Cvlt Collective: Summer Music Festivals
"Cvlt Collective" is a series of articles written by Soulless writer Bobby Cvlt where it is more of an opinion/editorial style article as opposed to the more standard types of articles published here at Soulless. The views expressed therein are solely that of Bobby Cvlt and does not reflect the opinion of anyone else at Soulless Cult.
I've always loved the summer, and I've always loved everything about the summer. Warm weather, beaches, BBQs, and even something as basic as hanging out by the fire with your crew as the sun disappears and your night just begins - I love it all. But one of the things I love most about the summer is the music festivals. Growing up in the metal and extreme music scene, I've been lucky enough to spend my summer at a variety of summer music fests over the years; Warped Tour, Summer Slaughter, Sounds of the Underground, Thrash and Burn, Mayhem Fest... all of these sick tours that would come through to New York City and the areas around it, and I couldn't get enough. Now that I'm in my late twenties, I find myself craving these music festivals even more (even though half of those tours don't even exist anymore!). But what is it about music festivals that make them so fucking fun?! The answer is simple: everything. Everything about these festivals makes them so amazing.
For all-day festivals like Warped Tour or Mayhem Fest, I love waking up early, throwing on my favorite band t-shirt and basketball shorts, packing my backpack with all the summer essentials, and heading down to the venue to hang out in the parking lot before the doors even open. And once the doors finally do open up, there's a definite adrenaline rush when you finally enter, see the stages all ready for the beating that they are about to take for the day. And while you are checking out the day's schedule and finding out who's playing where at what time, you're simply surrounded by people who are all there for the same reason: everyone is there for heavy fucking metal. I'm not normally one of those dudes who preach about a "metal brotherhood" but that feeling is certainly present when you are among hundreds - if not thousands - of people who are all there because they love metal, they love live music, and they love to party and have a good time. It's a great time and place to meet up with friends or make new ones as you travel between stages, explore the aisles of vendors, and hang out between sets. Combine beautiful weather, amazing people, and kick-ass bands and you are no doubt in for a good time.
Even though there seems to be a lot fewer music festivals this year (at least in the US), there are still some great festivals coming up this summer and if you've never been to one, I cannot recommend it enough. These shows have become the fire that gets me so fucking hyped for summer and so ready to bring on the warmer months. The one bit of advice that I want to give here is simple: make sure you stop and take it alllllll in. By that I mean make sure you stop at some point throughout your day to make sure you truly appreciate what it is that's going on around you. I know it sounds super hippie to say, but these music festivals are magical as fuck and I know, at least for myself, I spend months getting hyped and excited for the day to finally come and... before you know it, its over! So as your favorite band is up there screaming their fucking heads off and giving it all they've got, definitely make sure you take a second to just look around, truly realize where it is you are and appreciate what is going on around you. It will make your experience just that much better. But then get back to headbanging or crowdkilling or however you enjoy your metal and have a sick time!!!