From Bonnaroo to Governor's Ball, Firefly to Lollapalooza, Coachella to Austin City Limits, the long list of music festivals around the United States seems to never end. And in every music festival there are hidden treasures, unforgettable memories, and unbelievable artists that festival goers get the amazing opportunity to experience.
But these festivals are much more than a killer lineup or an outstanding headliner. For some people, this is their precious home away from home, their happy place, or the one thing they look forward to each and every year.
Whether you're a music fanatic or someone just looking for a new form of vacation, a music festival is something everyone should witness and experience at least once in their life because the atmosphere, people, and positive vibes are sometimes indescribable.
To help paint the picture of special music festival experiences I talked to some festival goers from a couple of different festivals to show how it's much more than just a giant concert, it's a life-changing atmosphere.
1. Danielle Vega: Fourth Festival
"You should experience a festival at least once in your life because of the atmosphere, the care free spirits everywhere. Even the people who are working are happy to be there and help you. Your [camping] neighbors will become your friends. You will see shows so spectacular that you wouldn't be able to just by going to a concert. There is a sense of family that is found in festival life and it's uplifting, it's something to look forward to."
"My girlfriend and I walked around with this on Friday at Firefly and the amount of love we received was so heart warming and the people who wanted to share their stories. It felt so welcoming."
2. KiKi Kay: Third Firefly Festival
"Everyone should experience a music festival because when you walk through the gates, it feels like you're coming home. The vibe is just perfect and you feel free."
3. Jim Margist:
"Me and my son go to festivals to get away from the daily distractions that consume our lives and just be friends and live in the music weather. It's him standing next to me at Tom Petty realizing he knew every song, or when we go and see Run The Jewels and go crazy in the pit. For those few short days it's not about what type of music you like it's just about living in the music."
4. Michael Simons:
"Because you need to either get over your fear of crowds... or develop such a fear!"
5. Adam Collins: Sixth Year at Bonnaroo
"All of life's problems seem to disappear while I'm at Bonnaroo."
6. Matthew Halliwell: Firefly
"The best reason I could give is that my entire life, I've never 'understood' techno, or EDM music at all. I've been strictly a rock/alternative fan. Prior to coming to Firefly this year, I listened to some of Porter Robinson's music, and although I thought it was better than most other EDM music, I still had no interest in seeing him. My friends talked me into going to his set, and within the first 5 minutes I 'got it.' It all clicked to me why people love this kind of music. I felt emotion while listening and watching everyone. Still to this day when I hear his songs, I get the chills. It was truly a fantastic experience and changed the way I will view music for the rest of my life."
7. Paige Ringger: First Year Electric Forest
"Going to sleep after the sun rose and waking up in a 90 degree tent was the cherry on top of the sundae called Electric Forest. I was amazed when I first walked into Sherwood Forest. The beautiful architecture and decor that paints the forest is wondrous. There are so many things to do, and so many people to meet. Everyone is happy and the energy is unmatched to any other music festival I've been to. The food is amazing and the multiple stages always provide something to dance your heart out to. You think it can't get any better, and then night falls. The Forest at night is a whole new world that I could not have imagined. The same beautiful architecture and decor transforms with lights and sounds to blow your mind and teleport you to a whole different place."
8. Von Hendrick: Fifth Year at Bonnaroo
"It is that feeling of peace. The only time it feels like that everyone is attending a festival and looking out for one another. No fights or arguments, just everyone spreading and radiating positivity. Bonnaroo is that one time a year, that you feel like you belong and your support group is every single person with you on the Farm."
9. Kyle Bindas: First Bonnaroo Experience
"Just the bonds in general with random people. Like our camping neighbors at Bonnaroo for example, we hit it off instantly. Like literally while we were unpacking our cars we started talking. Every day we'd talk about what bands we were going to see and our thoughts about the festival. I don't remember hhow we left our phone numbers, I think we left a note telling them they were cool neighbors, but later in the week we got a really long text from them telling us to stay positive in the world and take Bonnaroo vibes with us wherever we go. Overall, just be nice to random people and maybe the world can be more like Bonnaroo."
10. Lelia Cotton: Third Year at Bonnaroo
"The 359 days that I am not at Bonnaroo are spent thinking about Bonnaroo. Music is a universal language that has the ability to trigger physiological changes in the body. I can dance fearlessly while witnessing musical acts that physically make my cheeks warm and skin tingle. In its various forms, music unites humans in a unique way because 90,000 strangers suddenly feel like family and I can let every facet of my personality be present without judgment. It's that brief break from my corporate costume that I need to get through the rest of the year."
11. Tayler Doubblestein: Okeechobee Festival
"What I say to people when they ask me what my favorite part is I usually say, it's a once in a lifetime experience each festival you go to. There's always new things to experience and it really is like a huge family atmosphere. You meet some of the most amazing people you probably wouldn't meet anywhere else. And you get to listen to some pretty awesome music at the same time. It's definitely an experience hard to explain but once you experience it, it all makes sense, and you'll wonder why it took you so long to do so!"
12. Michelle Urbano: First Bonnaroo Experience
"My first year at Bonnaroo, I experienced what it felt like (for the first time in my entire life) to have peace of mind. I did not feel judged and I did not judge myself. On the Saturday morning I realized that the voice in my head had finally quieted itself. It had nothing negative left to say. I came into myself and accepted myself and loved myself and it changed my life forever."
13. Jenelle Gondek: Austin City Limits
"Austin City Limits is usually a non-traditional lineup if you're looking to explore some new bands or discover something you've never heard before. It was incredible because I got to see some bands I would have never been able to see, and the city of Austin is awesome. Out of all the festivals I've been to, this one is different. It's more than just the music. It's the art, the environment, and the tons of flags everyone carries around and waves around from stage to stage. It's something you just have to experience to believe."
Whether you're looking for an escape or a new home, new music or new best friends, a music festival isn't just another thing on a bucket list, it is good vibe that just cannot be described or experienced anywhere else.
Share with friends, tell your own festival stories, and keep the good vibes of music festivals flowing everywhere you go.