Now I have started this about 3x's over. Each time it just ends up being too much so I'm just going to break it down. Gent Fest is a music related fest with the customary food, drink and misc vendors at your whim so to speak.
From a gluten-free stand point, this is *NOT* something to go to simply because 90% of the 'drinks' are beer related (Belgium after all) and all the food located/sold within this event can not be considered safe for people who need to live gluten free. If you do attend, make sure you pack drinks and food because you will not find much otherwise. You will be able to find places that sell soda in bottles/cans but nothing 'special' that can be trusted.
Now, I had to work in the the middle of this. In the beginning I was really looking forward to it because it was a sure way to have lots of hours, over time pay, night pay and all of that but in the end the weather ended up being SO hot (90+ almost all week) that it made the whole experience just pure hell.
My reasons to *NOT* attend this again, working or not. Mind you this is the first time in the 12yrs that I've been living here that I've even seen it much less attended in any shape or form.
1. Gluten Free options - NONE with exception that you can find bottled/canned soda or water
2. The music, although stage by stage was not bad, was nothing special and if anything sometimes was awful because you can hear about 3 stages at once at any given time. So if you are standing any where except right smack in front of the 1 stage you want to be hearing, you get a jumble of different musics and sounds going on... most annoying. Not to mention it's REALLY friggin' loud! Lots of noise level, lots and lots of bass sounds ect.
3. The sad part of it - 16 is the legal drinking age here. This sadden me EACH and EVERY day I worked this fest. Every night I would walk home and find myself watching 'kid' after 'kid' walking (if they could) down the street so drunk by all the booze open to them to buy at this event and just feeling sad that they are even allowed to get that way much less that they are still KIDS! They are just harming themselves. They aren't old enough to know the difference between enjoying a drink and drinking because they think it's cool or great to get drunk... THAT drunk! *shs* I mean never mind the idiot adults that know better, I feel no sorrow for them at all, they know better... but who the hell is teaching the kids right from wrong?! Well that is the only place I feel sorry for the adults, they are suppose to show them that part.
4. GARBAGE! OMG, I have not seen so much trash in all of my life. It's almost as though the whole day this thing goes on and on, although there are TONS of places to throw trash actually out, no one seems to take note and there certainly are no attendants going around helping to keep the place clean. This all happens in the few hours in the early to late morning before the whole thing is to start again.
5. Transportation.... holy man! Buses and any kind of public transportation is totally re-routed. For me, getting to work was a very very bad problem. Firstly, hello... 2nd/rd shift the entire time so that alone made it a problem because I started well after the whole day of the fest has started (earliest was 5pm) and then on top of it we had REALLY hot weather here (90+f) most of the week. Now the bad thing is with the re-route with where I live I have to take the same amount of time to either wait/take and transfer buses/trams to get about a block from right where the fest starts and then walk for 15minis to get to my work or I can just screw it and take the same amount of time including the bus/tram ride to walk from my house. I couldn't even rent a bike for this thing because that too has been cut off from being allowed to be used! Yes that is right, it's SO packed and so hard to get through all the people that they made it so you can't even ride a bike. It was just a really bad problem to get to work. Not to mention at the time that *I* had to come home, there was again 2 choices... walk (not gonna happen after a full night shift, in hot weather and at 2-4 in the morning!) or walk back to where the buses/trams drop me off and pick up a taxi... which of course costs 11euro a ride (for me at least considering I don't live far from it). You do the math, a bus pass (30euro) plus 10nights of taxis (lets round it to 110euro).... that is a LOT of money to have to put out just to get to and from work for 10days.
Ok before I get too much off of the topic... music ok if you are RIGHT at the stage you want to be at, rest of it, don't bother.
I'm off my rant now... I'll return next week with some yummy recipes I hope but if not this coming week, I will be back after mid August when I've done the holiday weeks for my bosses.