Boutique music festivals like Lightning In A Bottle, Symbiosis, Lucidity, and many more are growing in popularity and for good reason. Anyone that’s ever attended these festivals can tell you just how incredibly transcendental and transformational the experience can be.
First I want to dispel all the haters that look at attendees of these festivals and say that they are just “wannabe hippies.” This could not be further from the truth. There is nothing “wannabe” or “fake” about the experience of going to one of these events. It's difficult to truly understand it until you actually attend one for yourself. No matter what type of person you are in your normal life, when you immerse yourself in this unique atmosphere, you become your best self.
The fact that this transformation happens to everyone that attends is exactly where the magic truly lies. There's a focus on community which allows for an incredible experience to unfold. Although the line-ups are outstanding, the art is beautiful, and the food is delicious, this all comes together to help everyone become, for lack of a better word, themselves. The second you enter the camp grounds, you shed the burdens of society and no longer have to live up to the expectations of anyone. You can truly be who you are at your core. That sort of freedom is exactly why so many people make such grand journeys to go to Burning Man each year, and these boutique festivals (although Lightning is quite large), promotes that freedom as well.
It really is like entering an entirely different world, separate from society. A world where everyone genuinely loves everyone that surrounds them. As hippie as that sounds, it's not just about hugs and "flower power". It's more about becoming aware of the community, and yourself. There's no pressure, and in fact you are completely embraced for being the unique individual that you are. You can dance however you want, wear whatever you want, and express yourself in any way or form. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone around you, you will be completely embraced. There is no judgement, and most people don’t realize how much judgement can truly affect their daily lives.
So, if you ever wonder why your friend came back from one of these festivals and won't stop talking about how life-changing it was, now you know. It’s the people, the energy, and the complete support that’s given from everyone. As Emile Durkheim would say, “a community or society may at times come together and simultaneously communicate the same thought and participate in the same action,” or collective effervescence.
Sure we can say all of this, but you can never fully understand what we're talking about until you experience it for yourself. Perhaps this piece can help you muster of the courage to actually try it out. With Lightning In A Bottle right around the corner on May 25th - 30th, now's your chance to see for yourself.