Festivals provide affordable music, vacations for students

Katelyn Siegert, Verge Editor

It’s almost that time of year again: music festival season. The deluge of flower crown, crop top and glow stick Instagram posts is almost upon us.

Hollywood royalty and lowly peasants alike are about to grace the Coachella Valley for a two-weekend long music festival, while posting up-to-the-minute play-by-plays of the music and fashion to social media sites.

All the while, final projects and exams are looming in Charleston, threatening social lives and sanities.

I might be living vicariously through the social media feeds. It’s almost like I’m actually there.

Along with social networking sites, clothing stores and even music streaming programs like Spotify are hopping on the “festi” bandwagon.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, around 90,000 patrons were in attendance last year during each of the two weekends of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival in Indio, Cali.

That number pales in comparison to the nearly 300,000 people that attended Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park in 2013 according to NBC Chicago.

The combined amount of social network, media and commercial coverage of festivals like these has created a sort of movement in its own.

When planning a summer splurge or vacation, music festivals can provide all the entertainment, living arrangements and dining options necessary for a solid getaway, wrapped up in one little neon-colored wristband.

Each festival offers something different to its patrons, whether that be genres of music, art, or even a unique atmosphere.

At the Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, Mich., attendees are offered traditional camping options as well as the option to relax in hammocks throughout the trees at the site.

Highlight reels from the previous year’s festivals are often posted to YouTube to immerse prospective patrons in the experience that each venue provides.

Realistically, these are great opportunities for students with tight budgets to see artists and performers that they wouldn’t otherwise to be able to afford. Some one-day tickets for festivals offer dozens of performances for the same price as one artist concerts.

These tickets sell out remarkably fast though. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, single-day tickets for Lollapalooza sold out within 40 minutes of the box office opening, and three-day passes soon after. In other words, if you want it, jump on it.

There’s no shortage of festivals throughout the country, offering anything from electronic dance music to country and rock. Some even offer a variety of genres.

Summer music festivals can offer once in a lifetime experiences and memorable summer trips for broke college students.

With so many new festivals and virtually no boundaries, who’s to say what will come next?

The Verge has covered student musicians and DJs in the area. Maybe Charleston residents will team up with Eastern students and create a day of local and student performances.  Can we call it ‘Chuck’chella?

Katelyn Siegert is a senior journalism major.

She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]