There are arguably two things that every person loves: travel and music. However, it’s rare that someone thinks to combine these two passion points into one itinerary for an ultimate uplifting journey. We’re usually focused on crossing off our bucket list of seeing that mountain peak we saw on Instagram or on a separate occasion, planning to go to a music festival with our friends for a long, party-filled weekend.
But what about challenging yourself to get out of your comfort zone of planning a “vacation” OR a “music event experience”, and plan a trip of a lifetime = music festival + vacation.
We take vacations to escape our daily life, to see new things, to experience activities we never did before, to meet new people, to taste a new culture, and to say, “Yeah, I’ve been there!” In parallel, a music festival where you stay on site living in this new environment for X amount of days, for most people, is not a chance to escape “real life”, but to actually have a heightened, genuine experience. Here many real life aspects are merged together to explore all in one spot amongst like-minded peers. Why we travel and why we attend these transformational-style, non-commercial music festivals may actually pull from the same inspiration – to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
So with that, solo travelers or friend group travelers alike, I’d like to share from my personal global experiences, particularly from the most recent Oregon Eclipse festival at Big Summit Prairie during the solar eclipse…
…why your next vacation should be planned in conjunction with a transformational music festival.
Music festivals give you a pinnacle pointto your trip… guaranteed! If you’re one who doesn’t like planning each day out as a jam-packed travel itinerary and likes a touch of spontaneity, a music festival gives you the comfort of knowing where you will be and why for a certain number of days while conveniently leaving empty bookend dates. These before and after dates are for you to plan the logistics to and from the festival, what stops are nearby or along the way that you want to hit, and happily leaving some unknown adventure days after the festival to see where you might end up.
A festival is a guaranteed home base for you to travel to in the unknown whether globally or nationally. You know you have a destination in mind, you booked your flights, and possibly, if you’re better than me, also already booked your hotel/hostel/Airbnb… but is the comfort you’re seeking in knowing where your bags will be checked? Look at if from a different perspective… Your home can be one surrounded by welcoming new friends who most likely traveled as far and as inconveniently as you to get to where they are. They understand the logistical struggle (or hopefully for you, ease), they have an unspoken respect for you for also being where they are, and festivalgoers actually want to help you. That’s right… they want to help you feel comfortable in your new surroundings because you do on to others what you want on to you. Festival attendees become one large family as soon as they step on to the grounds.
Playing off that, the above reasons give solo travelers the comfort of meeting new friends… because, corny but true, music brings us together. Wouldn’t it be nice after your long plane ride, moments of dissecting the local train map, slightly confusing taxi rides, and thoughts of debating hitch-hiking… that you find yourself surrounded by compatible people? The wave of relief when you find yourself on the campgrounds of a festival is comparable to jumping into the ocean on a sweltering day. Refreshingly right where you’re meant to be.
From here, you can form a community of locals and other travelers who can then be a part of your further travels!Your festival friendships rarely just remain on the grounds. These are friendships that can last a lifetime, and at the very least, last those extra days you wish you could split the hotel and taxi ride with.
But before you think of leaving the festival… take advantage of all gifts a transformational music festival has to offer that expands your way of thinking. It’s not just a party. This can be your life-changing and personal growth kickoff. Transformational festivals offer classes from belly dancing to acro-yoga and workshops covering topics like permaculture to scientific discoveries that prove our realities. The grounds are covered in unique, engaging spaces for you to get out of your comfort zone and interact with an art installation that makes you think outside the box. All the festival offerings listed outside the music roster, are there for you to learn, mature, and be inspired by.
Meet inspiring local and global artists (visual and musical) that you would most likely have never met before if you just planned your typical “vacation”. Festivals book the top global talent and experts in an array of artistic fields from musicians, visual artists, yoga instructors, massage therapists, just to name a few, so this is your chance to interact with them on an intimate level or even just appreciate their performance with gratitude that uplifts your spirit. You never know, you may end up running into them again along the future stops of your journey. Everyone likes the comfort of a familiar face while treading new territory.
Visually and audibly pleasing, festivals also have a very purposeful strategy on offering you palatable delights. Producers of these events understand the importance of supporting the local culture, which means you get to taste the best of the best local cuisine with the thoughtfully curated food vendors – conveniently at your fingertips! No extra Yelp-ing needed.
In addition to you taking, experiencing, and absorbing the beauty around you, these types of transformational-style festivals actually help you leave a positive impact on the local community, where perhaps if you were traveling the area just on your own plans, you most likely wouldn’t have. Transformational festivals are in a global agreement to be “Leave No Trace” events, supporting recycling and composting initiatives and innovate waste removal policies, like the EcoZoic Toliet. Other festivals plant a tree or donate money to a cause from every ticket purchased. Others align with the local community to help rebuild these remote areas where the events are held that were most likely forgotten. You frolicking along the fields is actually helping change the world.
All of this said, it’s hard to articulate the positive impact a festival leaves on your soul and the inspiration that motivates your heart and mind. After seeing what seemed impossible being done, a bit of magic dazzle before your eyes, and feeling firsthand how the music, people, environment, food, and art made you feel, you open yourself up to now dream big! How amazing for this to be a jumping point for your holiday. Now you have the inspiration to continue planning your trip and add in what you might have thought was outlandish before this festival experience.
Most importantly, festivals offer up this humbling opportunity for you to get back to the basics If you’re like me, you’re living in a tent for 4+ days, so you begin to appreciate the environment you are in and see it in a respectful light before you just start exploring it as a tourist. Now that you feel more one, connected, and related to the area, you want to discover its beauty in a way that benefits the locals and your own personal adventure.
Ultimately… combining a music festival to your vacation plans and journey, allows you to say not only, “Hey, I’ve been there!” but also…“Yeah, I did that!”