An Argument For Attending At Least One Music Festival In Your 20s


Maybe some of you don’t need any encouragement when it comes to shelling out hundreds to not shower and not be sober for two or three days while “dancing” to your favorite artists. In fact, I’m sure some of you have a few exciting festivals under your belt already. If you are one of these people, read on anyway. For all of you saying, “I’m not a raging coke head with a death wish, nor do I listen to construction site sounds as music,” or, “I’m not a hippie willing to travel across the country to watch other hippies make out with their microphones for $400,” hear me out.

Although there are many logistical obstacles you must overcome to have a smooth festival-going experience, you’ll hardly care once you actually arrive. Let’s face it, you likely won’t be sober for any of it. If you decide on a Mysteryland or Bonnaroo type of experience, you get to be gross and camp out on the festival grounds! You get bonus points at these festivals because you won’t pay for transportation or risk getting a life-ruining DUI. Cost is also certainly a factor. The cheapest tickets I’ve seen run for about $175, and that was for last year’s Made in America in Philly. Some of the more expensive ones, like Electric Daisy Carnival and Coachella, hover around $400. But honestly, they’re worth it. Once you find a few friends on board, I guarantee you’ll have a phenomenal time.

Most importantly, there’s something for everyone–really. Jersey Shore meat head? I’m sure Paris will headline something this summer. Total emo hipster? Lolla or SXSW is probably right up your alley. Phat Basshead? Pretty much every EDM (EDC, Sensation, Ultra, EZoo) will satisfy your thirst. But the best part? So many festivals cater to everything. Bonnaroo just released its 2014 line up and it starts with ELTON JOHN. Other acts include Kanye West, Jack White, Lionel Richie, Vampire Weekend, Skrillex, and Frank Ocean. I mean, that’s one of the more varied lists of artists I’ve ever seen. I first fell in love with the concept last summer at Made in America where the variety satisfied every one of my preferences. Although I missed the first four hours while I wandered around looking for my friends, I honestly can’t say I’ve had more fun at any other performance, and that includes a Tim McGraw concert in a red turtleneck circa 2004.

As a generation whose lives revolve around media consumption, I think festivals are a place where this double-edged sword fits well. Sure, the festivals involve plenty of #selfies, Instas, and tweeting, but the bottom line is that it’s an IRL experience. You actually interact with other people instead of listening to the same set in your cube on Soundcloud. There’s something magical about not having to shower for three days (like I do anyway) and having a legitimate excuse for it. It’s truly amazing bonding time with whatever friends you guilt into coming with you. I can’t speak enough about the collective euphoria places like music festivals breed, too. We all know it. You’ve experienced it at a college football game or prior concert, but on a (usually) smaller scale. Get your American Flag tanks and boobypacks out and take advantage while you still can.

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Mary Swanson

Both a bitter and optimistic 24-year-old entry-level underachiever with 2-4 friends and 0 talents. Washed up is an understatement. I prefer almost all my food luke-warm, what does that say about me?

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