For those of you who know me, I am a big fan of festivals. Not just because of the variety of music on offer, but also the different atmospheres and personalities. Each festival has its own identity, from the relaxing, beautiful scenery of Green Man and the twee quirkiness of Indietracks, to the raucousness of Download and Boomtown. For a weekend, everyone forgets their problems and loses their minds to some great music.
A gig is great because bands can play to their fans and obviously it is enjoyable for both parties, but a festival on the other hand can introduce new people into their music. This is because the crowd can consist of anyone willing to check a certain band out as well as some hardcore fans, allowing the band to step up their game and impress. For me, an example of this was when I saw the punk band The Tuts at Indietracks in 2013, their energetic show encouraged me to check their music out further (they have since become one of my favourite new bands).
What I also like about festivals is that there is nothing more satisfying than other people around me enjoying themselves to either bands that they haven’t heard before or established acts, making the experience of a festival show even more worthwhile. A good example was Kiss’ headline show at Download this year. Not only did they have one of the best stage shows I have ever seen, but the crowd really enjoyed themselves, singing along to every word. For a band, seeing the crowd singing along to the songs must mean a lot to them because they are singing back lyrics which could have been written from a personal standpoint. It also demonstrates the close connection a band has with its fans.
Festivals are great because of the people who you meet; in my experience they are really friendly and welcoming. This is brilliant because it helps enhance the experience of going to a festival and even if sometimes you don’t see each other for a year, you will come back to the same place next year and pick up where you left off. It’s important because for someone like myself who can be shy at times, meeting people is a great way of boosting my confidence because where better to talk about music than at a festival with like-minded people?
So if you have not been to a music festival before, I would advise you go to one because they offer a wide range of different atmospheres and an abundance of great music. You might discover your new favourite band there as well!
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos