This is not an article about TomorrowWorld lawsuits or horror stories or accusations. This is also not an article that aims to sweep issues under the rug or minimize what happened to our festival family or refuse to hold the right people accountable. This does not deny, dismiss, or disregard anyone’s beliefs, experiences, complaints, or truths, which they have every right to have, hold, and share with no holds barred. This is simply a reminder about gratitude and the state of the community we love, the community we’re so inextricably tied to and the reason that we all feel so passionately about what transpired this weekend–for better or for worse.
Those of you who are Pioneers, remember 2013? Remember those vibes that we reminisce about? Remember the friendships forged, memories made? Even if you weren’t there that year, I’m sure you’ve seen it—at other events you’ve attended, the ones that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives. What made that experience for us wasn’t the company that ran it—it was the company that made it there to party with us. The magic is ours, created by the vibes we bring and the kind of people that we choose to be in those moments.
This weekend, we have seen so much negativity around the scene that we love. We have seen so much blame, so much anger, so many bad stories. This is your reminder: with all this chaos, don’t forget about the good stories and memories you made.
The stories of friends who were saved from the hands of intoxicated festivalgoers by friends and complete strangers who protected and defended them. The vendors, workers, security, police, medics, and volunteers who continued to do their jobs to the best of their ability, despite the backlash because some of the others weren’t kind enough to do the same. The crazy friends who played with us in the mud, picked us up when we fell down, and laughed about it with us later on the way to the showers. Everyone who took time to make all of those ridiculous totems that we loved. All of the people who picked up wallets, bags, phones, and other lost items this weekend—and went above and beyond in order to make sure they were returned to their rightful owners.
The headliners who dedicated their sets to those who couldn’t make it in on Sunday, then proceeded to melt our hearts (and faces) with their music. Those on social media who volunteered rides, ways to get back into the festival, or offered to help us pack up our stuff or grab our belongings from our lockers. The beautiful couples who got engaged or married this weekend, with the company of some of their closest friends.
The kind strangers who went out of their way to help others through the closed roads, the mud, who shared food and warmth and safety and kind words along the long treks home. The residents of Chattahoochee, who offered their driveways and tractors and places to stay to people who you had absolutely no obligation to help. The neighbors who shared tents and tarps and a dry place to stay when our tents were flooded, our camps raided, our things taken.
The people who walked by us at stages or across the bridges, with smiles and high-fives and genuine compliments that left us beaming. The friends and family who kept us in good spirits through it all, who went through hell with us and back and still parted with a hug and a see you later. All of these great stories, they’re not about companies or policies or logistics. They’re simply about people. People being amazing. People that we can, are, and should always strive to be.