August 29, 2017

Roadburn’s publicity and communications maestro, Becky Laverty, has put together a solid overview of Roadburn to help you plan your trip to Roadburn – whether it’s your first time or your fifteenth!

Many moons ago, before I worked for Roadburn, I was a keen attendee of the festival. The first time I went, it was just for one day – and then the next year it was all weekend, and the same again the next year…

Now that I work for the festival, it’s a much less relaxing weekend but it is still a major highlight of my year, filled with familiar faces, incredible experiences and life-affirming performances from my favourite bands. Throbbing feet and a hoarse voice seem like a small price to pay for such an invigorating and unique experience.

The first year I worked for Roadburn, I was at the 013 venue when tickets went on sale and as we watched the numbers tick upwards Walter and I deliberated over what my title should be. “Roadburn Princess” was dismissed in favour of “Press and Communications”, but each year my role has expanded just a little bit more; I now oversee the side programme too. The “communications” part of my job is so wonderfully vague that it can mean any one of dozens of different things at any given time.

Recently we set up a Roadburn Facebook group for Roadburners from all over the globe to come together to discuss all things Roadburn and festival-related. One thing that struck me almost straight away was the number of people who are yet to make the pilgrimage to Roadburn.

As it wasn’t that long ago that I was an attendee, I still recall how overwhelming it is to plan your first Roadburn experience. So, here I have used the all-encompassing “communications” part of my job to give first time Roadburners (and those who might need a refresher!) a few pointers to help plan their first voyage to Planet Roadburn.


How much money you will need for Roadburn is definitely one of those “how long is a piece of string?” questions – it depends on so many factors, not least where you’re setting off from. Plane travel around Europe is relatively cheap (flights from London to Eindhoven are approx £60, and from Berlin to Amsterdam approx €65 for example), but we have many Roadburners traveling from much further afield which can hit your wallet hard.

If you need to spread out the cost of the trip, then some of the following information will likely help you prioritise in which order to pay for the more expensive parts of your trip.

Once at Roadburn, you can eat and drink relatively cheaply – but again this all depends on your personal choices and preferences. A small beer starts at around €2.50, a toastie at around €5, a burger and fries comes in at around €10.


We will always announce the ticket on-sale date in advance – we don’t spring it on you! In the past, tickets have sold out very quickly (mere minutes one year!), but since those days our capacity has increased. What this means is that we still sell a lot of tickets on the first day they go on sale, and then a steady stream after that. We always put weekend tickets (3 day and 4 day) on sale first, around October, followed by individual day tickets in January. Despite no longer selling out within the hour, Roadburn DOES SELL OUT.

So, we urge you to buy your ticket as soon as your finances allow. When we update our social media regarding tickets, we’re doing it to be informative rather than hyperbolic; if we say “only a few tickets remain” we likely mean less than fifty.


If you want to stay in a nice city centre hotel for Roadburn 2018, you’re probably already too late. These rooms get booked up very quickly – often as people check out from the previous festival. But it’s always worth having a look as cancellations happen and who knows, you might get lucky!

But never fear, there’s plenty of other options. You can try Air BnB – I did this one year, and it was a great and affordable option (the host even left a bottle of wine for me, thank you very much!). I actually only booked it a month or two out from the festival, so if you’re reading this in September and you’re already despairing, don’t lose hope!

We have an Roadburn Campsite in Tilburg – which we will announce details of in due course. If you’re not keen on pitching your own tent though, there are different levels of comfort available within the campsite. You can even book your own “Festipi” which squeezes some home comforts into the camping experience.

A little bit outside of Tilburg is the Beekse Bergen safari park that has accommodation in the form of chalets, or rather “Jungalows”. They typically can sleep 6 people and are an affordable option if you have a group of friends with you. There’s a shuttle bus between the safari park and the festival site. Rumours of a certain member of Enslaved getting trapped in the hyena enclosure have been greatly exaggerated, I promise.

If a hotel is all that will do, try looking in Eindhoven, Breda or s-Hertogenbosch (known locally as Den Bosch). All are less than 20 minutes away by train and have many options when it comes to hotels, plus b&bs and Air BnBs too! You might just need to be a little bit more careful when planning your travel, which brings us nicely on to…


As above, where you travel from will directly impact on the cost of your trip, but most likely is that you’ll be arriving into Amsterdam or Eindhoven. From Eindhoven airport you’ll need to take a bus to the train station (15-20 minutes, €3.50) and then a train to Tilburg (20 minutes, approx. €8). The travel time from Amsterdam is slightly longer – about an hour in total – and it’s a more expensive trip, with different options available depending on the speed of the train and the class of carriage you book. There are English-speaking booths where you can buy your ticket at the station. Check out train options HERE!

Taxis can be a bit expensive in the Netherlands, so where possible, I definitely recommend sharing with a fellow Roadburner. Closer to the time of the festival, we’ll let you know of any partnerships we have with travel companies that will help you save some precious pennies. If you’re staying in the centre of Tilburg, it’s a short walk to most hotels from the train station and the festival is less than ten minutes away. A friend of mine did get a taxi one year from the station to the Mercure hotel, I’m pretty sure they added a tourist tax on for that two minute trip…!


