Music festival season is upon us and I honestly can’t tell you how excited I am about that. After having gone to 10+ music festivals (at one point I even had a blog about them!), I can tell you that they can be life-changing. Each festival is different and holds a different experience in store for you. After having gone to so many different festivals, I’ve definitely learned a lot about myself and about life. Here are seven things I’ve learned from going to music festivals:
1. There is beauty in not having a plan.
Naturally, I am a planner. My first music festival was Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) and I planned out every single day and every single set. I knew exactly when we’d have to leave one stage in order to make it on time to the next (don’t worry – the friends I went with were totally on board haha). This enabled us to see as many artists as possible, but it certainly took away from the overall experience.
I’ve learned not to plan every moment of every festival. Typically, I’ll look at the lineup and pick 2-3 must-see artists and then allow myself to be open to seeing whoever outside of those. Some of the best memories I have from music festivals were from the unplanned moments. Maybe we stopped to get some food and wandered to a stage to see an artist we didn’t know. Maybe we started chatting with another group and get lost in a fun discussion. There is beauty in the unplanned moments and I’ve learned to embrace them as much as possible.
2. You’re not alone.
One of the reasons I love music festivals is because they’re an escape. They’re one of the few places I feel like I can totally disconnect and live in the moment. I live every day trying to manage my anxiety, and music festivals (and concerts) are one of the few places I feel like my anxiety disappears. In going to festivals, I’ve learned this is true for so many people. We’re all looking to escape our realities, even if for just a couple of days. Life can be hard and it has intense ups and downs – festivals are a place where you can check your worries at the door and just live your life. In some sort of weird way, I find comfort knowing I’m not the only one who just needs to escape sometimes. We are not alone in this world.
3. “Be yourself because everyone else is already taken.”
I’m sure many of you have heard that quote, and while it’s cheesy, it’s certainly true. Music festivals are one of the few places where I’ve ever felt that I can be unapologetically myself. Festivals are a place where there are no judgments. There are no rules. And please keep in mind that I say these things in a general, broader sense. Music festivals are a place where you can be totally free. When you can break down the barriers of yourself and just be- it’s an amazing thing and an incredible feeling.
4. Music brings us together.
This is something we’ve all heard, but festivals bring it to life. Next time you’re at a festival, take a moment and just look around you. The music you’re listening to brought thousands of people together from all around the world and country. How beautiful is that? Music has been the bond to some of the best relationships I have in my life and I am forever thankful for that. To me, music is so much more than just a song or a lyric and festivals bring the songs to life. I get goosebumps even writing that and thinking about some of the festivals I’ve been to.
5. Care less, worry less, go with the flow.
I’ll never forget my first camping festival. I had never really camped before and while I wouldn’t consider myself high-maintenance, I was definitely not a camping kinda girl. Due to the fact I was going with an all-guy group, I learned quickly to just not care so much about my physical appearance and to accept myself as is. I didn’t want to be getting ready when my friends were ready to go. There are a lot of spontaneous moments that happen at music festivals. You might not be totally prepared for them, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them! If anything, you should embrace them. Having a go with the flow attitude will suit you well in many aspects of life.
6. Get out of your comfort zone.
There have been many moments at music festivals where I felt uncomfortable. In fact, there have been many moments in my life where I felt uncomfortable. I feel like I have lived a lot of my life trying to morph into a person I thought I should be. But going back to #3, music festivals have taught me to just be myself. The uncomfortable moments have led to great growth. And where’s the fun in staying within your own comfort boundaries? You certainly don’t learn when you stay inside your comfort zone and you definitely don’t grow. Music festivals have taught me that we should get out of our comfort zones as much as we can in life.
7. Live in the moment.
I’m sure you’ve been there before: you’re attending an event (maybe a concert or a sporting event), you look around, and notice almost everyone around you has their phone in the air. We live in a world where we want to share every moment on social media, but that takes away from the moment itself whether you want to believe it or not. I go to festivals to make memories. Sure, if I capture a 10-second long video, I can look back on it later, but there’s nothing better than experiencing that exact moment first-hand. I do my best now to embrace life and live in the moment. I’m not living my life to view it from a phone screen. I want to witness it with my eyes!
These are all things that music festivals have taught me to try and live out in my daily life. I hope you all have an incredible and safe festival season! And anyone here heading to Coachella? If so, check out my survival guide where I share what to bring and some general festival tips.
What have you learned from attending music festivals? Would love to know! Drop a comment here 🙂