Music changes a person’s outlook on life. It is a platform of expression for many, creating a dimension of emotions that is inexpressible. We as a world are in constant motion, and so is the music industry. Artists share their thoughts and feelings within a few short minutes of a song, allowing others to dive into their own world of thoughts, dreams, and imagination. Living in the twenty-first century is extremely fast-paced, new and competitive. Thus, musicians and composers crave to share what they have made for the world to hear. A music festival is the ultimate platform where an artist can perform and promote their individuality to thousands of people. Many people attend these music festivals for their love of music as well as the social excitement. People wait months, even years, to travel across the globe to attend these one or two night events.
The revolutionary trend began in 1959 when the Newport Music Folk Festival took place in Newport, Rhode Island, sibling of the Newport Jazz Festival. Musical legends such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez were first introduced there, playing their original pieces. Continuing the trend was The Monterey Pop Festival, which stood as a model to future rock festivals. Aiding in the development of pop culture, the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair, advertised as the “Three Days of Peace and Music,” defined the terms “flowerchild” and “hippie.”
Woodstock eventually became widely known for its exciting performances and its idea of peace and happiness. As the years passed, music festivals became more advanced, modern, and futuristic. Fifty-five years later, music festivals are still alive and attracting more attention than ever. Many of the recent music festivals that were hosted this summer brought a new wave of individual artists breaking the popular norms of society. One of the most famous music festival in today’s society is Coachella. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an annual music festival that innovatively blends Rock, Independent, Hip Hop, and Electronic Dance music. It is held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The lineup during this festival was a mixture of innovative artists who brought excitement and energy to the stage.
Technology and social media have revolutionized the design and image of music festivals. In current times, music festivals such as Coachella have developed a more lively and electrifying atmosphere due to advances in lighting and graphics. While music festivals such as Woodstock that originated in the 1960s focused more on a classic performance, over decades, music festivals have become more of a pop cultural, social gathering for young adults than a musical experience.
Another musical event that has stimulated discussion is the Global Citizen Festival, which began in 2012. This year on September 24th, the festival took place at Central Park’s Great Lawn in New York City. The festival uses its platform to incorporate the benefit of society into the social, technology, and art focused event. Maddie Antonelli, who attended the event, stated, “Global Citizens gets people involved with trying to help poverty around the world and working on women’s rights while bringing great music to the stage. It was a great experience, and I met a lot of people there.” In conclusion, musical festivals are a great cultural experience that have developed over time.
Marina Geider and Julia Chelak
Image: Maddie Antonelli