Three Festies Tell Us Why Festivals Should Not Be a Place of Fear

Our motto at Festival Squad is “Festing for the People”.  The people that contribute to this blog live, breath, eat, and sleep music festivals.  We often times have our personal favorite musicians or music festivals that have lead us to become who we are today as a music-lovers.  For most people, including myself, festivals are a safe space!

You can be anyone that you want to be, you can dress however you want, and you can just be you.

On Sunday October 1st, tragedy struck our beloved community in Las Vegas. 58 people (and counting) have died; hundreds more are being treated for wounds. We can only imagine the pain and suffering inflicted on the families for years to come. The city of Las Vegas is home to some of our favorite festivals including EDC Las Vegas and Life Is Beautiful. However, this tragedy could have happened anywhere and to any of us or our friends and festival family.

As our blog comes together to reflect on this immense tragedy, we couldn’t help but remember why we fell in love with festivals and find solace in the fact that we will come together to rebuild.  Just as our Founder/ CEO- Stephanie Rosa– stated in her press release on October 2nd:

“We are proud to be a part of the festival community because we have never been a group to stay silent. We act together in times of love and we act together in times of loss. And now, I am asking each one of you to act. Families of victims and victims alike needs help. The Las Vegas community needs help. Our festival family needs help. Please consider donating. “

Festival Squad has set up a GoFundMePage to help those affected by the shooting. Every dollar counts, and every penny that we raise will be donated to those in need.

I had the opportunity to chat with a few of my co-workers about Why we LOVE music festivals and reflect on how this Las Vegas Tragedy will affect our community. Read my interviews below and learn about the beauty of music festival, the community culture, and what we need to do to help heal after the Las Vegas Shooting.

 

Jennifer, 34,  Indianapolis, IN

Festival Squad: What about festivals do you love?

Jennifer:  The overwhelming sense of camaraderie that can only be found through the joys of music.

FS: What aspect of the festival community culture is important to you?

J:  Our ability to pull together and create new experiences, shift policies, and change the direction of music one fest at a time.

FS: For most people, festivals are a safe space. You can be anyone that you want to be, you can dress however you want, and you can just be you. What makes festivals so intrinsically safe and freeing?

J:  The overwhelming sense of living in a Utopia for a few days, where your ideas and values can be seen, felt, and understood without fear of negativity clouding your vision.

FS: Over the years, large gatherings such as music festival have become the target of violence. How do you think this has affected the community and what can we do to rebuild?

J: Violence is rarely seen from true festers, but rather outsiders who wish to terrorize any community. No large gathering is safe from violence, whether it be a festival, a fair, a sporting event, or any other large gathering of people. It is so unfortunate in these times that the threat of violence can cause us fear in our hearts. Through continued discussion, mindfulness, and love, we can all come together to create a more peaceful and harmonious atmosphere for everyone. These atrocities can happen anywhere, and in any country. It is time to make some decisions to put a stop to violence no matter what side of the aisle you happen to sit on, genuinely coming together for the greater good will benefit everyone. My heart is with all of you. We all bleed red. We are all one. Let’s come together through strength and unity. The world deserves it.

Jordan, 25, Monterey, CA

Festival Squad: What about festivals do you love?

Jordan: What I love about festivals is the collaboration of most things I love including music, arts, like-minds, and so much more that essentially presents of what I seek in my personal utopia.

FS: What aspect of the festival community culture is important to you?

Jordan: Out of all aspects offered by the festival community, I cherish the togetherness and camaraderie. I genuinely feel at home in festival/gathering settings because my philosophy is, “Good people take care of good people.”

FS: For most people, festivals are a safe space. You can be anyone that you want to be, you can dress however you want, and you can just be you. What makes festivals so intrinsically safe and freeing?

Jordan: What is safe and freeing about festivals is you approach them with the expectations of getting what you give. Personally, my festival friends and family have exchanged nothing but love and want for more love in the setting of our favorite entities (i.e. music and all else that grounds us.)

 

FS: Over the years, large gatherings such as music festival have become the target of violence. How do you think this has affected the community and what can we do to rebuild?

Jordan:Considering the fact that festivals have become the target of violence, not only those specifically present and hurt during those times hurt, but all others who thrive off of good energy and togetherness do, as well. To rebuild and strengthen our beloved community, it is our duty COLLECTIVELY to pay it forward and remind one another that we are as strong as our weakest link. Each and every one of us must exude love, support, and at the very least let one another merely BE in order to allow ourselves the freedom of being where we feel belonged. This is my reminder to you fellow festies that I will stand behind each and every one of you and nobody will be left behind.

Amanda, 25, Southeast Asia (Festival Tour)

 

Festival Squad: What about festivals do you love?

Amanda: I love that you enter an alternate reality for a few days. It’s almost like the outside world doesn’t exist. Everything is heightened in this dream land. The bass, the glitter, and the dance moves are all on another level. You can get lost in the music and the fantasy with your friends.

FS: What aspect of the festival community culture is important to you?

A: The “come dance with us” attitude. That no matter who you are or what you do as long as you have your dancing shoes on you are welcome. Whether you can shuffle or simply bob your head up and down, the music is there for everyone to enjoy.

FS: For most people, festivals are a safe space. You can be anyone that you want to be, you can dress however you want, and you can just be you. What makes festivals so intrinsically safe and freeing? I

A: t’s an escape from reality. The everyday social norms melt away at a music festival. As soon as you see someone running around in fairy wings or dressed as a giant T-rex you know that you are in a safe place.

FS: Over the years, large gatherings such as music festival have become the target of violence. How do you think this has affected the community and what can we do to rebuild?

A: I think it has made us stronger and put a little fear in us at the same time. But we can’t be afraid to keep going. If we live in fear then they win. All we can do is respect heightened security and keep dancing. Keep loving each other and continue to fight for these safe space to remain safe.

 

 

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