I’m not an especially negative person. And just like any other person who enjoys live music, parties, dancing and happiness, I love a good music festival. However, at the fault of being human, there is always something to complain about at said festivals.
Here’s a list of the worst #firstworldprobs regarding music festivals:
1. The Lines
I had to put this as number one, and if you’ve ever been to a festival you’ll know why. A good amount of your day will be spent in lines when at festivals because of the enormous crowds and typically limited amenities.
Arriving to the festival? Line. Getting a drink? Line. Trying to literally walk anywhere? I think you get the point… there’s a lot of fucking people at festivals! Try to set some sort of schedule for your day and know your way around a little bit to avoid these mammoth crowds, because they might just put a damper on your day.
2. The Cost
I assume my experience getting tickets for Lollapalooza earlier this year was shared by many others shopping for festival passes. There you are, just sitting on the pending screen trying to grab a ticket before they sell out (they sold out in an astounding 45 minutes, just in case you’re wondering).
The whole point of this process is to avoid spending even more on a pass than the already inflated price of $250 or $275. As I am writing this, the cheapest ticket on StubHub is $395, so maybe my waiting on the pending screen was worth it for those kind of savings.
But this is not even the most ridiculous part of all. This festival, and many others like it (Coachella, Bonnaroo, etc.), sell out before having even announced their line ups! We throw all of our money in with blind faith as it’s put in the hands of those booking the festival. We basically just trust that they are going to choose properly. Here’s to being young and dumb, I guess!
3. The Selfie Culture
By all means– take your selfie. Hell, take two! But please don’t focus on filling your Snapchat and Instagram feed to the point that you literally have your phone in the air the entire show. Not only is it annoying for those around you, but artists like Jack White and Tyler The Creator (just to mention a few) have said many times that it makes shows so much worse when phones are the crowd’s focus. Festivals are unfortunately rampant with this behavior.
4. The Bathrooms
Have your ever been to an outdoor event where there are 100,000 people on any given day? Do you value toilet paper? Okay, enough said.
5. The Heat
I realize this one is kind of silly, especially for those of us who live in states where it’s cold for a lot of the year. I can’t help but put it, though, it gets hot!
Often at a festival I have prayed for there to be a downpour to cool off the crowd. And when I’m super lucky, the prayer gets answered (because let’s be honest here, concerts while its raining are awesome. I saw Childish Gambino last year while it was storming and it was epic!).
6. The “Fans”
Yes, of course every 20something at a festival is there to drink and/or partake in their drug of choice. That’s just a part of being our age, right? The problem with most festivals right now is that the majority of attendees, especially the young ones, are there specifically for that reason and not because they give a damn about any of the artists.
Sadly, some in my own friend group have this mentality (although I will definitely be trying to stick by my friends who genuinely care about the music when I go to Lolla later this month). It can be a real buzz kill to see so many people only interested in getting fucked up and not caring about who they see perform that day.
7. The Sponsors
This isn’t really one that affects the attendees so much in a personal or invasive manner, but rather it can sometimes just be really annoying. Festivals have become such massive and overbearing corporate strongholds that the advertisers jamming their name, product, and/or promotion down your throat can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
However, on the opposite spectrum I do have to add that many of the corporate sponsors have stepped their game up in recent years to align more with festival culture rather than make the festival come closer to their own. In doing this they have impressed many 20somethings, like myself, into using their sponsor activation and leaving satisfied with the company and what it supplied me with.
Some examples include: A Garnier hair washing tent at Bonnaroo (where showers are much needed), Instagram choosing pics with #Bonnaroo to put up on the big screen, and Samsung using new Galaxy products at Lollapalooza by allowing the user to choose a design to get done on themselves as a henna tattoo. These and many others are some of the ways that the sponsors are beginning to come up with creative and innovative solutions to promoting their products/brands at festivals.