Now that Ultra Music Festival has mesmerized EDM fans in 185 countries, it’s time to talk about why festivals matter and why you should go!
But first, a little background: I am a music festival addict to the bone. I cannot get enough. I attended Vans Warped Tour as a young punk rocker in high school and in college, along with other day-long music festivals, mostly in the punk and alternative genre. The punk scene was so attractive to me as a pre-teen and beyond because it had this amazing sense of unity and empowerment. I felt like I totally belonged. I wasn’t weird for making my own clothes or fighting for my rights and the rights of others. I truly felt like I could make a positive difference in the world. And I wasn’t alone. Punk wasn’t about lying down and taking it just because bad things are « going to happen anyway. » For me, and others, it was about standing up, fighting back, and bringing people together, no matter how different.
Punk rock eventually led me to having a more of an indie-punk fashion sense and to listening to post-hardcore. These post-hardcore bands started to use synths more and more as years went on. Although synths had been used in hardcore and similar genre since the early 90’s, the first albums I came across with a heavy synth presence were between 2006 and 2008. It sounded more like electro-hardcore to me. And I loved it, a lot! So more and more I developed a love for bands with electronic elements. Electro-pop, electro-core, and so on.
Then Bonnaroo happened. I had heard rumours of the modern-Woodstock and I knew I had to check it out. A couple of my close guy friends were going and I quickly claimed a spot in their car for the 17+ hour drive to Manchester, TN in the summer of 2011.