Anastasia Ruimy Staff Writer
Summer music festivals are around the corner and some might find the cliché photos of people sitting on grassy fields with their friends, amongst a crowd of other people doing the same, flood social media feeds.
Manna Mori (’19), who has been going to multiple summer festivals over the past four years, loves the atmosphere of them and how that makes her feel. “[At a festival] all you can do is forget about everything else. I wish I could feel more like that all year-round.”
Mori also mentions her passion for the exhilarating feeling of a unified crowd when an artist comes on. “When a massive crowd all starts to sing lyrics and gets hyped at the same time, you feel like you’re flying. It’s such a powerful thing,” she says.
Dasha Olshanskaya (’22) relates to forgetting about her typical worries during the festival due to the captivating feeling that live performances bring. “Each time I’ve been, my mom and I have gotten into a fight at some point as she’ll text me asking if everything’s all right and for possibly the only time ever, I forget to check my phone.”
Along with this feeling of forgetting the outside world, Mori likes to go to festivals due to their ease of planning for enjoyment value. “It’s hard to make plans for a trip that everyone can go on as some people’s parents say no if they don’t trust their kids or if costs are too high,” she said. “When my friends and I make plans, we choose something that’s easy and that we know we will have fun at: a festival encapsulates both those things,” Mori said.
Similarly, for Olshanskaya, going is a way to feel like your on vacation without travelling anywhere. “When you’re not yet at the age where your parents trust you to fly somewhere alone with your friends, a day festival is the next best option as you can still forget about your normal routine while you’re there,” Olshanskaya said.
Although festivals can take place any time of the year, Rocky Roedy (’20) believes that festivals in the summertime particularly clear his mind because “the warm weather creates a more chill vibe as you can be carefree and seriously have nothing to think about. When it’s warm and sunny, everyone’s in a good mood so you get into less arguments with your friends and have an overall better time than festivals at a colder time of year,” he said.
The British Summer Time Festival, which takes place at Hyde Park annually, is one where Olshanskaya has particularly fond memories. “Other than Wireless Festival, one of my favorite festivals to attend is British Summertime which takes place in Hyde Park. It tends to have a lot of mainstream artists for older and younger audiences, so it’s best to check you like the artists performing before getting tickets… I went two summers ago and Justin Bieber performed, which was really cool,” she said.
As an “enthusiast and devotee” to summer festivals, Mori shares that some of her favorite festivals are also in London. “Some of my favorite festivals of all time are Lovebox, which is a really sick R&B festival, or Field Day Festival which has a mix of rappers and DJs,” Mori said.
One festival that Roedy enjoyed attending was called Lollapalooza, which takes place in Chicago. “After I went to Lollapalooza in Chicago a couple summers ago, I didn’t think any festival could top it. It honestly had such a good vibe and the crowd was all around my age, which made it even better,” Roedy said.
However, Olshanskaya has never attended a festival in the U.S. but would like to attend one in the future. “From what my friends have told me and what I’ve seen on social media, I’ve always wanted to go to Governors Ball [in New York]. It’s definitely near the top of my bucket list,” she said.
Other than the convenience of a summer festival when it comes to students planning their time off, the unifying feeling of being at a festival expressed by Mori resonated with all three students. When the crowd moves and sings together as one, Mori finds this feeling “energizing.” She assumes this feeling is similar to how one feels during a protest. “I guess I know what being apart of a march or fighting for a common cause feels like,” Mori said.
Similarly, Olshanskaya feels that there is a bond felt amongst a crowd at a music festival, even if she doesn’t know most of the people around her. “After the first time I attended a festival in the summer, I realized I never experienced a human connection with strangers and my friends like the way I did when Chance The Rapper came on at Wireless Festival two summers ago,” she said.
Echoing Olshanskaya, Roedy finds it difficult to pinpoint the connection he makes with others at a festival but notes how exhilarating it can be. “It’s hard to phrase in any other way than you just feel so alive when you’re amongst a crowd of people who share a common passion for whatever genre of music is being performed,” Roedy said.
For more information about upcoming festivals in the UK, click here.