The fact that I traveled a few hundred miles, leaving my two precious cats behind, coughing up good money to go to a festival in hopes of hearing a handful of sets by artists I love, must make me nuts. Why? You may wonder.
More and more often I find myself experiencing moments of dread and misery while in the spaces that were supposed to be safe. A safe escape to another dimension, where status, beauty, and ego didn’t matter; all that mattered within the confines of the festival was the music. I have been catching myself feeling like an old grump, wanting to chase the riff raff away from my beloved home. However, festivals are not just my home; they are home to so many others. One can’t help but wonder if any other veterans out there are starting to feel like something is seriously amiss.
Why are you even here?
Music festivals, to me, are one of the most beautiful ways to celebrate life and enjoy music. Lately, I’ve been made to feel increasingly out of place (while standing directly in front of the stage, mind you) for quietly listening to the music. All around me mouths are flapping and yapping interminably. This almost entirely mindless babbling severely drowns out the music I came all this way to listen to.
I’m not saying everyone needs to be mute, but there’s a time and place for everything. Festivals don’t create space away from the stage for no reason. If you’re rolling your titties off and there’s nothing more you’d rather do than gossip with your girls, by all means, do it sister (or brother); but for the love of all that is holy, PLEASE do not stand deep in the crowd with your loud mouth self. Some of us actually came to hear music.
I hate that I have been leaving festivals with disdain for humanity. This was supposed to be one of the only places one could go to recharge our love and faith in our fellow man. Must I really need to weigh the factor of how crappy the people are at the festival when deciding if I want to attend? It hurts that I even have to say these things.
Can we talk about the cell phones?
It is apparent that a large portion of people in this modern age are addicted to their phones. I won’t, for a second, act like I don’t fall into that category.
Hopefully it isn’t news to you that this tiny computer that you hold so close to you is seriously messing with your brain.
When looking around at a festival, it’s painfully common to see people glued to their phones. It never takes long to spot people who have fallen down the rabbit hole of social media-induced narcissism; ignoring the beautiful set unfolding before them to scroll through the 37 selfies they took during the last performance (which they probably weren’t even listening to). People can be seen taking Snapchat videos of others without their knowledge; captioning snarky, rude things.
Technology and social media have the power to be amazing forces for change, goodness, and community. Instead, it’s inflated our egos and further separated us. I can’t help but feel that an increasing number of people these days care only for themselves – the kicker being that many don’t even truly love themselves. Too many people are occupied with spicing up their profile to see the very real beauty right in front of them.
I really hope that people don’t soil festivals altogether. Not to mention the careless trash heaps left behind by many festivalgoers (I’ll save that rant for another day). If everyone took the time to be mindful of their surroundings as well as their internal dialogues; maybe the world (and consequently, festivals) would be a better place. Who knows, though, maybe I’m just a crazy, cranky music snob?