO from me:

- So one thing which was a hugggge off-put for me, was the camping situation. Luckily, we had a hotel so this didn't affect us but it hugely effected a lot of my friends and my boyfriend. Basically, unlike all other festivals I have been to, you are not allowed to take drink OR food into We Are Fest. So basically nothing from home is allowed on the camp-site, unless your a mastermind at hiding things. I know a lot of people who thought this was just a strict rule and thought "surely this can't be right, we'll just chance it and see what happens?" but we were all wrong. 

Everything you ate and drank at We Are had to be bought at the festival and anyone who knows anything about festivals knows that they are bloody expensive. Bacon butties at £6 a shot, beef burgers for £7 and a pint for £5. I thought "oh it'll be expensive but they'll have to take into account the prices for the camping lot... maybe it'll be cheaper outside the arena..". Wrong again. 1 24 crate of SMALL sized Koppaberg cans was £140. 1 HUNDRED AND FORTY ENGLISH POUNDS. How mad is that. I still can't get my head around it. Anyways, it seemed like a complete nightmare and made us soooo grateful that we had our, although 'budget', hotel. Definitely avoiding that again next year and I would recommend a hotel and tube travel any day. 

So that's it I think! My run-down of We Are Festival. 

Hope this was helpful to any who are thinking about it next year! Please if you went this year, or have any experiences at this festival I would LOVE to hear opinions. 

Have a great day, 


Catch me on:

Instagram *NEW*: @laubuckle

Bloglovin': Lau Elizabeth (lifeofl4u)

Heading to a festival soon? Check out my Creamfields 2016 review and my Parklife 2016 review to get yourself in the mood! 

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  1. You look wonderful! It looks like great fun but festivals aren't really my thing, especially the camping idea makes me freak out! The whole token situation would have confused me so much! Also where I'm from we don't have any good festivals so I never want to go. Hope you enjoyed though! x


    1. Aw thank you so much. The camping usually doesn't bother me at all but we were so grateful for a hotel this year and there is no good festivals near me either, we just travel!

      Thank you for reading,

      Life Of Lau




Copyright Laura Elizabeth Buckle 2017.