If you’ve got many, many thousands of pounds to burn through in a single extravagant weekend, here’s what’s on offer
One of the finest things about a music festival is the camaraderie that stands tall in the face of impending disaster. You may have your understandable doubts about the fate of humanity in general, but once you’ve witnessed two grown adults dressed as Mr Blobby being hauled out of a giant mud-puddle by a group of benevolent helpers you can’t help but feel a glimmer of hope for the future. Forget about Nigel Farage’s warped post-Brexit vision; you’ll find true community spirit in the hour-long portaloo queue at Reading festival. Without fail, you’ll go halves on a tinny of warm Strongbow at some point, and a glitter-covered girl with a gently swaying lower jaw and a substance-induced love of charitable giving will probably hand you some spare loo roll. It’s a sacred experience that – once you’ve forked out for the pricey standard ticket, anyway – further money cannot buy. However, it turns out that huge sums of cold hard cash can buy you plenty of other things; for instance, a gold-plated toilet.
At some point, wading through knee-deep mud and clutching a sodden bag of cheesy chips, you’ve probably side-stepped a man weeing into a plastic bottle, and caught a glimpse of another world. A mere fence away, sometimes, many festivals have started cultivating separate V.I.P areas, laden with burbling jacuzzis, personal butlers, infinity pools, Michelin-starred restaurants, and other ridiculous pursuits.
Unlike the disastrous Fyre Festival, you won’t have to scrap with strangers to secure water and basic shelter, either. If you’ve got many, many thousands of pounds to burn through in three days, here’s what’s on offer.
A slap-up dinner and secret gig inside a dormant volcano
Last summer Icelandic festival Secret Solstice out-Fyre-Festivalled actual Fyre Festival, and whatsmore, they actually pulled it off. For a ‘mere’ $200,000, their ultimate festival pass included first class flights from anywhere in the world, a five-bedroom luxury villa, a private party on a swanky yacht, some rich people pursuit called skeet shooting, personal assistants, a blue lagoon, and private chefs cooking every meal.
It also promised a super-exclusive gig inside an actual dormant volcano. After being helicoptered to the mouth of a 400ft deep pit, and descending into the “open maw” by lift, holders of these ridiculously OTT tickets were treated to fancy refreshments, and an acoustic gig from Deftones.
There was but one catch – guests who got too pissed beforehand were officially barred. “Any guests who are considerably intoxicated before the commencement of Secret Solstice presents Inside The Volcano will be refused their spot on the tour, at complete forfeiture of the ticket,” reads a disclaimer. Probably for the best.
An air-conditioned yurt
Taking place in blazing hot California, you can usually depend on an unbearably sweaty climate at Coachella. While it might be considerably more purse-friendly to just suck it up and shelter under a palm tree for a bit, there’s also another option – luxury yurts run by the Marriott hotel chain, of course dahhhhling!.
A far cry from camping next to The Pyramid Stage on a 45 degree incline, these bougie erections (ooer) come with a king-sized bed, a full housekeeping service, private shower, a mini-fridge, concierge, and the sweet cool caress of air conditioning. Worth it for $25,000? A gal can dream.
An entire private bloody island
Featuring wellness, watersports, holistic therapy and numerous houseplants, Obonjan Island is the festival equivalent of Yoga with Adriene on acid. The website features various Eyal from Love Island look-alikes basking joyfully in the golden Croatian sun, and along with an “Instagram worthy east harbour”, there’s also workshops, beach-side DJs, and slap-up restaurants on offer. If you’re into doing meditation on the beach – and really, who isn’t, if we’re being honest – it looks quite nice, really.
The price varies depending on what sort of lodgings you fancy staying in, but two nights in a really plush forest dwelling – with a sunset view, no less – will cost you about £700, which is a damn sight better than £250k. It’s only two hours from London, too, so I guess you could swim there.
A luxury EDM cruise
Strictly for EDM fans only (look, if it’s not your thing, you probably won’t enjoy this high BPM super-ship) It’s the Ship is a luxury cruise ship festival for all things bass-facing’. Departing from Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore next November, the improbably large boat orbits international waters before returning to shore two nights later.
There are onesie parties! Bowling alleys! Live music! DJs! Private cabins with sea-facing balconies! Water slides! Beer pong! Good grief, there’s even a luxury shopping mall. And all for the humble sum of… oo… about $588 plus various other port fees. If you’re feeling even more decadent, the royal suite is $5000. Bargain.
A stage-side pool club
On one hand you might have to contend with festival-goers on the other side of the cordon understandably jeering and calling you a “wanker!” but on the other hand you can watch live music from a swimming pool – if that’s your thing. At the Hangout Music Festival in Alabama, the festival’s infamous VIP viewing area contains a pool, and it’s right in front of the main stage. A ticket that grants you entry to this exclusive enclosure? $1099. Slowly turning into a human prune as you lay submerged in chlorinated water has never been so glamourous.