Devout follower(s) of the Weinblog (hi mom!) know that I am a live music junkie, with a particular fondness towards music festivals.
I’ve said it many times, but if you’re ever feeling a bit disenchanted with the world, or are even beginning to lose faith in humanity for whatever reason — attend a music festival. Because your faith will be restored.
I know a lot happened over the weekend, between LeBron James earning the city of Cleveland its first major sports title in 52 years; developments in exactly what happened in the Orlando nightclub nine days ago; and even more recent news about GOP senators blocking gun control legislation; but I have the whole week to get to that.
Today I want to recap my weekend. Because it was a great one.
I have attended the Firefly Music Festival three years in a row. It’s basically become the premier music festival on the East Coast. Recent headliners have included the Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others.
This year’s headliners of Kings of Leon, Florence + the Machine and Mumford & Sons was quite tempting, but various circumstances led me to decide not to attend this year — despite the fact that I had free tickets waiting for me at will call via my old job.
One of those mitigating circumstances was the fact that I was seeing Mumford & Sons that Friday night at a different venue, in Forest Hills, Queens. Which I went to and enjoyed.
But sometime during that night I had a thought. What if I woke up early enough, hopped in my car, made the three-plus hour drive to Dover and spent the day there? I had nothing better to do. Might as well see some free music with my free ticket. I had friends there I could meet up with, and although I had no place to sleep, it was something to worry about later.
Cut to the next morning, 7:30 a.m., I’m awake, lying in bed, contemplating it over one more time. By 8:45, I was on the road. By 1 p.m., I was at a Chic-Fil-A drive-thru in Delaware. Some 40 minutes later, I was taking a selfie in front of one of Firefly’s seven stages.
Throughout the gorgeous, sunny day, I saw several great bands, talked to many people I had never met before, and enjoyed the privileges that my free media ticket allowed me — not only free entry, but access to the VIP areas and Super VIP areas, which contained an open bar and free massages. Ayoo!
But I didn’t realize how convenient the timing was. What happened in Orlando hurt. I haven’t felt completely right since that day. I also mentioned how disappointed I felt with how some people in the country were reacting to it.
Well, spending the day in the woodlands at Firefly, surrounded by tens of thousands of people simply enjoying life amongst their friends and a whole bunch of live music, you’d never know that there is any hate that exists at all in this country.
It was a beautiful reminder of how wonderful we can be when we’re all together and simply living in the moment.
And just when I thought the day couldn’t get more perfect, I decided during my drive home overnight to listen to exclusively Taylor Swift on my iPod. It amounted to 43 songs in a row. And you’re damn right I sang my heart out.
The culminating memory was the piece of advice I received from my friend that Friday afternoon, who I’d potentially be meeting at Firefly, when I shared with him my spontaneous idea to drive down to meet him the following day.
“Don’t think, just do.”
Take that one to the bank, kids.