festival culture music party
Image via The Guardian

Festival Culture: Does It Need To Change?

The summer is finally over. After a very difficult year, many believed this would be the best summer yet. Why, you may ask? One of the restrictions that had been lifted was the reintroduction of live events and festivals. But it does pose the question, was that the right thing to do?

Celebration of Music

The most important thing about a festival is the music. Bringing people together from different places, different lives to all enjoy and experience some fantastic live music is what it is all about. For many, to experience that once again after so long without it was a dream come true. Festival-goers were able to experience the likes of Stormzy, Wolf Alice, Liam Gallagher, and The Chemical Brothers to just name a few. Festivals are also a great chance for new artists to experience playing a live show, a chance for them to get their music out there and to enjoy themselves. No one can deny the thrill many people feel when at a festival, whether that be as a performer or attendee.

Messy Aftermath

Part of festival culture is the aftermath. In recent years, there have been so many photographs that demonstrate the mess that is made once the thousands of spectators have left. It is quite disgraceful when you think about it. We are constantly reminded to look after our planet, look after the environment we live in. And yet, like pictured below, these are the images we see after a festival. One festival, Vegan Camp Out Festival, had quite a refreshing image of what the festival campsite looked like just after everyone had left and before any cleaning had started. Although a smaller festival compared to the big names like Reading and Leeds Festival, this festival proved that it was possible for all attendees to clean up after themselves and not leave countless amounts of rubbish behind.

festival culture messy trash
Image: thesun.co.uk

COVID Restrictions

When it was announced that live events and festivals could take place, many people were divided. Living without proper live music for almost two years has been tough, not only on the audiences but artists as well. The chance to experience that and to feel somewhat ‘normal’ again, well, who could say no? But on the flip side, things aren’t ‘normal’. We live in a world very different to the one before, and that can’t be ignored. It also can’t be ignored that festivals are almost a breeding ground for germs and illnesses. 

The only ‘big’ festival to not take place this year was Glastonbury, being postponed to next year. However, various other festivals including Parklife, Reading and Leeds, Wireless, Latitude and Boardmasters all went ahead. However, considering all of this, many of the festivals did take into consideration the changing world. Many did wear their face masks, took their lateral flow tests, and a COVID-19 vaccine bus was also invited. It seemed that all the right conditions and precautions were taken before these events could take place. That didn’t stop a large percentage of people from contracting COVID-19 afterward. But what did they expect?

festival culture
Image: scotsman.com

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