With the incredible momentum of dance music festivals growing into the massive entities that they have become, why potentially miss out on an amazing experience just because the lineup hasn’t dropped?
If you are into dance music on level then I am sure you are trying to decide which festivals to hit up this season. For many, the deciding factor for which to choose is based solely upon that “be all, end all” lineup. Unfortunately, waiting for the lineup to drop may put you into a precarious position as you face the possibility of tickets selling out before any artists are even revealed. Or, you may even miss out on an amazing experience just because your favorite artists aren’t booked. Honestly, most major festivals have proven time and time again that they can deliver when it comes to making sure that the creme de la creme of the dance music world are accounted for. Then you have the genre specific festivals which make the selection process even that much easier. If you love a certain genre and you know that a specific festival caters to only that style, like
Then, you have the genre specific festivals, which make the selection process even that much easier. If you love a certain genre and you know that a specific festival caters to only that style, like Dreamstate for trance or Movement for techno and house, then you already know that you are in for a glorious time. At the end of the day, there really isn’t any reason to stress. So, I pose this question as we dig into the 2017 festival season: Why not shake things up this year and jump in with your eyes closed, purchasing a ticket for a fan favorite festival before even knowing the lineup?! It may sound crazy at first, but let’s explore a few reasons why the lineup is only a small piece of the puzzle.
Once it drops, I guarantee that the lineup WILL have someone who piques your interest.
Look at it this way – you purchased your tickets hoping for the best and the lineup is finally revealed. Suddenly, you are taken aback when you realize that you just aren’t into anyone on the ticket. If this happens, then maybe dance music isn’t your cup of tea! In all seriousness though, the major festival promoters know the industry inside and out. They know who fans want to see and they know who to book to keep attendees coming back year after year. Trust in their judgment. Trust in the fact that even if every single one of your favorites doesn’t show up on a lineup for a show you are holding tickets for, there will still be someone on that lineup that is waiting to rock your world whether you know it or not. This brings me to my next point.
Discover new artists.
Some of the best times I have ever had at a festival were born out of travelling over to a stage with an artist playing who I have never heard of before. A prime example of this for me was discovering 4B at Electric Daisy Carnival in 2015. This was an artist totally outside my realm of expertise and if I am going to be totally honest, the only reason I wandered on over to his set was because a friend of mine was foaming at the mouth to see him. It was a decision that will stay with me forever as he took me on a wild ride full of intense bass, urban swag, and downright nasty energy! I left that set smiling from ear to ear and from then on I was a true 4B fan! It’s moments like these that I realize that a name isn’t always everything. This was the case for me with Dash Berlin. I have always loved Dash Berlin’s music and for years I ached for the opportunity to see him live. But, when I finally saw him at EDC I was not impressed. I learned very quickly that a lineup will neither guarantee nor deny you your pleasure. It’s truly up to a wide variety of factors like crowd vibes, track selections, the state of mind that the performing artist is dealing with at the time, and your own emotional state. Opening yourself up to the journey of discovery may change how you feel about the level of importance that a lineup holds in regards to your potential experience.
Stage design and production.
Let’s be real – as years go by, what is the one festival factor that always gets better with age? The stage design and all the bells and whistles that come along with providing the audience with a spectacular audio and visual experience! These are elements that bring the music to life, stimulating the senses in all the right ways. I have yet to bear witness to a regression as every year each major festival tries to outdo itself from the years past. As technology is always updating, so are festival stage designs and production. It’s almost like an unwritten rule that with dance music comes the demand for wildly extravagant light shows and sound that pumps straight through your soul. Because dance music cannot separate itself from these elements, it goes without saying that when you attend any major festival or event, you will be blown away by the technology unfolding before your eyes. This alone can make the lineup seem less important as you are dancing your inhibitions away under a sea of lasers, strobes, and fireworks unleashing the “feels” and charging up the energy.
Interactive art, performers, and rides.
Separate yourself from the music for even a moment and suddenly you realize that there is more to a festival than just what is happening at the stages. Most festivals these days offer a massive variety of fun activities, interactive art, wild rides, and hired actors and performers, all provided for your extra enjoyment. When you need a break from the music or are simply travelling from stage to stage, take advantage of all that the festival has to offer. Sometimes there are so many non-music related activities to get into that it is almost impossible to experience everything. In my opinion, dance music festivals can literally be considered a raver’s playground – a beautiful field of imagination where your inner child can be sparked back to life, departing from reality and landing you smack dab in the middle of a crazy wonderworld. So, if you are less than pleased with a lineup, rest assured that there will be numerous activities and surprises around every corner to keep boredom from rearing its ugly head.
The experience of travelling somewhere new.
Another important thing to keep in mind when purchasing a ticket without regard to the lineup is the opportunity that reveals itself with the act of travelling and separating yourself from your normal routine. Based on my own experience, whenever I want to hit up a festival, I have to either drive multiple hours away from home or jump on a plane to get to my final destination. This alone builds the excitement and anticipation as I prepare for each festival getaway. Choosing a festival in a city that you have never to been before could be reason alone to make the purchase. We are only on this planet for a short period of time, so why not hit the dusty trail and explore the world? When you reach your destination, take advantage of the experience as a whole and set aside some time to explore the region that your festival is located in. If this means extending your stay, then go for it! Now, what was simply a festival trip suddenly turns into a full-on journey as you immerse yourself into that city’s culture and vibe. The festival is simply the cherry on top!
Meeting new people and forging friendships that may last forever!
This final point is probably one that resonates with me the most. When you take thousands of like-minded individuals and place them all together for a weekend highlighting life, love, happiness, freedom, and unity, then you are bound to leave with a lot more friends than you had coming in! There has never been a time in my entire history of festival attendance that I didn’t make at least one friend that I still remain close to today. Who doesn’t want to make more friends? If you don’t, then once again I must say that maybe dance music life just isn’t for you. But, for the rest of us, the interactions between ravers on those festival grounds shines like pure magic. Connections can begin with a simple nod, trading kandi, sharing a sip of water, or immersing yourself in the energy that bounces back and forth between attendees singing along with a popular track. Suddenly, you begin a conversation with someone that turns into an exchange of social media details or a phone number. Boom! Instant friendship! Just the thought of that makes that lineup, once again, just a little bit less important in the broad scheme of things.
There you have it, family! Six very strong reasons why a festival lineup should never keep you from attending a festival that you have your eyes and ears set firmly upon.
In my experience, a lineup is simply just a list of names. That list will not guarantee an incredible experience even if it is packed with artists that you vibe to every day. If you commit to an event with an open mind and some room for exploration, then I can guarantee that you will come home with memories that will last a lifetime, regardless who was up on the stage at any given time. So, now I challenge you! Pick a festival that has piqued your interest and grab those tickets even if the lineup has not been revealed! If the list finally drops and is less than satisfying, go anyway! You never know what incredible experience awaits!
What are some other reasons to purchase festival tickets without knowing the lineup? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
Did you pick up tickets for a camping festival this year? Check out our 2017 Essential Camping Guide right here!