The Evolution of Music Festivals

The Evolution of Music Festivals

Music festivals are some of the greatest music events to attend. From teens to even older-aged adults, if you dig good music, its an amazing experience. I have always been an avid music listener. From electronic dance music to drill and rap, I have always enjoyed some good quality music. This then would attract me to huge music festivals such as Lollapalooza and SAMF.

Throughout the years, these major headlining music festivals have evolved. Take Lollapalooza for example. From the 90’s, it was more of an Alternative & Indie based festival. Until recent years, they have expanded the artist base with a variety of genres from Dance & House music to Electronica, with a small mix of Rap and others. This makes it more appealing to the public eye.

Not until recent years, these festivals have taken a turn for the worst. What used to be fun and exciting to see your favorite artist live, has tuned into a life taking and damaging event.

According to a Billboard online article, in the year 2013, at least 7 festival attendees died of “drug-related causes”. It is hard to believe that there is only 7. Through group pages and such on social media, there are multiple reports of deaths after music festivals, more than often caused by drug related incidents. Other incidents include dehydration and physical incidents such as getting trampled and things of that sort. These festivals are being run into the ground.

So far in 2015, I know of two deaths that occurred during two music festivals this summer, one occurring at Spring Awakening Music Festival, in which I attended. According to multiple sources such as the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times, Steven Vongkoth, a 19 year old Chicago resident, died Sunday morning after being taken away around 11 before the main headliner on Saturday. According to police, the death is thought to be drug related.

There is a problem with this data. All of these numbers of deaths being shown in the media are the only major ones covered. There are more than several people that pass away from drug related incidents from these music festivals. Some could not be reported or wish to not be shown in the media. Multiple people die from their way of “fun” at these events. Having this type of intended harmless fun has its downfalls.

Another issue with these events is that many people die from other causes such as dehydration or being trampled. Nobody ever wants to leave their spot, and wants to be front row. Many of the attendees are willing to do anything to make it to the front. This would include shoving

people out of the way, slashing backpacks, and trampling people. From experience, I have gotten my backpack slashed.

Depending on how much you move and dance at these festivals, it begins to get tiring and you need water. The problem with that is that you don’t want to lose your front row spot. At some

venues that I have been to, if you are somewhere close to the front row, security is stocked with water bottles to give to the attendees in the general area. If you are not in reach, you are completely out of luck. This thus causes dehydration, which in some cases, gets extreme and causes death. Though this is not as common, dehydration from drugs is the more often case.

What ever happened to going to these music festivals for the good music on its own? Now a days, people buy these three day general admission tickets as a good enough excuse to put as many drugs as possible into their system. There will be barely any remembrance of the music sets. The worst part of it all is that these people are harming their bodies long term and possibly taking their own lives.

With this being said, go to enjoy the music. The artists and DJ’s that you love sober are just as good live. Appreciate the moment at the show and vibe with the music. These events are amazing experiences, you would hate for it to end on a bad note.

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