Dear Present and Future Festival Attendees,
Music. This short, five-letter word has the uncontested ability to unite an extraordinary amount of people together from the duration of minutes, to days. I never believed in the strength of its power until I found myself traveling to another country to attend a festival. Ever since I stepped foot into my first festival, I have never felt closer to anything in my life. I am able to cultivate a sense of peace with my surroundings and myself.
I have my older sister to thank for introducing me to the wondrous world of festivals. I remember being fifteen and asking, “What the fuck is an Electric Daisy Carnival?” Her face would beam with widespread glee whenever she spoke about festivals. I found it outrageous that an event could offer such a profusion of bliss and gratification. Oh, to be young and naïve.
So what exactly makes a festival so mesmerizing aside from the music? Well, a festival is more than its lineup. It’s about the abundance of smiles floating around as you run from set to set, no matter whether the sun is shining or the rain is pouring. It’s about the special connections you make with people that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s about waiting in line for the porta-potty and having the person next to you compliment the outfit you have been working unbelievably hard on for weeks. It’s about watching one of your favorite artist’s set and trading kandi with someone who has been waiting for this set just as long as you. It’s about experiencing a song live that evokes so much emotion and moves you to tears. It’s about closing your eyes to a song that helped get you through a tough stretch and receiving hugs from complete strangers. It’s about opening yourself up to thousands of people and sharing your story with a person you newly met. It’s about being able to express who you really are and receiving the utmost understanding and respect. It’s about being surrounded by kindness and changing your outlook on the world. It’s about enriching your soul and making memories that will last a lifetime. It’s about finding home - because that’s what a music festival is, it’s home.
If you don’t believe me, I urge you to find and attend a festival that makes you feel the way I feel. Whether the festival is minutes, hours, or even thousands of miles away, I hope you make it out to at least one festival this season and most importantly, I hope it changes your life. If you’ve already found it then I hope these words take you back home, to whichever festival that may be.
With All The Love In The World,
A Fellow Festival(s) Attendee/Music Devotee
Written by: Kimberlyanne Tan
Photography by: Madi Lawton