The explosion of Sunwaves’ popularity in the past couple of years has been nothing short of staggering yet it’s easy to see why. World class international talent combined with Romania’s finest selection of DJs as well as a handful of rare-to-see artists.
Whilst the festival used to have a largely Romanian attendee base, it’s now truly a global festival with people traveling from all over the world to go. Chances are, if you like your music Romanian or you like obscenely long festivals, then you’ve been or you’re even lucky enough to go this year.
Surviving Sunwaves is no easy task, that’s why at Trommel we’ve been happy enough to combine a guide of our top tips to enhance your experience.
Accept that you’re not going to see everyone
With so much talent on the line-up and consequently the timetable from top to bottom, it may be tempting to talk yourself into a 96-hour session just to see everyone. But we all know that’s incredibly unlikely (read: impossible).
Instead, try creating ‘priority lists’, breaking artists down into categories such as ‘must-see’, ‘would quite like to see’ or ‘not bothered about’. This way you can work out when you’ll be able to get sleep in or take a break to ensure you’re refreshed and ready for all the artists you really want to see. That why Rhadoo won’t be getting ready on Sunday night whilst your calves are cramping up.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
The Thursday night and Friday daytime contain some excellent artists, but it’s important not to go overboard too early. RPR Soundsystem usually starts around 3AM Friday night and from then on the timetable is completely stacked. Take your time on the Friday to settle in instead of going wild and lagging behind later down the road, your body and mind will thank you.
Take care of your body
It’s almost impossible to treat your body with complete respect during a six-day festival where the music doesn’t stop, however that doesn’t mean hedonism is going to be your best friend. There’s a fantastic food festival just across the road from the Sunwaves entrance which has more cuisines than you could possibly think of.
We all love to party but consider spending an hour or two just resting on the beach drinking water, once you get to Monday/Tuesday the soles of your feet will be thanking you and you’ll be able to enjoy the sets you see and take in the music effectively.
Prioritize the nights and mornings
One of the key mistakes I made at Sunwaves was thinking I’d be able to regularly churn 16-hour visits to the festival site, it’s, of course, possible, but not every single day. On Saturday night I made the mistake of thinking I’d be able to make it through most of Saturday daytime all the way through to Sunday midday.
Of course, after already clocking about 20 hours of partying, this surprisingly wasn’t possible. Some of the best advice I can give is aim your arrival at the festival site for 3/4AM, just as some of the big names such as RPR and Ricardo Villalobos are about to step up to the decks. Then you’ll be able to enjoy that sensational Black Sea sunrise in all it’s glory and party through to the afternoon.
It’s a personal preference of course, but I always found the mornings to be the best. A lot of dancers haven’t made it through the night so there’s a lot more room to dance, and DJs seemed to play at a much higher level as they watched the sunrise.
This tip is of course not exclusive to Sunwaves but with such a stacked line-up, you’re likely to have already circled your favorites. One of my favorite sets from last year’s edition was Alexandra’s on Sunday afternoon, the Melliflow label head’s sound was actually a welcomed break from the realms of 4×4 minimal as she chopped and changed between electro, New York house and UK Garage.
Ashamedly, I had no plans to actually catch her set but decided to give it a chance as a warm-up to Zip, it proved to be a set that my friends and I still talk about.
Disregard all of this advice and go with the flow
Unfortunately, I’m part of the demographic that loves to plan festivals down to the fine details. Not everyone is like that, however, and there may have been readers of this article who thought such advice was ridiculous.
There’s a reason Sunwaves is relaxed about posting the line-up so close to the date and doesn’t bother with rigid set times. The festival is meant to be fluid and reflects the easy-going nature of the attendees. It’s natural to try and plan out a festival, but it’s Sunwaves, don’t stress too much and enjoy yourself.