There are few things in life that make me as happy as music festivals. The crowds, the crazy looking people, everyone gathering together for the single purpose of witnessing live music. Nothing beats standing in that sweaty throng of people as you stare up at one of the bands or artist’s that managed to somehow change your life. It’s a feeling greater than pure happiness.
My favorite thing in the entire world is when a large group of people come together for one reason, for one common goal. And when that goal is music, there is nothing more beautiful.
Music brings people together. There is always some type of music to match your mood, to help you through tough times or lift you up when you feel down. Thousands of people can be gathered for one band, but for a thousand different reasons.
Despite the intense love I feel for live music and festivals, they can be expensive, ranging from eighty to more than a couple hundred dollars, and sometimes that can just be the tickets, not including lodging and food. But I can vouch that the splurge is worth it. Don’t believe the girl with bad spending habits? Ha, I probably wouldn’t either. But just hear me out.
Bunbury Music Festival
Not many people outside of Cincinnati’s bubble (that I know) have heard of Bunbury Music Festival. Though it brings in big crowds, this festival that began only 5 years ago is still fairly young and still currently being discovered by those around the Midwest.
It’s held annually each summer on the banks of the Ohio River, in Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman’s Cove. Three large stages are set up throughout the park, along with various food and drink venders from Cinci’s favorite restaurants. Tickets at their cheapest are only $150 for the entire weekend, which is very affordable for three full days.
As a Cincinnati native, I hold Bunbury very close to my heart.
I’ve been attending Bunbury for three years now and each year, it’s always one of the best experiences of my entire summer. Unlike most music festivals, Bunbury caters to everyone, bringing in bands with all different sounds and looks. If you like folk music, rock, rap, EDM, Bunbury has got you covered.
Walk the Moon, Twenty One Pilots, Florence and the Machine, Louis the Child, Bassnectar, Of Monsters and Men, Fall out Boy, The Killers, Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dog, Muse, The 1975, Hayley Kiyoko (long live Lemonade Mouth), The Neighborhood.
Those are just a few of the many, many bands that fly in for Bunbury each year. Not too shabby for a music festival made in Ohio, huh?
Along with the famous artists, there will always be the unknown bands performing, which is something less people get excited about. I however, live for the unknown bands. Discovering new music is fun. Discovering new music while listening to it live, though, is even more fun. You don’t have to know who is performing to have a good time.
The Mowgli’s, The Wombats, Flogging Molly and Lany are just a few of the bands I’ve fallen in love with just from stumbling across them at Bunbury.
Snakepit at the Indy 500
This was my first year attending the Snakepit and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. It was crazy, crowded and tiring and the first time I’ve ever experienced a concert at 7 AM in the morning, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it.
What is cool about Snakepit is that the Indy 500 race is happening simultaneously with the festival, since the stage sits in the middle of the racetrack. I never thought I would view racing cars as “cool” until I actually witnessed how fast they go. It’s definitely something to experience.
Snakepit is a day long event, from 7 AM to 3 PM, various artists take the stage. The headliners this year were Zedd and Marshmallo and they both had great performances.
One of the things I like about different music festivals, is that they all have different vibes, so you never really know what to expect. Snakepit definitely had a different atmosphere than Bunbury, but that didn’t make it any less fun. Each festival has their own traits that make them special, which is something I think everyone can appreciate.
Additionally, Snakepit is also one of the cheaper EDM festivals since it’s only a day, my ticket was only around $80 which is very manageable.
This was the Brickyard’s first year and similar to Snakepit, it took place in the center of the racetrack of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
For this being the first year, the lineup was unbelievable. For me, it couldn’t have been better and I honestly am not sure how they can top it next year (fingers crossed they do though).
On Friday, Cheat Codes, Mac Miller and Major Lazer performed and on Saturday, DNCE, Pretty Lights and The Chainsmokers performed.
Major Lazer and The Chainsmokers put on an incredible show. The lights, the sounds, their interaction with the crowd couldn’t have been better. They were hands down some of the best DJ’s I have ever seen. I don’t want to ever forget the feeling of the crowd singing along to Roses or jumping out of our minds for Major Lazer. I can’t even describe how beautiful the experience was.
Though it had the similar EDM atmosphere of Snakepit, it was a lot less crowded, which made it more manageable to meet up with people and less overwhelming. I expect this to change in the future though, once more people hear about what a success it was.
I don’t hate crowds but honestly, the fewer the people the better. It’s always nice having your own space to move and breathe without getting stepped on and shoved back and forth. But then again, you can’t help but love being packed in and jostled by sweaty strangers since that is part of the true “concert experience.”
The way I feel at music festivals is a feeling that I can’t even put into words. Festivals bring you out of your comfort zone to all the weird people you could meet. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you wear because nobody is there to judge. The people who attend these festivals are there because they want to be, not because they have to. There is no room for pessimistic people, good vibes only. And in today’s world, that is pretty rare to find a place void of almost all negativity.
Music festivals bring out the kindness in people. People aren’t afraid to make new friends, to help someone out. A random girl at Brickyard 400 saw that I was bleeding profusely on my ankle and offered me a bandaid without me even having to ask. At Snakepit, I was dying of thirst and a random man offered me water from his bag. At music festivals, you’re all in it together and the smallest gestures really count.
It’s all about the good vibes.
Though I’ve only attended a few in my lifetime, I fully plan on rounding up some friends for next year, buying tickets to multiple festivals and hitting the road.
Music festivals are pure magic and if you’re debating whether or not to spend the money, I can guarantee that you will not regret it.
Music festivals are good for the soul. Buy yourself a ticket and go see for yourself.