Music has always been a part of British culture. From Mozart to Michael Jackson, one thing that’s never failed to bind our nation together is our appreciation of piano notes and drunken revellers singing in unison. It’s our privilege to embrace music and share happiness.
Festivals. Often associated with negativity: with the worry of drugs, binge drinking and lack of showering. However, as the world enters darker times with Brexit (and not to mention the fact a Wotsit’s now in charge of one of the biggest international powers in the world) festivals may just be a light to guide us…
We fear diversity. Our differences are ripping us apart. This isn’t a world I want to live in, and I’m quite sure it doesn’t appeal to many of you either.
However, one of the fantastic things about music is that it can be felt by anyone; shared by everyone. Whether you’re listening to a busker in the street or Adele at Glastonbury, one thing they have in common is that it provokes feelings within people: breaking down artificial barriers and making people feel free. Undoubtedly, it unites people - and we have to live up to our name the United Kingdom…right? Emotions are what create memories. Being dirty because you haven’t shaved your legs for four days, or feeling blessed to be hearing Rihanna hitting the high notes – in fifty years you’ll remember how you felt.
What better way is there of creating these memories, than with an array of different people? Instead of seeing those who are different from us as ‘swarms’ of people we shouldn’t associate ourselves with, we ought to start seeing them as people we can dance with.
But as well as finding out about different people and cultures, festivals help you to discover yourself. They give a sense of community, a sense of identity…a sense of self.
However, this isn’t to say they come problem – free. Our green friends, for example, may fustigate that festivals are having a dire effect on our environment – most noticeably, climate change. Climate change is a problem; despite what some deluded presidents like to argue. We sometimes forget it’s an issue: after all we’re used to summers with torrential rain and average temperatures of 19°c – a meagre improvement on our 5°c winters on average. Whilst festivals aren’t the most environmentally friendly, unfortunately it’s unavoidable that people have to travel in order to reach them. Naturally, pollution levels are affected. However, nobody bats an eyelid when eating their Tesco finest burgers, (or maybe even Waitrose finest for the sophisticated ones among us), do they? – and it’s true, scientists have proved raising cattle produces colossal amounts of CO2. It’s important therefore to find a balance between the costs to the environment, without sacrificing the traditional experience of festivals.
Almost everything nowadays has the ability to be turned into something negative. You could donate your entire life’s earnings to charity and someone would still criticise it. Therefore, it’s important that we’re aware of the problems, so that we can work on improving them, rather than suggesting it’s the festivals themselves that are the problem. Meeting new people. Hearing new songs. Building new friendships. The value of them is indescribable.
Much like the value of role models on young people, there are few places you’ll find as many creative people as in a grassy green field in the middle of July – which is a prerequisite in a world reliant on innovation, inspiration and motivation. Let me bring to your attention John Lennon. He was part of the world’s biggest band (the Beatles, if you’ve been living under a rock) since 1960. His passion for music resulted in a lifetime of doing what he loved. I can’t imagine what better example there is for our children than this? Showing it’s possible to do something you love in life, as a working class hero, rather than filing papers and trying to get rich.
Culture varies between every country, every household, and every person. It’s something we all own but in a unique way. We should keep it alive and cherish it - I for one think attending a festival is one of the best ways to do this. The world is becoming an uncertain place, but one thing that’s certain, is that by singing and dancing, we can all stay a little happier.