This is a huge topic that is not that easy to cover in its entirety, but let us try laying down our pros and cons as well as some facts and solutions to see where this can go!
It has always been a big debate among people and that is because A LOT is actually happening at a festival.
Festivals have an impact on so much in our lives, and that is why it is so hard to comprehend this love-hate relationship that people have towards those types of events.
In order to grasp the full picture as much as possible let’s first have a quick look at what festivals have an influence on (this is a non-exhaustive list):
- Human connections (as groups or communities, feeling part of a whole)
- Life (that one is a little hard to grasp but events like festivals lead you to a new way of thinking)
- Relationships (Human bonds)
Because of this list, we face many challenges, and every individual does not deal with them in the same way, and that is normal. That being said, with some key principles or simple rules, a festival can really be an amazing experience all the way!
Second, let’s see now, all the pros and cons so we have a clear understanding of the overall situation.
- Litter: Festival can have a big negative impact on the environment, people leaving behind their boots, tents, clothes plus all the trash from the event, glasses, bottles, tissues, plastic bags…
- Disruption to the local area: So many people are gathering for the event, parking in the weirdest and unsafe places, for some events we can feel the “too many people in one place” kind of vibe. The flashlights and the noise are a heavy disturbance to the neighborhood.
- Drugs: The people that tell you that there are no drugs in festivals are either confused or lying. This is a big problem but not the biggest one (having said that, we will not develop here whether drugs are good or bad for people, this is not the topic)
- Vandalism: When close to cities, it has been reported damages in the streets and graffitis have been discovered close to the area of festivals
- Overcrowding: Due to too many people in one place, risks of injuries or people being trotted or suffocating is multiplied, and possible
- Theft: People have been victims of theft during the event
- Violence: Even though it represents a tiny percentage, violence is more or less present depending on the festival you go to. Violence is quite unique in festivals but it does happen
- Firecrackers: They are fun but they have always been a real danger to big crowds
The list could be longer, but we tried here to capture the actual ones directly linked to festivals. For the potential other cons, we assume that with or without the event the problems remain. (we hope you get our point of view, so we stay focused on the tasks at hand)
- Celebration: People go to festivals to have fun and gather around the same art or activities, which is a big part of what humans thrive to do (we would even argue that celebrating is in our genes…)
- Economic boost: Local businesses and the surroundings benefit a lot from festivals
- Tourism: A certain percentage of people use festivals as their first excuse so they can then continue their trip in the region or the country they are at
- Novelty: As festivals are not frequent, they break the routine and helps open people’s minds to something unique and different
- Meet your heroes: You can live this unique experience of seeing your favorite groups and artists performing in front of your eyes
- Feel the art: No matter what is the theme of the festival, it brings the experience of the selected art to another level
- On an adventure with friends: It strengthens relationships with friends as they live something special together or as a group
- Discovery: (Different from Novelty*) Festivals are a great way to discover new activities depending on the theme (we are not talking only about music festivals) but also of course new music or songs
- Make a connection: You can meet new people and make new friends or acquaintances
- Environment: You can find yourself in unique and breathtaking locations
- Becoming one: In festivals, you can feel and be in something bigger than yourself and feel connected to all the people enjoying the same thing like in concerts for instance (and please we are talking without drugs, you know what we are talking about right?)
Alright, even though our lists of pros and cons are not exhaustive it shows that many elements are at play. Without going too far, the pros weigh too much to stop the festival to avoid the cons. Festivals bring so much to people that it will be a big mistake to eliminate them. Now there are ways to reduce or even remove the cons and make sure the event gets close to perfect!
Get all the benefits!
The solutions are there, and they are easier to implement than you think, some are practical and others more intellectual but either way, everyone should push toward them.
We develop our viewpoint of the solutions in part 2, just click on the image below if you want to keep on reading.