Why We Will Keep Festing: Continuing Conversations after Vegas

Festivals are a place where:

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. Our blog has come together to reflect on this tragedy and we couldn’t help but remember why we fell in love with festivals in the first place. It hurts us to think that people would be afraid to attend festivals, and would cancel their plans to do so. We know that we can find solace in the fact that we will come together to rebuild.

Our team at 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. We would love it if you could donate anything, even $1, by clicking here

We decided to pick up where we left off and continue to share with you personal stories about why festivals are so important, and why we should keep festing.

Alyssa, 19, Orlando, FL

Festival Squad: What about festivals do you love?

Alyssa: Every time I genuinely try to explain this to someone, I realize that i just need to write a book one day on it. The people you come across at festivals definitely take the cake though.

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

A: The huge importance of caring for both your earth and your neighbor. No matter how shitty the world may be at the time, the festival community always restores my faith in humanity by how much love and care they can give to you and planet earth.

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?

A: For me personally, it is how quickly and how hard I fell into this crazy world that gives me a safe place. It was my second music festival ever when it really clicked in my head what festivals were all about. I just remember saying in my head, “Alright, whatever this is. I want in.” At that moment, it was the first time I was happy in months, and I’ve been hooked ever since. That memory alone constantly gives me a safe feeling. For the freeing aspect, nobody truly gives a shit. The crazier you are, the more people dig it. It’s something that takes time to genuinely understand and practice, if you will, but once you do, it all makes sense and it truly is the most freeing sensation.

FS: Over the years, large gatherings such as music festivals 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, of course, this has caused some fear and worry within our community. I went to a show just the day after the Vegas shooting, and I even caught myself constantly checking my surroundings. Something that I would never even think of doing prior to this. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is anything we can really do for this except be there for each other. Keep having fun times. Festivals are an escape from reality and you need to remeber to do so. Being a hand to hold, a person to hug, or a shoulder to cry on is way more powerful than what meets the eye.

 

Mia, 23, Southern California

Festival Squad: What about festivals do you love?

Mia: I love that as fun and carefree festivals are- they still require so much effort and dedication. Everyone in attendance has put in work in some form to make the experience what it is. Build teams going to the venue four months in advance. The time spent planning a road trip, gathering supplies, and setting up camp. It’s this culmination of months of planning and organization that result in us having a few days of carefree adventures and thoroughly enjoying our makeshift communities.

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

M: Everyone is welcome. You will never be turned away for your background or belief system. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to submerge ourselves in such an open-minded environment where even if people may not agree with the way you live your life, they will still respect you and welcome you.

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?

M: We all are there for the same reasons, and more often than not- it’s the music. You can look into the crowd and see a hundred different people doing a hundred different dance moves, but we are all there for the same love of music. It’s a freeing feeling knowing that everyone around you has put in that same dedication to get to where you are currently standing. I genuinely believe that anyone who devotes their free time to chasing the music is inherently good.

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

M: As part of the community, I know I am affected heavily by this latest act of violence. Optimism is difficult to find in these situations. We devote so much of our time going to these events that fuel the fire to become better people and change the world. However, I am choosing to work even harder to integrate those same values of open-mindedness and acceptance that are practiced at festivals into my daily live. I am choosing to smile more often, help my neighbors, and work on erasing all negative actions from my life.

 

Connor, 25, Denver, CO

Festival Squad:  What about festivals do you love?

Connor: Music festivals bring together a group of like minded individuals who come together as a family. They set aside reality for a few days to dance their worries away.

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

C: The sense of having a feeling that you are at “home” and feel comfortable with the environment you are in. This comes down to the squad you are with and the interactions with other attendees to create a unique experience.

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?

C:  It doesn’t matter what type of career you have outside of the festival scene, everyone comes together and treats each other like family. Show Love, Spread Love.

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?

C: It definitely intimidates us and we should not live in constant fear that violence could potentially be a part of a music festival. I have seen a handful Facebook groups bond together to help donate to the cause. All we can do is agree to any stricter security measures and still show out at every set at every festival!

Tori, 25, Ohio

 

Festival Squad: What about festivals do you love?

Tori: I love how festival bring people together from all different walks of life. You could meet a mother at your favorite bands set and just have fun dancing together because you both love the same band.

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

T: To me it the love people share for one another. If someone falls, they help them up. If someone is sick, they ask if they need water or help. And at the show, you all get along and have a great time. I also love that you can pull up to a campsite, by yourself and ask your camping neighbors to be your friend and they welcome you with open arms.

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?

T: You are truly yourself at a festival, because no one is judging you and are all there to have a good time. We all come from all over, it doesn’t matter what’s going on at home, at work, at school, or anywhere else, because at a festival we get to forget about those things for just a little bit and that’s the most freeing feeling. The best feeling is when your favorite act comes on and you just focus in on that and forget everything else.

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?

T: I think is has scared the community, we all fear for our safety, but it has brought us all together, to stand together and fight for our freeing feeling at a festival.

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