To the delight of music fans and molly dealers alike, festival season is upon us, marking the end of winter with a flat cup of overpriced beer and a 21+ wristband. In the warmer months ahead, expensive multi-day fests will descend on major cities. Venues and lineups are curated either to attract particular people, or as many people as possible. Highly specialized fests like Brooklyn’s Afropunk or California’s Desert Daze offer a succinct view into a specific subculture or music scene, maintaining a consistent vibe that’s easy for fans to navigate. Fests like Coachella, however, whose massive draw requires the lineup to reflect an amalgamation of all pop culture, require a state of mind ready to deal with every type of music fan, and every type of music.
In my years attending and covering festivals around the world, I’ve found that all the successful ones, no matter how different, cast the same spell. A Dionysian spirit courses through participants, allowing them to transcend the confines of society and truly feel free. Regardless of genre, crowd, or venue, the phenomena is always