Monday, 19 December 2016

The Reality of Music Festivals

If you asked me a year ago not necessarily what I thought, but how I felt about Music Festivals, I would smile, butterflies would be released into my stomach, I would suddenly feel an overpowering nostalgia and excitement towards the topic and would reply with, "I love them".

I really did.

My first music festival was in the year 2014 at Groovin the Moo in Bunbury WA, when I was seventeen. Apart from photographs of the previous years, I didn't really know what to expect when the weekend came. My best friend and I packed our bags, got picked up by another friend and we began the roadtrip down south, playing music from a playlist dedicated to the acts playing. We were excited. I couldn't bloody wait.

The day came. We took shots in the car on the drive there. We were all tipsy by the time we arrived, hiding the pills we planned to take where security couldn't find them. We got inside and I was blown away. I guess the fact that we were quite far from home contributed to this feeling that I felt, resembling that of being far far away with so many possibilities but also a sense of freedom. 
The music festival held many alternative and Indie artists so the attendees consisted much of hippies and everyone had a smile on their face. 

Everyone was so nice that if you were alone for a moment you didn't feel that way at all. The first act we saw was Andy Bull. He was amazing. And shortly after we took the pills hidden that we had all probably only taken once in our still very young lives and so when it hit us, we were happy and excited and carefree and wanted to run around but also smile at everyone and my best friend and I shortly found ourselves lying on the grass, having a deep and meaningful conversation admitting our appreciation for each other.

It was one of the best days of my life.

The expectations my first ever GTM gave me has stuck with me. Although I really really want to see the acts I am going to the festival for, I still hope for an amazing day like this; running around with my best friend, dancing everywhere and going on rides and making new friends. 

But over the years the Music Festival scene has changed. 

Not everyone is smiling anymore. Majority of people are gurning. And people aren't smiling at you in a carefree manner, instead many are resisting the urge to start a fight. 

It is clear to see now that Music Festivals aren't all about the music and the vibe anymore, but revolves solely around taking as many pills as you can before you black out and seeing as many people that you know where you share a large hug, ask them how its going although not really caring for the answer, before quickly bidding farewell and carrying on. 

And I am not innocent from this either. I take pills. One doesn't cut it for me anymore so I take several and by the evening I feel like utter shit, want to go home and barely want to see the last act anymore. Then the next few days is followed by a come down where I feel sad, then okay, then tired, then angry. And I find myself asking whether the festival was worth it? 
I can barely remember majority of the day so did I even have a good time? The photographs on my phone say yes, but I don't remember for sure, not really. 

I have been hoping for a day to come just like my first time. And trust me there have been some for sure. For instance, Corona Sunsets in the summer of 2015 was an amazing day shared with my friend. Only thing is we are no longer friends. Come to think of it, neither are me and the girl I attended my first festival with either. 

I have attended two festivals so far in this still early festival season, and have been utterly disappointed by the both. It's not the same anymore. Whether its the vibe that has changed, the attitude, or me. I don't know. 

And I guess that means I should just let go and stop trying to recreate the days of those first few experiences otherwise I will just be disappointed and will start feeling bitter towards the idea of music festivals altogether. 

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