A lot is made of music festivals in pop culture. Music festivals have changed quite a bit since Woodstock and those hoping to attend modern festivals like Bonaroo or Pitchfork may be wondering what to expect. Music festivals are events where people come together to enjoy good music, art and food. People of all colors, creeds and cultures come together to bond over a wonderful experience. I find that many people can get more than a good show out of these events.
Imagine this: You are going on a three-day camping trip, your favorite musical artists are performing through the entire time, you are with close friends and everything you do is of your own free will. This is the environment that I found myself in when several friends and I decided to take a road trip to Imagine Music Festival in Atlanta, Ga. On top of the fire shows, acrobatics, light shows and art installations, it is a no-brainer that many individuals and groups alike show up. There are beautiful elements that make the experience come to blissful perfection.
First and foremost, here is your obvious reason to go: escape the boring hell that everyday life presents. Personally witnessing the bizarre outfits and otherworldly personalities that come from otherwise normal people drives the point home. I went because I had not yet experienced a music festival and life events drove me to seek an escape. Events like these music festivals harbor a vast amount of creative energy from the homemade banners to the homemade apple pipe that the hippie in the corner is toking out of. With so much fun concentrated in a single area over multiple days, it allows you to truly get a feel of living a separate life. I get it, for individuals who are reading this thinking that their mundane, boring lives are perfect for them, there are reasons for you all I will cover next.
Feelings from my childhood I thought I may never achieve again consist of a pure happiness where not a single worry exists in my mind. I kept thinking attaining such a feeling was impossible until the second day of my festival. Being amongst some of the closest friends, listening to my favorite music and sitting by a pool, in the middle of a NASCAR race track, by the main stage, is the coolest experience I’ve had so far in life. Music festivals set the stage for the beauty of life to unravel before you.
People do not realize this, but in the everyday struggle of life, it can be hard to find oneself. I spent the experience with my festival family, or a group of close friends that formed over their love for festivals and each other. While resting at camp for the night, I conversed with friends and forged connections with strangers. While all of this went on, these conversations forced me to learn personal things that I did not realize about myself. My friends helped me bring out and fight issues past and present that I did not even realize were there. This “spiritual journey” took me deep into the roots of my internal conflict and brought my mind into clarity.
By buying a ticket to a music festival, not only are you buying a performance, you are buying a connection to the world. People from all over the world come to participate in the debauchery. With so many cultural influences, every individual that I met was special one way or another. I met people from my hometown to people from Germany, Australia and Korea. I learned of many things different from my life, and more specifically, of music festivals in other countries. In my love for music festivals, I am connected with the millions of others that share the same love.
So long as music festivals continue to happen, I will be there to try to experience them all. The feeling of true freedom, of living your life is unleashed in these events. Such a feeling is one I feel that everyone should try at least once. If given the opportunity, would you go?