Why are we drawn into the world of fantasies, lights, and electronic music? After all, it's a fictitious world that's temporary, and filled with expenses that take weeks and months of saving; why ‘waste’ that money on something that provides no ‘substantial’ return?
These are some of the questions that critics use regularly to interrogate festival goers like you and I.
I do not have a simple, clear cut answer as to why every person attends festivals or EDM events; however, what I do have is a rational explanation based on observations and personal experience.
So here it is:
We live in a society where the amount of success in education or work determines the worth of an individual; the characteristics, perspectives, or morality and ethics that a person possess are diminished, not presented, and often overlooked. The problem continues; to be deemed ‘acceptable’ is not as easy as what other generations prior to us have neatly packed and presented to this generation. In my experience, at least from my parents, they presented me with this cookie cutter plan: college, med school, and surgeon by 28. Boom, like it's super easy.
What prior generations lack to realize, is that the caliber we must reach to attain success has been risen. Now, more than ever, the realities of being 23 with a college degree, and feeling stuck till our 30's, is rising. I know I'll be in school until I'm 30, that's reality; however, by being on a quest to attain so much, I learned that I had lost myself. I forgot what it was like to love, laugh, cry, and have anger; in some sense, I became a robot, and lost what it meant to be human.
That's how my journey to find myself, find bliss, inner peace, searching for that piece that is missing, relied heavily on electronic dance music. I did not know I needed and desperately craved it, but finding it was in some sense a spiritual awakening.
Why electronic music?
Listening to EDM, and becoming lost in that sound, that bass, that drop, allowed me to have my soul literally touched. Lyrics were minimal, and that is exactly what I needed, and will continue to need. No matter the rhythm, I create the lyrics that are pertinent to my life; in a sense, electronic music allows me to be in control and alleviate any sense I want, depending on exactly how I'm feeling. The pressures of the world quickly trickle through the cracks, and I am set free.The music is just a mere reflection of the culture.
There is an aura that surrounds EDM music, that allows individuals to come as they are, not as an iota of judgement; no other genre of music offers that. There is enough statues that dictate our life; to have another societal confinement placed on a music release makes utterly no sense. Music is, and must be, an escape from the entirety of the world. Varieties of educational, religious, and professional institutions place a particular criterion upon us, that mold us to what they desire; there is a certain prescription we are given of what to wear, how to act, even what to think.
Electronic Music Culture
With EDM culture, we escape that. We escape some of the realities of the world like heartbreak and poverty. We are liberated from the ugliness that exists in the world, where individual rights are suppressed because of government rules and regulations. We congregate, no matter religious creed, orientation, nationality, and race, arm in arm. We come pure, vulnerable, loving, and inspired. It's simple, we come as humans.
Our society expects us to be working machines, and drive out products to make monetary gains; yet what this society fails to present is the human experience, the opening of the mind to senses that are purely unique to each individual. Consistently, the world is throwing so much pain and turmoil onto us; there is literally no escape, no release, no individual expression. That's why we congregate to electronic dance festivals; we are around like-minded individuals, who as well, just want to feel and appreciate the unspoken words associated with the exuberance and vigor of humanness.
It's a world that is created with the unthinkable. A world where hatred dissipates, where reality standstill, and for a moment in time, we are able to actually live and appreciate the exquisiteness and thrill of life.
So yes, music festivals may be expensive, but I consider it an investment, not a waste. I am investing in keeping myself sane. This is my outlet, and this is why I congregate to EDM festivals and events. It allows me to be myself.