My dearest of hipster sirs and hipster ladies, how I have missed you all. I am deeply apologetic about leaving you all in your utmost time of need: Summer. Yes, it might appear like all sunshine and good times but summer is also the most dangerous season for getting sucked into soulless pop music blasting out of your radio because you mixed up the euphoria of that Twisted Tea with the pointless lyrics of Jason Derulo. I can blame it on the fact I lost motivation after school was out or I filled my life with work and soccer or the more current factor that I broke my wrist and now type like Captain Hook. All of these excuses don’t matter. What matters now is that you are about to be enlightened of the world of music festivals.
Summer is the time for music festivals; cue flower crowns, high-waisted short shorts and patterned hats. Festivals to some people seem like an unnecessary waste of money and time. I can see where you are coming from as they do cost a fair amount of money and you have to factor in hangover time along with travel time meaning your out for a solid week, I can’t take that off work! I am here to tell you it is worth every overtime hour and every effort you put into it (and if you can’t work hungover you can’t work at all).
This summer I managed to make it to two music festivals both located within 5 hours of me: Pemberton and Squamish Valley Music Festival. They aren’t yet ranked up with the Coachella’s, Bonnaroo’s, and Glastonbury’s of the world but let me tell you, they were amazing. I will be writing reviews for them later but for now I want to enlighten you all on 5 reasons you really must go to a music festival. My goal is basically just to get you to your first one because after that you will want to go to ALL of them, trust me on this one.
Here’s my 5 reasons you need to get your fine hipster ass to a music festival:
1) The lineup
This is probably the most obvious reason to attend a music festival. In no other setting on this planet will you get to see The Temper Trap followed by The Arctic Monkey followed by Eminem. Only at a music festival will you get to see a hologram of Tupac, witness the Trailer Park Boys watching Snoop Dogg, or have British Dj duo Disclosure bring out Mary J Blige as a guest appearance. Are you out of breath yet? I hope not because we have 4 more to go. Only at a music festival will you get to see rock followed by rap followed by a massive DJ, my little hipster heart is smiling. The lineup is a massive part of going to a music festival, but aren’t you wondering why ticket sales go up before the lineup is announced? Stay with me here.
2) The camping
In the past I have stayed at hotels and camped on the grounds for music festivals and let me tell you, camping is the way to go. Yes, you might be incredibly sleep deprived by day 3 because your neighbours were having a drug influenced bro-out at 4:30am. Yes, you might feel nasty when your hair turns into a massive dreadlock due to the constant sweat and dirt flying around the campground (showers cost money? thats like one whole beer). And finally, you might be dying to use flush toilets (the name Honey Bucket makes me gag). But how I see it, this is part of it. Everyone there is going through the same thing and if you can keep a positive attitude about it all, the camping is half of the fun! Everyone wakes up excitedly anticipating the amazing live music they will see that day and that’s an atmosphere you can’t get from a Sandman or Hilton. So my friends, throw your high maintenance habits out the window, grab a Rockstar Vodka in the morning and throw in some dry shampoo because YOU are there for the experience, and an experience you will get.
3) The friends
It is a known fact that those humans that face adversity or experience phenomenas together grow a close bond. There isn’t any adversity quite like a festival hangover and powering through for round 3 or even 4. Naturally, everyone is at the festival for similar reasons. We all made a combined effort to buy these overpriced wristbands and get our shit together in time to set up a livable area for several days. Festival friends are the best friends. Nobody is in it for a long term relationship. We are there to have the best time of our whole summer and when these attitudes are in the minds of a large group you are bound for a killer time. When making friends (usually with you neighbours because everyone’s too lazy to roam around) you realize that people are naturally drawn to like minded people. Unlike in your everyday life when you try to avoid all eye contact with the people in Walmart, here you are giving random people high-fives and getting flung up on the shoulders of a random stranger so you can see eye to eye with Frank Ocean (oh it happened). The friends you make at festivals are there to look out for you and be your little family for the time spent there, and that is something you really must be a part of.
4) The road trip
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “half the fun is getting there”. I always thought this was a bunch of malarky until I was subject to music festival road trips. The anticipation of the entire weekend is built up and compacted into your tiny Honda Civic, bursting at the seems with your camping attire and carefully picked out outfits. The sound system is blasting the artist you still can’t believe you are going to see and everyone still has a fresh face on. A convoy is an even better idea with regular car switches at the passing by Starbucks’. I like to call this stage of music festivaling ‘The Calm Before the Storm’ because once you park that little car I can guarantee you will have a team shot gun as you begin your journey to the campsite. Never over look the road trip part of the festival my friends, it’s all part of it.
5) The aftermath
Now I know what you are thinking, those who have been to festivals: ‘The aftermath is the worst part!’, ‘How could she say it’s a reason to go to the festival when I am depressed for days.’ Two things for you people: lay off the drugs and drink coconut water. When you come back from a festival you are usually sun burnt, dehydrated, sleep deprived but extremely and utterly happy. You STILL can’t believe you saw the Rap God/Slim Shady/Eminem, witnessed Tyler, the Creator skateboarding and heard Nas perform Illmatic. Oh it happened kids. You crowd surfed, you ate a large tub of mini donuts and you drank from 11am-2am everyday. You my friend are a survivor and you got to do all these crazy things with some pretty amazing people. Why are you depressed? Because it’s over maybe, but you get the bragging rights over all your lame friends who didn’t have the balls to dive into this experience with you. Don’t be depressed my friends, be excited for next year because we all know you are now addicted to music festivals. And my job here is done.