As most of you all know, I attended Osheaga Music Festival two weekends ago in Montreal, Quebec with Natalie and our friend Kiara. We were decked out in Dynamite Clothing, a local Montreal-based clothing brand. Highlights from our weekend:
Singing along to every song from Half Moon Run’s set. Dancing like made women to Haim. Getting all romantic to Leon Bridges. And ending the weekend with Radiohead, of course!! Montreal, just to let you know, your food scene is ace. I will definitely come back for more of that 🙂
There were many things I took away from our trip to Tennessee for Bonnaroo. But there were two that really stuck out to me. The fact that everyone looks good with sunshine on their faces. And the second fact that everyone looks good with music glistening onto their souls. Sunshine and music. They are two things that will love of us unconditionally forever, as we over time will come to love them in the exact same way. Two things we find all around us in the summertime, but that we can sometimes overlook unless we take a second or two to really stop and notice. To feel it being caressed onto our skin and massaged into our brains, signaling things that science can only really explain in the deepest of detail but that our hearts need only a few faster than normal fluttering beats to express. The heat and the vibrations. The way they make us feel the moment they hit us. They way they soak into us and wash over us in a way that is always reliable and always constant. No matter how many times we’ve felt it. No matter how many times we’ve heard it. No matter how many times we’ve danced under the same song and under the same old hot as heck sun, we take comfort in the good feeling they give us and the dreams they instill in us. The way they make us feel better and stronger in the first few seconds. How they give us confidence as if we’ve had years of practice in self-worth. They give us so many good things and we don’t even really need to understand why. We don’t need to understand all the characters all our favorite songs make us want to be. We don’t need to understand the chemical reaction that happen between the moment the sun hits the skin and the first bead of sweat is created to cool us down. We just need to let it be and to enjoy it. When you are feeling lacking in something, know that the sun and the music is always there to make you feel like the strongest beaming light. The music and the sun will bring you back to life again. It is an immortal love that we humans will never have to lose trust in. Together they make something that it is our best friend. Something to share with our best friends. And for those two things that summer brings a plethora of, I am grateful. And because I am grateful, I will dance. Nashville, you had a whole lot of both, and for that I think you are really, really fab. Even with all the cheesy country music and cowboy boots and fried this and fried that. I find peace in the chaos of what makes you come alive. It’s as simple as appreciating all that. But first we must appreciate the sun and the music. And hopefully, all the other things come swinging on in just as easily.
There is no better example of free love and free joy and free reign than Bonnaroo. Where every sort of freedom is put into play. The freedom to sweat and not shower on the regular. The freedom to walk around topless as a girl. The freedom to wear nothing but a pantless onesie as a man. The freedom to hula hoop (sans clothing). The freedom to walk barefooted with a beer in each hand hand. The freedom to head bang all day and all night long even thought your mom told you it was bad for your brain when you were a teenager. The freedom to eat pizza all day and be ensured that no one will judge you. The freedom to wear a tie dye shirt stained with grass and dirt. The freedom to high five someone for any reason old reason. The freedom to make out with anyone you like. Or don’t like. Just because. The freedom to hear vibrations and to make vibrations. The freedom to dance and dance and dance and never ever stop. The freedom to smile because there is no reason not to smile when you really think about it. The freedom to feel free, to act free, to behave instantaneously, to feel good.
But reality is . . . Bonnaroo is not reality. As soon as we step foot off that farm, this fact starts to sink in a little more and more, and all the things that kept you from feeling free before start to rush back slowly into your mind once again. Deadlines. Family issues. Friend drama. Rent. The office job. The daily commute. The daily routine. The mundane. The expected. But you know what, don’t let that shake you or break your post-festival high. There are things to take and learn from the four days of free-spirited joyfulness and camaraderie with strangers and friends, and strangers who become friends. These are things that are easy to take bits and pieces from to inject into your daily reality. High five a stranger on the street because you like their outfit or general vibe. Dance like no one is watching even though everyone is watching, but be proud and not afraid. Be confident in the things that make you insecure about your body and mind, because those things were accepted out in the open, strange and comforting world that is Bonnaroo. At Bonnaroo, we love you even if you stink. That says a lot. Sometimes a little leftover dirt goes a long way. Let the stain stay as a reminder that sometimes getting a little wacky is a good thing. It’s the freedom of acceptance.
My music festival looks aren’t always what people would normally expect from me. Usually my looks for festivals are a mix of tomboy and bohemian. This time around I went a little more girlish than normal. I’m talking watermelons and strawberry sort of girly. This Anna Sui flamenco-inspired skirt and top combo is both festive and sugar-coated. Sweeter than what I usually gravitate towards, but I was craving something different this time around at Coachella. Besides, anything I can twirl in, I am down with. I still can’t believe that this past Coachella was my fifth (yes, I said FIFTH) Coachella. I’m unsure whether or not my first Coachella felt like just yesterday or like a million years ago. But each and every year has been quite a different experience. This most recent Coachella was by far the most relaxed. I was photographing a lot around the festival and outside the festival, too, but at the same time I didn’t feel overwhelmed with my workload and the general scene. Maybe because I knew what to expect after five years, and I didn’t feel like I had to see it all. It was smooth rolling from the second we drove into Palm Springs. The desert heat didn’t kick my butt too badly and there wasn’t much sand and dust that got into my eyes to obstruct my vision. Yes, my legs were majorly sore after Major Lazer, but it was the best kind of soreness one can get. My sister and I rode the ferris wheel for the first time, and we loved it so much we had to go back and ride it again. It also felt nice to have one of my really good friends at the festival for two of the days. Familiar faces are always comforting amongst the madness. New friends and old friends. The best way to have it at a music festival. So I must say, my fifth year in a row of music festival seasons didn’t drive me nuts or swear me off of them for good. Maybe next year. But for right now, I’m going to soak it all in and pretend I’m still young and dance until my feet literally fall off. Why don’t you do so, too? Because you only live once. More coming from Coachella and the desert soon . . .