Festival Culture: What Society Thinks VS. What It Is
If you ask someone who’s not a part of it, they don’t get it. From the outside looking in, you could never explain it. To the world, we’re just a bunch of kids doing drugs listening to random noises while DJs press buttons. We’re underrated as a community and there’s a huge stigma surrounding us. Just like sorority’s and fraternity’s are just a bunch of kids who do nothing but drink and have sex. We can’t escape the idea that surrounds us.
Unfortunately, people die every day, but when they die at a festival it becomes news. If you tell people you go to festivals you’re looked down upon. We end up having to hide a side of us to the “professional” world because we’re going to be judged. We are the outcasts currently, and that’s okay.
EDM is a simply a genre of music, but so is rock and roll, rap, hip-hop, metal, and country. EDM is just our chosen outlet, it doesn’t have to be yours, but you have to respect it. We’re not all uneducated and we’re not all doing drugs. EDM is so much more than the genre of music that’s surrounded by its stereotypes.
We’re a new generation. We are free and we want so much more than what’s expected from us. In a world where we’re expected to get a 9-5 job after college, get married, and have babies, we want more. Our whole lives we were told we could be anything we wanted but then the world shot us down. Then we had to settle for jobs that were less than ideal so we could pay bills. Everyone wants to escape the day to day norm of life, the only difference is, we found a way.
Festivals are the way we express ourselves. We take off the masks we wear daily in society and join our culture and our people to be who we are. At festivals we are encouraged to be whoever we want without judgement. We are a community that is based on respecting each other and taking care of one another. Drugs are only what the outsiders talk about. Some people may choose to take drugs but that’s a personal choice, and certainly not the choices of every single person. We’re re-taught look out for one another whereas the rest of our lives it’s every man for themselves. Some people may laugh at PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) and say it’s stupid but we all hold it with us daily. No matter our job, our background, or culture, or anything, we all join in the love for our music and being free.
Whether you want trance, trap, dubstep, hardstyle, ratchet, anything you can imagine, it’s there. While the outside world may not get it, that doesn’t make us wrong. While the rest of the world is destroying itself, we still have a place. A place where gender, race, sexuality, disabilities, everything and anything is accepted. Like kids on a playground, we get to be free from our problems for a little while.
We’re trying to relive our youth from before we were taught who was okay to be friends with and who wasn’t. Before society told us who we were supposed to be. Throughout life you will always come across the occasional person who disagrees with your life choice but that doesn’t mean your opinion is wrong. Your views are what makes you who you are. There's a stereotype that surrounds us. If anything that should be more motivation for us to prove the rest of the world that they're wrong about us.