Tilburg will soon feel like a second home, but if it’s your first time, then it’s a wise idea to leave time to get your bearings so you work out where everything is before the first band you want to see starts. In the last couple of years we’ve had a wristband exchange open on the Wednesday night, which if you can make it along for then will reduce any queuing time on the Thursday and allow you quicker access to the venues.

All the rooms/venues are very close to each other, but still it’s a good idea to poke your head around the door when you have a few spare minutes so you can scope out what they’re like and what will become your preferred vantage spot. Pick up a programme at the beginning of the festival – there’s a map in the centre pages!

You will inevitably find yourself on Weirdo Canyon at some point – the name affectionately given to the strip of bars and cafes around the corner from the 013. Prior to working at Roadburn, I could happily while away several hours here in the sun, drinking a fruit beer and eating frites! Now I am lucky if I sit down for five minutes and get to steal chips off a friends plate! But even so, it’s a great spot to make friends or catch up with old ones.


It’s the main reason we’re all here, right? My main piece of advice is to not overstretch yourself when planning in advance. Pick two or three bands per day that are “must see” for you, and then take your foot off the gas for the others. You will ALWAYS find something new and exciting at Roadburn, but you’ll miss out on a lot of fun if you’re trying to stick too rigidly to a schedule.

It’s true that some of the smaller venues get filled up very quickly for popular bands – you can attribute that to Walter’s eagle eye for picking bands on the up! But if one of your must see bands is in a smaller room, plan ahead! If it’s going to ruin your weekend to miss a band playing in the Green Room, head there early and claim your spot.

I honestly encourage you to let your curiosity get the better of you too. I did when I stumbled upon Gnod back in 2012, or got my brain fried by Gravetemple in 2013.


Obviously I was going to include this as it’s where I focus lots of time and attention! But I think it gets squeezed out of a lot of people’s schedules when there’s so much treasure to be found! We have exhibitions, Roadburn Cinema, listening sessions and of course our live interviews and panel discussions. If you’re more used to big outdoor festivals, it might seem like a bit of an odd thing to go and sit down and listen to a talk for the best part of an hour in the middle of watching bands but the Roadburn side programme has picked up many devotees over the years!

The panels are great for people who have an interest in the business side of the music industry, but although the sessions are often very educational and informative, they’re never too serious or full on. The interviews are an amazing opportunity to listen to some of your favourite musicians and artists talk about their craft and their passions.

The side programme makes for a nice change of pace; an opportunity to have a sit down and catch your breath in amongst all the madness of the festival. And I’ve already started planning some really special things for this year!


It’s an important part of Roadburn too! We host our own after parties with guest DJs. Last year I even DJ’d along with fellow Beckys – VERNON (SubRosa) and CLOONAN (superstar artist); it was, to the best our knowledge, the first time that Neneh Cherry’s Buffalo Stance had been busted out at a Roadburn after party…

But if that’s not your kind of thing, the past few years have had the likes of Alan Averill and Ben Ward taking to the decks (and that one time we had live karaoke, they also took to the mics…)

No doubt you’ll find plenty of other party opportunities throughout Tilburg too. Call me biased, but I think ours are the best! 🙂


Sure, you can go through the whole four days and not speak to another soul if that’s your preference – and nobody is judging if it is.. but Roadburn is better with friends. A few people have commented on their reluctance to attend Roadburn solo, and I am looking into setting up a buddy system/introduction/meeting place for Roadburn 2018, so that even if you arrive in Tilburg alone, you don’t have to leave without a few new friends.

Personally speaking, I have made some incredible friends from all over the world, when we find ourselves, and each other, at Roadburn each year.


  • Yes, last year we arranged for foreign Roadburners to be able to buy weed from the local coffeeshops. We’ll let you know if this is possible again in 2018.
  • Yes, there’s LOADS of merch! Not just from bands that are playing the festival, but also from a few carefully selected vendors.
  • At the 013 you buy tokens from a machine that can be used to buy food or drink on site. It’s a bit confusing if you’re not familiar with the system, but when you’re at a busy bar, in a noisy room you’ll be grateful for it!
  • Yes, there are lockers and a cloakroom on site.
  • No, we don’t have signing sessions or meet & greets at Roadburn, but generally speaking most bands are accessible and will be enjoying the festival in the same way as you, so you’ll likely get an opportunity to say hello if you want to!
  • We have a daily zine – it’s printed right there on site at the 013 every morning of the festival! Pick up a copy, it’s called the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch.
  • Visual art is a big part of Roadburn – how we present this tends to vary year to year, so keep an eye out for announcements, but you’re guaranteed to have the opportunity to see (or buy!) some very special artwork at Roadburn.
  • Download our app! We’ll be be updating that in the run up to and during the festival (search the app store for the TimeSquare app – you’ll find Roadburn in there!)

If you still have questions head over to our Facebook group and ask in there, either myself or one of our regulars will no doubt be able to assist. Or if you are a Roadburn veteran, you can add your tips and advice to the conversation. One thing I have definitely learned over the years is that although we all come together for the same event, everybody’s experience is different!