Popular summer music festivals draw in students

Photo by Caesar Sebastian

By Mel DeCandia

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—well, for hipsters and music junkies anyway. At last, it’s music festival season.

As Coachella ends, so begins what seems an eternal stretch of warm, summer weather, and with it comes the most eclectic and exciting lineups nationwide. Oh, and plenty of crop tops and flower crowns, too.

Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Ultra, TomorrowWorld; the list goes on and on. Festivals occur from coast to coast and feature every type of music, including EDM DJ Zedd, up-and-coming indie act Lorde, and the legendary Paul McCartney.

Music festivals are often notorious for bringing together classic acts and modern headliners. Last year the Red Hot Chili Peppers sc made its way around the festival circuit. This year, OutKast and Neutral Milk Hotel are showcased in a similar way.

Some festivals could cost an entire summer’s worth of paychecks, while others, like September’s annual Virgin Mobile FreeFest, is in fact, free.

Many students at this university have attended these summer music marathons. But few could say the concerts have lived up to the hype—a hype created mostly by celebrities’ alluring Instagram photos, students claim.

Junior elementary education major Mikynsi Steffan attended Firefly Music Festival June 21-23 last summer in Dover, DE. But Steffan admits the three-day festival wasn’t what she expected.

“I didn’t like how commercialized the event was,” Steffan said.

She said she loved the music, and would definitely attend another music festival in the future, but not Firefly.

Steffan’s disappointment is comparable sophomore special education major Kim Heller’s experience.

Heller and her roommate, sophomore psychology major Demi Adamopoulos, attendedthe Skate and Surf Music Festival on May 18 and 19 summer in Jackson, NJ.

“I only really had a great time when I could stand at the back and just enjoy the show, and not be pushed around by annoying high schoolers,” Heller said.

Adamopoulos and Heller said the festival seemed targeted at a younger crowd, and that it affected their experience.

“I think I’m at the age where I really appreciate sitdown concerts,” Heller said.

Like Steffan, Heller said she saw the event as very commercialized and image-oriented.

“Everyone was just trying to dress all punk and cool,” Heller said. “You could tell a lot of people were really into their image and weren’t even listening to the music.”

Perhaps the allure of music festivals resides in Instagram’s “toaster” photo filters so many photos are masked behind, or perhaps music festivals just aren’t for everyone.

Either way, it is clear that music is the most important element of the festivals, and this summer promises some exciting shows.


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