Let’s break a convention here. Collectively, we’re sold this notion that attending festivals and blowing our money at them is some sort of social right of passage. The reality is that they really aren’t. Festivals are essentially a luxury item sold as a youth necessity. If you need a reason, we’ve supplied five here, and will be supplying five more.
Perhaps this could lead onto bigger and better things. You could be like me and spend all your time by yourself being productive, intelligent, healthy and all alone with no-one to even give you a fucking phone call to see how you once in a while. Sigh.
1. Festivals cost too much
Costing anywhere from $100-1000, festivals these days are realistically the realms of those with expendable income. As a young person, this can be extremely difficult to come to terms with, and you might go sell the farm in order to be with all your mates because YOLO, FOMO, OMGROFLBBQ.
Perhaps you might like to show some tact and save those wallet hens, as you might quickly find yourself in a lot of shit in your actual life outside of the party. There are also extraneous costs like transport, camping gear, food, party favours, etc, which could turn a $400 festival into over $1000, easy. The world is an unforgiving place.
2. You are getting older
There’s one thing we can all rely on, and that’s getting older and more feeble. We start to enjoy our domestic lives and the small things a lot more. Things like all-night raves, sleeping on the ground and lots of people are the worst possible thing we could think of as we age.
There’s an age wall that you will hit one day, and you have to ask yourself if you want to push past it. Do you want to keep doing the same thing you have been doing for over 10 years, or is it time for something different?
Perhaps the best festival for you now is the massive HOME FESTIVAL, featuring the couch, TV, running hot water, electricity, computer and bed! It’s definitely a banger, cause you can listen to whatever tunes you want, sleep when you want and not put up with drunk dickheads.
3. Capitalism Reigns Supreme
A lot of people are quick to raise the festival banner as a way of supporting artists, scenes and creativity, but the cold, hard reality is that festivals are annual capitalist models and hierarchies.
The bulk of the money at festivals goes to promotion of the event, press, social media, flyers. Then infrastructure crews of sound, lighting, staging, décor, logistics, etc, get their share. International names will get the lion’s share amongst performers, who then take and spend the money outside of the country. Locals will get paid little, if at all. Many festivals offer lesser local DJs free tickets for the event. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the festivals, and they only work for tickets too.
If you’re interested in more sustainable models and live in the city, try supporting local DJs, producers and venues at smaller events, they could really use your attendance and dosh.
4. Nothing to show for it afterwards
You go get your ticket, get your mates, and go have an awesome time. Then you have to sustain this narrative in your mind with your friends when you talk about it afterwards. “Aw yeah, life changing, transformative, I’m really glad I done it, it was totally worth it….yeah.” Really…are you sure?
Now you’ve spent your holiday time on a one-shot fiesta and have a phone full of blurry shots of probably the same people you hang out with at the bar on Tuesday trivia nights. You’ve got a hangover smashing your last remaining days off until work, and you’re thinking, “Damn, I could spent that money on a pinball machine or something else equally useful.” You will eventually wish you had some extra saved up that you spent tearing it up during summer.
And Trust Me: NO-ONE wants to see photos of you at a festival having a great time with your mates. NO-ONE.
What can we do at a festival? We can around and talk to people, have an over-priced drink or snack or whatever, go for a walk around, look at some stuff, go find some friends you lost, lose them again, have a look at some guy losing his shit rolling around in the mud, go look at some décor, go have a bit of a dance, bump into an ex-girl/boyfriend and wish you could disappear, go talk to some workmates who we don’t like that much…..then may wish we could just teleport home.
Why not go to a theme park where there’s lots of roller coasters? Why not go overseas to another culture? Why not play board games at home with your friends? Why not pick up a book, write some music, fold some origami? Why not take your partner (who might not like music and getting munted as much as you) out on a camping trip for your time off? Are you so utterly one-track-minded as an individual that all you can do is think about wiggling around a bit whilst off chops?