I went to my first music festival last year. If you know me, that is kind of surprising actually. (Okay, I did organize small music events, but those don't really count). I've been to a lot of concerts, but for one reason or another (money, fear of crowds, no one wants to go with me), I haven't made it to any of the music festivals.
Until 2016. And then it seems like I was making up for lost time because I went to not just one but four festivals in a span of four months.
- Laneway in Singapore (Battles, Beaches, Grime, The 1975, Chvrches)
- Good Vybes Fest (Stars, Chvrches, Passion Pit)
- Wanderland (Naked and Famous, Death Cab for Cutie, Bon Iver)
- In The Mix (James Bay, Panic! At the Disco, The 1975)
- Not exactly a festival, but sort of - Walkway's Switchfoot concert
Unfortunately, I failed to properly blog about any of them. This post isn't that, since the moment has passed. What this is about is why I encourage you to go to a music festival at least once in your life, whether it's in the country, abroad, with a group, with one friend, or by yourself.
You get your money's worth
Some may balk at the around P3500 cash you have to shell out to go to a local festival. But if you really think about it, it's worth it since you get to see at the very least 5 artists. And it's probably a great mix of local and international talent so if you don't like one, you still have four more to listen to. Bonus points if you get free tickets or if you have friends who have connections to get you in. If that opportunity arises, GO AND TAKE IT OKAY???
You get to discover new artists
Before I went to Laneway, I knew nothing about The Internet (the band, not the actual internet ha) and Battles, but after catching their set, I now listen to them regularly. Same with BP Valenzuela and Oh Wander in Good Vybes and Blackbird Blackbird in Wanderland, among others. If you see a band you don't know in the lineup, don't skip their set as you may just find your new favorite artist.
You can do whatever you want
When I attend concerts in coliseums and stadiums, I kinda feel pressured to stand up when everyone's standing up, to clap when everyone's clapping, and so on and so forth. Music festivals are usually held in open fields (well, except for In the Mix which was at MOA Arena) and so you have a bigger space to do whatever you want: dance like no one's watching, lie down in the grass (well, if there's grass) and soak in the sun and the music, try out the different food trucks while waiting for your favorite band. You will come across a lot of selfie-taking people, barkadas who are not listening to the music but just talking to each other, and other annoying people, but try not to mind them. Just as you're enjoying your freedom, let them have their moment too.
You get to chat with fellow music lovers
Okay, i have to be honest and tell you that this didn't happen to me. Mostly because I'm not the chatting with strangers type. But I've seen this happen to a lot of people, so I can tell you, it's a thing!
You get to spend time and share an experience with people you like/love
One tip is that you have to go with a person you actually like or even love. You will be spending several hours together so you have to make sure that you won't be easily annoyed by your companion. And if you will go regularly to these things, it helps to have a constant music fest buddy. Getting to share music with other people is one of my favorite things and so having friends with me during these times was especially nice.
The music. Duh.
Nothing beats listening to live music. Mp3s and Spotify are great, but to hear your favorite bands play just a few feet away from you is just indescribable. Sometimes i just want to close my eyes and bask in its aural beauty but then I have to open them because I don't know when the next time will be where I can actually see them. Last year was my first time to watch Bon Iver and Passion Pit, then I got to see Chvrches and The 1975 twice, and Death Cab for Cutie and Stars for the second time. The music lover in me was thoroughly satisfied.
I don't know what music festivals I will be able to see this year (I passed on Laneway and Wanderland already) but for sure, budget and schedule allowing, I will want to go to at least one or two soon!