Today: Feb 25, 2024

The good and oddity of festivals

Photo Courtesy | fakewells.com

Shaunna Cullen – Staff Writer

I was not a sheltered teenager by any means. Yet, I didn’t attend my first music festival until I was 19. I was so excited the festival was going to be fairly nearby, or at least the next state or two over: The Bamboozle Festival in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Since the festival was a little expensive, my friend Nicole and I decided we should only go for two days instead of the three days the festival was lasting for. We were able to save some money though by splitting the gas cost, packing our own snacks—which you CANNOT bring into the festival by the way—and staying with my cousin instead of staying at a hotel.

The festival was in a parking lot—not exactly what I had in mind. Then again I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.  I suppose I was thinking more of a nice large field like Woodstock, but instead it was in the parking lot of the Izod Center.

Inside the gate there were carnival rides, food, and booths giving away free stuff if you gave them your email. That’s that second best part about a music festival, all the free stuff they give out. It ranges from sunscreen packets to condoms. (The best part of a music festival is down further).

This was in 2010, which was a great year to go. Headliners included Weezer, Drake, Paramore, Hanson, Ke$ha, T. Mills, Never Shout Never, and Girl Talk.

Photo Courtesy | fakewells.com

I was amazed at the amount of half naked 14-year-old girls walking around with “Free Hugs” written on their stomachs. I’m pretty sure they would have given you more than free hugs if you told them how cute they were. I wondered where their parents were.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was there getting people to sign a petition saving one animal group or another. They were, however, giving out a really sweet sample CD of some of the bands that were playing at the festival, so I gave them an old email I never use.

Water was four dollars a bottle and you didn’t even get the bottle! They opened the water, poured it into a cup that didn’t have a lid. Why? Their reasoning is that people would throw the bottles and hurt others. Well guess what, they still threw the cups. The water monopoly was probably the most disgusting thing I’ve seen in my short life. We know now to go to the first aid tent for free water and ice.

As for the music, I don’t think there is a word that exists to describe how utterly amazing it was to hear bands I love play live. The best part about a music festival is discovering new bands.  I discovered We Came as Romans, Of Mice and Men and Emmure.

I have been to The Bamboozle two times since then. Every year there are different bands, different people and new experiences.  The 2013 lineup will be released in late December so watch out for it, and I hope to see you at the next Bamboozle!

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