I’ve been asking myself this question since I visited my first events nearly three years ago. It started when I visited a festival in summer, the sun was burning down, the temperature in the tents was insane and I could literally have boiled an egg. But the worse. No water to refill and we all know what a full festival weekend cost.
But is free water at festivals really necessary or just a nice to have?
I really tried to find some arguments against free water at festivals, as an organizers view.
I think it’s not a secret that most events profit is made through sold food and drinks. So could it be that festivals gain less money, when they offer the opportunity to refill your water?
It’s pretty significant, that most of the time bigger festivals with a huge community offer free water.
So, it maybe affects just smaller events and smaller organizer. A statistic about the profit from a festival with and without free water would be very interesting…
But anyway, I don’t think they will make less profit, by offering free water. People feel not comfortable and give the festival a lower rating and maybe think about it twice, if they would visit it again.
When I ask friends if they would ever join me at a festival and I start telling them what’s going on, I always mention, that water costs more than beer. And I always get the same response: WTF?!.
If you don’t offer water for free, sell it for less tokens! It’s ridiculous that water costs more than beer.
Of course the organizer wants to get his invested money back and we all know why beer is cheaper than water, we all know why you don’t get a lid for your water bottles and why they use tokens! People shall buy as much as possible even if they are drunk or using drugs – and yes, those people are actually those who will buy the most drinks!
So, I really think, even if an organizer offers free water, there are enough people buying beer and other sorts of drinks. Drinking water is important, not only at festivals and I always secretly complain about the high costs for water. There are at least two facilities which should be for free, because it’s in our human nature: Toilets and tap water!
Just a simple example: You get 3.5 Tokens for 10€, which is 2,85€ per token and furthermore you pay 4,28€ (1,5 tokens, which is the normal price at a festival) for a 0,5l water bottle or sometimes just 0,3l – without a lid, so probably the half gets lost while dancing.
That’s way too much! It just makes me angry, because it makes no sense and there is absolutely NO reason why it has to be so expensive!
But, I’m pretty happy about the fact, that there is a law in Amsterdam and its region, that organizer have to offer free water. This is a nice first step!
I think ALL organizer should follow it and offer free water at their festivals. It’s because of the people’s health and their experience, making it as comfortable as possible, isn’t that the organizers aim?
However, you should always try to stay as healthy as possible at festivals, regarding to the latest tragedy at EDC: Las Vegas. It’s exhausting for your body, especially while drunk or under the effect of drugs, no matter if it’s just a one-day or a weekend festival.
KNOW YOUR LIMIT, use sun protector if necessary, drink enough, have a meal, take a seat in between and don’t go on people’s nerves when you drunk or took a overdose – thank you! It’s not only because of your own health, but also taking care about others. Water is important, to stay hydrated, but you should also have salty food or at some fruits.