Now that Ultra Music Festival has mesmerized EDM fans in 185 countries, it’s time to discuss why festivals matter and why you should go!
But first, just a little background: I’m a music festival addict to the bone. I cannot get enough. I attended Vans Warped Tour as a punk rocker in senior high school and in college, along with other day-long music festivals, mostly in the punk and alternative genre. The punk scene was so appealing to me as a pre-teen and beyond since it had this amazing sense of unity and empowerment. I felt like I totally belonged. I wasn’t weird to make my very own clothes or fighting for my rights and the rights of others. I must say i felt like I could make a positive difference in the world. And I wasn’t alone. Punk wasn’t about prone and taking it just because bad things are “going to happen anyway.” For me, and others, it had been about taking a stand, fighting back, and bringing people together, no matter how different.
Punk rock eventually led me to presenting a far more of an indie-punk fashion sense and to hearing post-hardcore. These post-hardcore bands began to use synths a lot more as years went on. Although synths had been used in hardcore and similar genre since the early 90’s, the first albums I came across with much synth presence were between 2006 and 2008. It sounded more like electro-hardcore to me. And I loved it, a whole lot! So a lot more I developed a love for bands with electronic elements. Electro-pop, electro-core, and so forth.
Then Bonnaroo happened. I had heard rumours of the modern-Woodstock and I knew I had to check on it out. A few my close guy friends were going and I quickly claimed a spot in their car for the 17+ hour drive to Manchester, TN in the summertime of 2011.
It changed everything.
Let me explain: I am someone who thrives on unity and connectedness. I’m highly social and I enjoy share anything; art, music, experiences, higher consciousness receptacles… you understand, the usual. I’ve actually been taken to tears at business events for the energy supply company UNITED STATES Power because of the powerful opportunity that connects people all over the United States(and hopefully the planet some day!). I know, I’m lame, but it’s true! Tears have welled in my eyes at many-a-music festival!
Anyway, back to Bonnaroo. This was the first music festival of it’s kind that I had ever been to. It had been a week-long adventure for us round-trip once we were driving from CT to TN stopping for one night each way. Once there, it was a four-day music festival. I had never seen anything so beautiful, so inspiring. Tent City was just magical. Over edm raves in tents and RVs all there for the music and each other. I saw music all day long and all night, acquiring buddies at every show, under every tree, by every tent. I had one profound experience in the center of the night while watching Bassnectar, I believe. I was dancing through to a hill with my lovely friends when I paused and looked out over the people. Individuals were so beautiful. So many glowing parts, moving and dancing. I saw so much connectedness and unity. We were all there together. No-one was thinking, “Wow, that guy looks like an idiot,” or “Could she be any dumber?” We were dancing, almost primitively, and that has been it. I just loved everyone there!