Music festivals are events which take over our summer. They are something to look forward to, to have fun with your mates and to see live bands in a muddy field. But what is the big hype? For many, festivals are a time where one can ‘let go’ and just have a laugh. However, for some, they are the worst possible events imaginable. Personally, I love going to festivals and getting to see my favourite bands perform to a crowd of thousands of people. However, I have seen the look of terror on people’s faces who have been caught in a mosh that they did not want to be in or a person who has lost their friends in the swarm of people jumping and singing.
Over the past month, multiple festivals have released the beginning of their line ups. Reading, Boardmasters and Community are all festivals who have already started promoting their line up to draw people in to buy tickets. Whilst some people may go to a festival just for the atmosphere, many rely heavily on the bands which will perform. It is always nice seeing one of your favourite bands as a headliner of a major festival, as it gives you the opportunity to experience their music live and to witness it with your own eyes.
One concern many people have about going to festivals is money. Money limits us all – unless you are a millionaire of course. Festivals are expensive, there are no two ways around that. You sleep on the group surrounded by thousands of people in tents. You use nasty, smelly portable toilets. But, this is what people typically define festivals to be like. I cannot imagine going to a festival and living in ‘luxury’. However, there is normally an chance to buy a ‘VIP’ or premium ticket, for an extra price of course, to get to use ‘proper’ toilets. The real question is are festivals worth it? Are they worth hundreds of pounds? I guess this ultimately depends on your own opinion. If you value a weekend with your mates, hopefully in the sunshine, then yes, it might be worth it. But, if you don’t like the idea of getting cold, muddy and wet for the weekend, then I totally see why you wouldn’t fork out lots of money. From the music aspect, you could work it out depending on how many acts you saw. When I went to Boardmasters, I saw 14 acts over 4 days. I believe the ticket was around £150. That means it would have cost me around £10.70 to see each act. If you are a gig-goer, you will understand how cheap this is, especially to see well-known acts such as Two Door Cinema Club, Stormzy and The Vaccines.
There is not one type of music festivals. For the majority of genres out there, there is a festival you can attend. This allows people to experience the music that they like and to hear more artists of a similar style. Therefore, festivals can be seen as promoting artists and giving them new listeners who enjoy their work. While you can bop along to the headliners on the festival line up, you can also experience many artists who are lower on the set list and are potentially unknown. This is an opportunity for band’s voices to be heard and to play their music in front of a live crowd.
Festivals are a good experience as long as people know where the lines is. In the festival arena, you will find people who are extremely drunk and doing silly things, which may harm them or others. While festivals are a time to have a laugh, it needs to be understood that causing harm is not funny. If you go to a festival in the summer, just be mindful of other people. This may be someone’s first festival and they are most likely feeling many emotions, from being happy to being anxious. One joke for you may not be a joke for someone else, especially if you go around jumping on people’s tents for a bit of ‘banter’. Basically, have a good time with your mates and allow others to have a good time. Simple.
By definition, a festival can be seen as some sort of celebration which occurs annually. Music festivals are a way to celebrate music, which connects many of us. In our life, we experience music in all forms and personally, I have to say, one of the best forms is seeing it live. Nothing compares to hearing the crowd roar when the band comes out to play. Nothing compares to feeling the heat coming off the crowd who are jumping to their favourite song. Nothing compares to the friendly vibe at festivals. I believe this is why festivals are hyped so much. It is an experience that cannot compare to anything else.