The last several years of my involvement in the electronic music scene have incited some important shifts in my identity.
I’ve developed many new characteristics, relationships, and ideas about interaction and connection. One belief that’s been developing during my time working with USC Events was solidified at Paradiso Festival 2017. The feeling that involvement has become more important to me than attendance-ship. Don’t get me wrong, there are few things more magical than being free at a music festival to dance and just be. With USC Events, however, I’ve become accustomed to having some sort of purpose in a festival setting.
I’ve worked with the artist relations team at USC Events for a couple years doing massives as well as single one-off events.
This was my second year at Paradiso. Through that involvement, I find that I much prefer having some means through which to participate in the festival. Even one year ago, I found it fulfilling enough to come to a festival with good vibes and energy to share with others. Lately, this has shifted into a desire for more concrete forms of contribution. I become quite restless after awhile when I have no real purpose. Granted I attend most festivals on my own, and with this particular company I’m accustomed to having something to do.
This year at Paradiso, like many USC Events shows I’ve attended in the last year, I had done several weeks of preliminary email work prior to the festival in order to be able to just attend. Once I arrived, I instantly resented this agreement and wanted to find some way to more actively participate. I hung out around the artist relations trailer, until it came to light that the meet and greet team needed a runner to transport artists to and from their schedule meet and greets.
Being involved completely changed my festival experience.
The Gorge is an immense venue, and Paradiso such a lively festival. Having a means through which to participate, however, made the festival experience immensely more fulfilling than it otherwise would have been wandering about. Obviously, I missed certain artist sets that I wanted to see. However, I was given the opportunity to connect not only with the event, but also team members. It’s a way to be more connected to the space and to give back.
This feeling has since gone beyond Paradiso into other festival realms, where I’ve been inspired to volunteer, and help out wherever help is needed. I think volunteering at a festival at least once would be valuable for anyone. It offers a sense of empathy and understanding for those who make events possible, and allows festival goers to feel more connected to the space.
If you want to get involved with your next festival, I highly recommend checking out harm reduction groups, such as the Conscious Crew who work with USC Events. Whether you need gum, water, someone to talk to, or assistance with something more dire, harm reduction teams are friendly faces that are there to help. These are some of my favorite people whom I genuinely respect, and who anyone would be lucky to work with.
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Featured Photo Credit: Kevin Brost