We Could all Afford to Open Our Minds for Once

Araya Jackson

Photo Courtesy of Araya Jackson

Life Through a Music Festival Lens

Maybe it’s the thrill of not knowing what’s to come after you buy your first ticket. It could be the hardcore roadtrip-jams on the way there, or the welcoming shouts from thousands of cars as you await to get through vehicle security checks – which aren’t much of checks at all.

Starting to set up the campsite on the wrong side of your friend’s beat up, red Toyota Corolla may contribute, because you can only laugh at yourselves and how the weekend is already turning out.

The blistering heat that awakens you from your tent at the earliest hours of the morning may not have done the trick, but ultimately, there is something.

There is something that makes going to your first festival an experience unlike any other.  

The overwhelming feeling of inclusiveness and love from every single open-minded person you will encounter has a lot to do with it. People wear what they want, do what they please, and push the level of what some would call “weird” to the max – and no one questions you for it.

These are people that you’ll never want to part with, because there’s no one quite like them in the realities of your home life. The emitting sense of unity is hard to describe; it can only be felt.

But still, this doesn’t explain the something of it all. There’s one particular thing that’ll keep you coming back for more.

Photo Courtesy of Araya Jackson

You’d think the music would be the powerful factor that makes this trip what it is. The electric energy pulsating through you as you groove to your favorite artists under the stars, what could top that?

Not to mention staying up until sunrise as you explore the land, dance in a Christmas barn, or stroll through an eerily lit up forest.

However, the music nor the late night adventures are quite the pivotal influences that complete the weekend.

To try and summarize it, the entire atmosphere has an ambiance that sparks a light inside of you. There’s a perfect, harmonious aura that surrounds you the entire time. It’s a euphoric weekend where you feel like, for once in your life, the Earth’s gravity isn’t weighing you down.

You’re on top of the world.

But what’s the true reason you’ll go to a second, and a third, and even more festivals at any chance you can get?

Photo Courtesy of Araya Jackson

It’s the product of yourself after that eventful weekend.

It’s the new powerful sense of open-mindedness you’ll be radiating. You’ll look at the world, think about those around you, and even view yourself in a whole new way.

Festivals remove all distractions from your life, so you can just focus on you and what makes you happy. You’ll learn how to adapt, accept, and understand.

The situation described above is from a girl’s first time going to Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. After that, the girl went on to attend 5 more festivals, and has more lined up in the future.

That girl is me.

It’s addicting, quite honestly. Not because of how much fun it is, how great being front row for your favorite artist feels, or how welcoming the campers are; but because you come out and realize that you are overall a happier person.

Sure, this can sound a little far-fetched. Yeah, you may be thinking, “It’s just a music festival,” and that type of thinking is the point exactly. We could all afford to open our minds a little. We get so caught up in this fast-paced, materialistic world that we live in. Stop and take a breath of fresh air for once.

You’ll thank yourself.

Feature image courtesy of Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival website

Article first appeared in Reflector Print Magazine Fall 2017 edition.