Music festivals. They’ve been around for decades and all of our favorite bands have worked the music festival circuit before, but 2013 has been a milestone in the timeline. Suddenly, festivals were getting more attention, new festivals were popping up out of nowhere, and nobody wanted to be left out. Coachella, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Bonnaroo, and many others sold out—most in record time—leaving thousands of audiophiles wristband-less and broken-hearted.
I had incredible luck this year and was able to attend three music festivals: Sweetlife, Lollapalooza, and Boston Calling. Sweetlife is a newer one-day festival in Maryland and it featured Phoenix, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, and a dozen other artists, as well as eco-friendly culture and food. Lollapalooza’s name practically speaks for itself by now. The three-day-passes sold out within hours (unlike last year when I bought my ticket five days after they went on sale) and every indie-loving friend of mine drooled over the line-up. Even though both featured many of the same artists, each created its own unique atmosphere that I personally can’t get enough of and that I think everyone needs to experience.
Boston Calling functioned as the perfect mix of the two festivals I attended earlier this year. Its location in the middle of the city condensed the area in a way that you could hear music no matter where you were inside (and probably just outside) the festival grounds. In between every act the majority of the crowd would migrate to the other stage. Mayor Menino even made an appearance by before Local Natives and Vampire Weekend closed out Saturday with a lot of love. My favorite part was Passion Pit closing out the festival on Sunday. Hometown shows have a different kind of electricity running through the crowd and Passion Pit knows how to do it right.
I said it before and I’ll say it again: everyone should experience the atmosphere of a good music festival. If you like concerts, it’s the feeling of a good show multiplied with awesome people giving off awesome vibes. The next time you’re waiting for a band to go on, turn to the stranger next to you and strike up conversation. In Boston, it’s especially easy to make friends: just ask which college they attend. Even if you don’t typically like concerts, it’s possible to enjoy the music and the food without being surrounded by loud and sweaty people.
There are smaller, unknown music festivals all across the country, but while you’re in Boston, you should do yourself a favor and spend the weekend in Government Center with fellow music-loving college students at the latest and greatest music festival on the scene.