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Bamboozle

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Waking up on a Saturday morning at eight o’ clock was never easier than on this particular day. After months of planning, anticipating, and daydreaming, Bamboozle had arrived: two whole days of nonstop music, with over nine stages and almost 200 bands in total. My friends and I had all been excited to the point of obsession for six months. However much we liked music before, Bamboozle was the pinnacle at which I, at least, became completely devoted to it.
An old parable called The Dancing Jews relates this devotion. The Chassidim were so enthralled by music, they stopped as soon as the heard it in the street, unable to help themselves, and they had soon formed a massive, dancing, jumping crowd. A deaf man passing by saw the spectacle and wondered whether these people had all gone insane. Baal Shem Tov, the storyteller, concluded, “Chassidim are moved by the melody that issues forth from every creature in G-d’s creation. If this makes them appear mad to those with less sensitive ears, should they therefore cease to dance?”
Not everyone understands the draw and excitement of being a part of a crowd that’s all singing along to one of your favorite bands, screaming and swaying to the beat. However, Lilly, Melissa, Vicka, and I were extremely drawn. We were all brimming with the excitement of our first music festival, and got to the venue an hour early. Our first experience of the day will be forever ingrained in all of our memories. Being new and slightly over-eager, we all decided to try to get to the front of the crowd after “The Cab” had already started playing. That was a lesson we all learned quickly enough; there were moments when I’m sure we all simultaneously feared for our lives. At the back of the crowd, we all held hands and infiltrated the mass of people single file. Then, we got to the middle. It’s always the place where the audience has just enough hope at getting closer to the front, and just enough resentment at not already being there, to turn into this chaotic, thrusting, violent mob. We found ourselves surrounded by two solid walls, unable to neither progress nor retreat through the mass. Then, all hell broke loose. I’m only 5 feet tall, so I found myself immediately lacking air due to all the swarming, overheated, screaming giants around me. I eventually ended up on the ground for a while before I could manage to grab onto someone and force my way back up. Lillian, whose hand I was just able to hold onto, was being tugged at in every which direction; her shirt was barely staying on. Melissa was somewhere beyond my range of sight, getting squashed by the crowd surfers pouring in over our heads. At one point, she even got kicked in the face. Meanwhile, Vicka was being shoved around in such a fashion, that someone actually ended up stepping on her shin. I was beginning to doubt whether we would ever escape, but we did eventually manage it through the sides of the crowd with much pushing and elbowing.
In the midst of that whole experience, I found myself surveying the scene and taking in everything happening around me; it was surreal and insane and I was laughing the whole time. Despite the fact that it was not something any of us would necessarily repeat, not one of us would ever change it.





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