Hear me out: music festivals suck

Before you hate me, I do love music.

I remember a time when I used to romanticize going to Coachella wearing a fringe vest and cowboy boots. It was 2014 and Vanessa Hudgens was considered the “queen of music Coachella” because of her (now viewed as controversial) “boho-chic” looks. 

With so many celebrities attending, music festivals seemed like the ultimate event; not only could you see your favourite artists on stage, you also had the chance of running into an A-list celebrity enjoying the music just like you.

When YouTubers started making content around Coachella, it opened the doors to the exclusivity of the event and its popularity boomed because people finally thought, “this is accessible for everyone.”

What my naive teenage self did not realize was that buying the cheaper package — which would still break the bank — would still not give me access to walk among the Kardashians of this world freely.

However, “I’m going to Coachella” became the new “I’m going to Disney World” for teens and young adults.

In early 2017 it was revealed that Coachella co-owner Philip Anschutz was found to have donated large amounts of money to anti-LGBTQ organizations, that the #CancelCoachella wave started.

At the same time, YouTubers also gave us a glimpse of the not-so glamorous aspects of music festivals.

Lately, if I do hear about Coachella on social media, it’s to criticize it.

As I’ve come to learn more about the reality of music festivals, I realize that maybe Coachella is not the best representation of what they have to offer, but I’m still convinced that my arguments can stand for most music festivals that are somewhat affordable.

When I think about music festivals, I think of music I don’t listen to. As an unashamed listener of popular music, sub-categorized by myself as “sad girl music,” I can never claim to know more than two or three artists on a roster.

Therefore, I can never relate to those infamous 🔥🔥🔥 posts on my Facebook friends’ profiles.

Since my friends tend to go to EDM festivals most of the time, the grandma in me always thinks the music will be too loud, and I have to kindly decline.

Noise aside, I can’t help but think of how hot, dirty and sweaty the crowds watching the shows are. 

Which brings me to my next point: crowds.

The main difference between music festivals and regular concerts is that most festivals take place outside.

In my mind this should sound more appealing than a concert, but the reality is the videos I’ve seen on social media only stress me out, even just watching through a screen.

With that being said, standing at 5’3” does not make me the best candidate for a good concert-viewing experience. And seeing the amount of people sitting on their friends’ shoulders makes me boil inside for the person behind them.

Finally, from what I see on my Instagram feed, everyone’s Osheaga, ÎleSoniq and Picnik Électronik posts seem to have this other thing in common: the fashion leaves much to be desired.

With the conditions I’ve outlined, you’d think that someone going to a music festival would make sure to wear a comfortable outfit. I’m tired of seeing crop tops with wrap-around strings paired with boot-leg pants and cowboy hats.

On top of having to tolerate your uncomfortable outfit, if you want to give your feet a break, you have to sit on the ground.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not flexible enough to sit with my legs crossed without it hurting too much.

And that’s if someone hasn’t stepped on my fingers yet. Or worse, spilled their beer on me.

So, why are we still doing music festivals?

The only redeeming thing about them is the opportunity to see multiple artists at once. But even at that, is it really worth it if I’ll have the worst time there?

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