Festival Vibes


Douglas Mason

Aerial view of the Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Sara McRoberts, Campus and Features Editor

With the semester coming to a close, plans for summer are being made. We might make a plan to visit an out-of-state friend, go to a tropical location to stay at a resort, camp, or maybe even catch a Disney cruise.
One event to consider is a music festival. Summer is dubbed “festival season” by those of who regularly attend these magical, musical rendezvous. One of the best parts about music festivals is there are affordable options and many varieties, all headlining different types of music, therefore appealing to anyone and everyone.
“Festivals themselves have been around forever. People with similar interests get together and share and trade ideas,” says Eddie Hacker, communications major at Lake Land College and frequent festival go-er.
He continues explaining that festivals allow you to experience new genres and styles of music, find new ways to socialize with and find commonality among your peers, as well as an amazing platform on which to learn how to market artwork and jewelry.
Aside from enjoying music, many of these festivals include art and performing, plus workshops where you can learn about both.
“I love the live art and the workshops. I took a picking class with Allie Kraal and The Henhouse Prowlers and that was amazing because I look up to those artists,” explains Dakota Yeckpetty, main vocalists and mandolin player for the up-and-coming band Porch Fire.
Performing artists like hula-hoopers, poi artists, and fire artists can take advantage of the opportunities to express themselves and entertain others at music festivals.
There are all types of music festivals out there. Summer Camp Music Festival generally houses jam bands, funk bands, some electronic dance music DJs, and blue grass.  However, the Bonnaroo festival tends to have more main stream artists and bands headline such as Ellie Goulding, Kanye West, Red Hot Chili Peppers and other big name artists.  Rock on The Range is a festival occurring May 20-22 with bands like Disturbed, A Day to Remember, MGK, and Megadeth and more headlining artists. This is one of the many festivals that cater to the more hardcore hearts in music.
So many people have truly found a home at music festivals.
“I believe that everyone should attend a music festival at least once a year. It is a great place to escape social norms and to feel accepted. You will never feel out of place at a music festival,” Meghan Emmett, a general education major, tells me so passionately that her love for these festivals could be heard in each word.
One of the best components of attending a music festival is the connections you make with other people. In the conversation with Yeckpetty, he explained that he believes that what keeps bringing people back to these festivals is the communities that are built during the days spent at the venue. “You get to be a part of something bigger than yourself,” he says.
Indeed there are large festivals which include Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, and North Coast festival, however the tickets can sometimes be on the pricey side depending on when you purchase them.  While at the festival, a person does not need a whole lot of cash to get by, but the tickets can sometimes slow people down.
Tickets are usually purchased before the show. You would need to take a tent and some food and a few hundred bucks for souvenirs and emergencies. To spend the least amount of money possible, a good recommendation is to hitch a ride with a bunch of friends, share a tent, and have a goal to be frugal so that you make the music festival journey an achievable one.
But, there are also smaller festivals that are a little more affordable. Todd Hazelrigg, local Charleston musician who has played some of these fests informs me that the smaller festivals are the most fun because of the family you build there. He goes on to say that these families are small communities. Many of the people attending the smaller festivals know each other, know the band, and usually volunteer to keep the festival safe, clean, and fun for everyone. He also enjoys the art aspect of festivals. “The art community comes together. [Festivals] are a way to come out and show art and to teach art.”
Not only are music festivals amazing for experiencing music live and discovering new bands you may not have known about before, they are also great ways to learn about the art community as a whole. Workshops at these fests can be taken and many of these festivals seek to educate about the conservation of the environment and the practice of always being kind to one another.
Festivals are also great events to attend if your major is communications or something music or people related. Connections are made easily here and everyone is kind and willing to teach.
If you’ve never been to a festival, make this year the year to feel the vibes!

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