The Other Side of the Festival Divide

I love music festivals! The atmosphere, the energy, the excitement, the music, the art, and even enjoy the grunge at a music festival that most people tend to shy away from. I don’t think there is any other place like them on earth. A place where anyone can run around not being judged by the way they dance, they look, or what they are wearing. Needless to say it’s rare for me to turn down a free ticket to a music festival, however, this past weekend I said no to attending a music festival out in California and I in turn ended up working at a festival in Wynwood, Miami called III points. I was going to be assisting and running the merchandise tent with a buddy of mine.

While pitching me to work the festival my friend was explaining how this was a very laidback festival and that I would be allowed to have drinks and check out any musical acts as I pleased. All this was true when I was working with him however when I was managing the tent it was a bit more hectic and a lot harder to get away at times. It was especially hectic when you had to deal with artist managers. If I had to say whose managers were the toughest it had to be Method Man and Red Mans. They had a long list of demands, but in the end when we didn’t adhere to all them they were cool with splitting the profits between the two of them. The only thing that matters, in the end, was their performance which was nuts! Nothing beats passing around blunts and rocking your head to some old school rap.

The people who make a festival happen really do grind it out. I see most of them working not  top during the festival hours and then party very hard into the morning. It is a tough lifestyle to maintain homeostasis in and applaud anyone who can keep that lifestyle afloat.

One thing that I was much more observant at this festival was how many people were high, and no not just stoned high but high on uppers, downers, laughers, screamers and more. Why here? Why have music festivals become the place, where youth and young adults of the past 50 years, have come to take a momentary check out from the world to get high and dance? Or are they taking part because some part of laugh is not reaching an internal need of theirs or is this a simple pause to the lunacy that is reality? I’d like to believe it is the latter and not in the quest to get high because music festivals are also a staple of free expression. You have the opportunity when entering one of these places to letyour persona known as you melt away and take on a new persona to your liking. Festival goers get into costume and take to the grounds with amazing energy and vibrations. The best part is just like everything that we know it must come to an end and come Sunday night or early Monday morning the festival grounds empty and people return.

Festivals normally get a negative connotation for being exactly “those” place. Places where people go to get high, and overdose, because they do not want to face the perils of the real world. But festivals are much more than that; from strangers walking up and giving hugs to each other or sharing supplies, to makeshift cities being erected in the middle of nowhere only to be destroyed it seems by wave and pulled back to the sea. No footprint and no evidence to actually what happen just the memories of the people who were there.