The Mishaps of a First-Time Music Festival Goer

This year, I finally decided it was time for me to attend my first music festival. Now if you don’t know, most music festivals are far and expensive. Luckily, there is a music festival not too far away from Orlando. Music Midtown is a festival in Atlanta, Georgia which is only about 6 and a half hours away from UCF. The lineup this past year was killer, and with a 2-day general admission ticket price of $155, I was sold.

Although I had gone to Warped Tour for many years, it’s not a multi-day festival, so Music Midtown would be my first. Since I had been to Warped, which you could consider a mini-festival, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, but boy was I wrong! Here are just some of the realities I faced while at my first festival.

Not everyone is nice

I went into this experience thinking everyone would be extremely nice. I had heard stories about Bonnaroo and how people you don’t know would come up to you and say “Happy Roo.” At Warped Tour, everyone was always willing to offer a helping hand and engage in conversation with you. But at Music Midtown, the people were a little different. I did have a few positive encounters, one during lovelytheband’s set when me and another girl bonded over the fact that we knew the lyrics to every song. Mostly though, I found that many of the people were just plain rude. There were people cursing at one another, lots of people yelling at others for their spot in the crowd being a “walkway,” and people pushing you aside (almost knocking you over) to get to where they needed to go without as much as a "sorry" or "excuse me."

There’s nothing to do

I’m used to Warped Tour where there were countless non-profit organization booths to visit. Each booth had a different activity and tons of information to give. I know that all music festivals have sponsors, even if they are limited, so I thought I could check out the activations during my downtime. Unfortunately, there were only about 3 sponsor booths that had actual activities and a Ferris wheel that cost more than most would be willing to pay. So instead, my group and I just spent time taking pictures and aimlessly walking around until the next set.

There’s a lot of waiting

This kind of goes along with my last point, but there’s a ton of waiting. Festivals have thousands in attendance, so if you want a good view of the performer on stage, you’re going to have to get there early. This means sitting in the sun for at least 30 minutes before the artist actually goes on. If you want to see one of the headliners, it’s more like an hour. My friend and I got to Post Malone 45 minutes early and couldn’t see a thing, not even the screens. If you want food, budget in 30 minutes at the minimum. Need to use the bathroom? Budget in 15 minutes of waiting or go during an off time.

Overall, I would say I had a decent first music festival experience. Not everything was bad. I got some great pictures, the sets were long, and the food was amazing. I definitely think this is a good starter festival, especially if you’ve never been to any type of festival in the past. Here’s to next summer when the next festival season begins!

All images provided by the author.