This Festival Season: Rave Outside Your Comfort Zone
During my last show, Gramatik's The Age Of Reason album release party, I caught myself completely infatuated with the jazzy, funk inspired grooves that you would rarely catch me listening to. You see, I’m a softie for those big-room festival gems and booty-shaking trap bangers. I never really made it to any festivals or shows promoting anything other than these types of DJs and producers last year. This year, I'm making some changes. Festival season is all about taking risks and discovering new music and I think all festival-goers should start by planning a new line up of festivals to attend.
With the season coming up right around the corner, there’s an entire buffet of events to choose from, but do you honestly want to hit up the same type of festival as the other or your list from last year? Look at it this way, we have various kinds of festivals to choose from. Here are the top four categories of festivals I put together.
1) The EDC Vibe: EDC Las Vegas, Electric Zoo, Beyond Wonderland, etc.
2) The Hippie/Nature Vibe: Electric Forest, Wakarusa, Bonnaroo, Mountain Oasis, etc.
3) The ID&T Vibe: Sensation, TomorrowWorld, TomorrowLand, etc.
4) All Genres of Music, All The Time: Coachella, Lollapalooza, Governors Island
5) Ultra Music Festival Miami: This deserves its own category. I mean come on, look at that lineup!
Writer's Note: Each festival, while not every festival is listed, has that certain something that's special about it. I am in no way downgrading any of the above listed promoters, I am simply stating the types of different themes I've seen at some of these events and separating them into categories.
So many festivals, so many headliners, so much to choose from!
Although many of our readers have probably already begun their planning and outfits of choice, there’s still time to really think about your year of raving and choose wisely. Even if you’re the most experienced, kandi-loving, EDC crazy, festival-goer, you should take it upon yourself to plan a totally unique festival experience this year! I know what you’re thinking, “But [Insert festival name] is my happy place…” Well, plan one traditional trip, but be sure to choose another big event that falls into a whole other category or experience. Making baby steps like camping out somewhere other than the main stage can also enhance your festival experience.
Camp at least once this festival season.
Camping at any festival brings out the best of times. Think about it, you literally rise and rave all day, every day. While camping isn’t for everyone, you just have to do it to know what it’s actually like. I don’t care if you’re a preppy guy or a babe who wears makeup all day, everyday babe - every raver should experience the camping life at a festival.
Think about it: Never miss an early set again, meet some die-hard ravers, and wake up and/or pass out to your favorite producer's set. Just do it. Promise?
Crunched for cash? Volunteer at your next festival!
Yes, festival season is expensive…we all know this. However, this shouldn’t stop you from attending that one festival you’ve always dreamt of being in the crowd at. Various festivals—even the major festivals like Electric Forest, Electric Daisy Carnival, Coachella, Bonnaroo, Mountain Oasis and more—offer a general admission ticket in exchange for some volunteer work.
Just the other year, EDC New York was the first festival I volunteered for. Speaking from personal experience, it’s totally worth it and doesn’t take away from the experience at all. Take a risk, sign up and meet new people who love music just as much as you. Sign up for updates on volunteer applications for Wakarusa, Electric Forest and more here.
Writer’s note: I went completely alone last year and met several friends right off the bat! Yes, you do this at any festival anyway, but going in as a volunteer and not knowing anyone adds more of a thrill to your experience!
Switch it up!
Whatever you do, whether you’re apart of that EDC lifestyle, living the Ultranaut life in the Miami sun, or just chillin’ in a hammock at Electric Forest, be sure to switch things up. Dedicate your time to meeting new artists, getting groovy to some electro-soul, or doing anything different in general. I know I'm guilty of heading to a festival and knowing exactly who I want to see without ever taking the time to see someone new. Sometimes the crowds are so jam-packed that you just end posting up at the same stage or tent all day. However, I have dedicated myself to breaking the monotony, and I want you to do the same. Whatever you do, switch it up!
Attending a new festival or switching up set times will not only make this year’s season the best yet, but it will also broaden your musical taste.
It may sound corny, but follow your heart, NOT the hype.
Yes, change is good, but it’s also understood that there’s always going to be that certain attachment and love for that one festival that you just can’t seem to pass up. This is what makes the festival life beautiful—the idea that each and every one of the scene's fans fall into place somewhere. This editorial is merely a suggestion for falling in love with even more music and different people of the scene. I used to never think there was anything outside of the big-room festival type of music and crowd until I ventured off to different types of festivals.
Get planning and make some changes, even if they're the smallest changes. Happy planning and see you in the crowd!
Cover photo source: http://www.electricforestfestival.com