It’s the summer. To most twentysomethings, that means bikinis, beach days, sangria, cottage weekends, and music festivals.
And if you asked me 3 years ago, I would’ve said the latter was my favourite part of the summer. Actually, my favourite part of any time of year.
You see, for the majority of my time in university, I was addicted to the music festival scene. I was obsessed with “raving” and didn’t see a point in leaving my house on the weekend if it wasn’t to rave all night and after-party with some up-and-coming DJ.
While I still consider those some of the best years of my life, I haven’t been to a “rave” or music festival in a very long time, and have no plans to return. Though it’s been years, I still get flack from former “party friends” whenever a music festival announces their line up and I answer their “Osheaga?!” text with “lol no.” There’s a lot of people who can’t understand why myself and many of my friends gave up that lifestyle and no longer want any part of it.
There’s so many contributing factors as to why I gave up that lifestyle that this post could be a novel. But the short answer for all my “party friends” wondering how I could ever give this up?
I just outgrew that scene.
Getting heavily into the “rave” scene can be really unhealthy. There can be a lot of darkness under all the neon outfits and flower crowns that no one really talks about.
There’s so much pressure to try all the “rave drugs.” There’s an expectation that if you after-party with the DJ, you or one of your friends better sleep with the DJ. And there’s the obvious fact that going to a rave or music festival involves abusing substances (in my case just alcohol, but for many others that includes all the “rave drugs”) for multiple days in a row, 12 hours a day, while dancing to DJ after DJ, with no shower, and never eating or drinking water, which is probably the most unhealthy activity you could ever partake in.
Now, I’m not here to judge. The majority of music festival- and rave-goers do it for the music and the good times with their friends, and that’s how it should be.
I, on the other hand, didn’t particularly like the music I was often dancing to, and didn’t really care who raved with me. I was addicted to the party, and that led me into some scary situations that I’m very grateful to have come out of.
I definitely had a problem, and I couldn’t keep living like that.
So I gave up going to raves and music festivals all together. I was sick and tired of always feeling sick and tired. It wasn’t some lightbulb moment that made me realize I had a problem, it was many scary months of things getting darker and darker that made me realize I needed to make a change.
Although I could probably go to a festival nowadays and just enjoy the music like most people, I would rather feel nostalgic for those times from afar.
I was too caught up in the scene and turning into a thrill-seeking someone that I’m not, and I am way too scared to ever get back to that.
And now? I would much rather spend my Friday night going for a glass of wine with a friend and staying the boring someone that I am.