I went to a 3-day music festival by myself for the first time earlier this month.
I won a weekend pass and thanks to the Revivalists & Beale Street Music Festival I was headed to my first music festival of 2017!…….SOLO.
Now, I’m the first to admit I’m a loner. Sure, I’ve got plenty of friends and healthy relationships, but when it comes down to it this introvert likes her “me-time”. I bet you’re thinking “A music festival isn’t what I would consider an introvert’s idea of a good time bc all the people and crowds and such..” and for some introverts it’s not.
But this one LOVES it.
I can come & go as I please. I get ready on my time, follow my schedule, and do what I want, when I want. I fit into the crowd easily and was able to get up front for 5-6 shows. People kind of adopted me- they noticed I was single and talked to me, laughed & high-fived our awesome taste in music, and made me feel genuinely welcomed and safe in a crowd of thousands of people.
Now for the music- I SAW SO MANY SHOWS. 21 Total. Let’s break it down day-by-day with highlights (and one lowlight at the end – sorry guys!).
DAY #1- Friday May 5, 2017
- Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires – What a fantastic start to the festival. I made it to the rail and basked in Charles’s exuberance. He shimmied across the stage with fresher moves and more stagger than kids half his age. He ended his show by throwing long-stemmed red roses out to members of the crowd. Play on, playa.
- The Strumbellas
- Sum 41- took me back to my angsty teen years. Was kind of hoping Avril would pop out at some point, but that was a long shot.
- Greensky Bluegrass- fun, caught them in St. Louis early this year and was impressed by their modern take on bluegrass. Folksy fun at its finest.
- Grouplove- My favorite performance of the night, with Snoop Dogg being a close second (Charles Bradley up there too). I have many girl crushes when it comes to bands, and I’m going to have to add
- Snoop Dogg- Always a crowd pleaser. He knows his audience and has mastered the act of entertaining and interacting with the crowd. No one has a bad time at a Snoop concert, and the food vendor lines are always packed afterwards.
DAY #2- Saturday May 6, 2017
- Kongos- Brothers who rock together are my bread and butter. Been following them for awhile now, and had the pleasure of meeting them in Columbia a few years ago. They were complete gentlemen in every way, and harmonized impeccably. Also, MAJOR hair envy.
- X Ambassadors- They’ve really upped their game since I saw them on a small stage at Bonnaroo 2015. Between their energy, light show, and overall power of Sam Harris’s voice, their show was one of the most talked about weekend performances.
- The Revivalists- I’d like to thank the Revivalists for this entire experience. I won my weekend pass thanks to their “Song of the Day” contest on Facebook, which made this entire trip possible. I caught them in Columbia this March at the Blue Note, and loved them from start to finish. “Wish I Knew You” was one of my favorite songs performed that weekend, and the crowd definitely agreed.
- Kings of Leon- EPIC. Seeing Kings of Leon was one of the major deciding factors for going to this festival. I get to see a lot of shows, but Kings of Leon is a tough act to track down, and I wasn’t going to miss them. Another brother band that rocks together. *sigh* I met a couple in the crowd who I am groop camping with at Bonnaroo this year (pic below), and together we save a life in our first 15 minutes together. But that’s another story. KOL were amazing, and one of my favorite memories of the weekend. So worth the trip for this show alone.
DAY #3- May 7, 2017
- Ani DiFranco- This was the only set I wished someone was with me. My sister wasn’t able to make the trip with me and is a huge Ani fan. I probably wouldn’t have known who Ani was had it not been for her, and I would have been missing out big time. She is a strong, powerful woman who loves her craft and the crowd she plays for. She is 32 flavors and then some.
- Mayer Hawthorne- Super sexy. I can’t remember much of the show other than I made it to the front row and was convinced he was singing to me most of the songs. Him & Charles Bradley had the best dance moves of the weekend.
- Ziggy Marley- So chill. Just what I needed at the middle of the last day of the festival. I hung back in the crowd for this show, and just soaked up the festival vibes. Ziggy paid tribute to his father, as did most of the crowd throughout the show.
- Tori Kelly
- Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
- Bush- I don’t know how Gavin Rossdale is able to look and sound the same after 20 years but he does it fabulously. Another nostalgic show that brought back memories of younger years. “Swallowed” was my favorite song of the set, which rocked the whole way through.
- Booker T. Jones- Kicked back and listened to a master in the Blues tent. Booker T. makes the kind of music that you HAVE to move to, that your body can’t possibly sit still while listening to. My head shook in appreciation, awe, disbelief, and agreement all within a few moments. He’ll be at Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Columbia this fall and I look forward to seeing him again.
- Soundgarden- Ahhhh this is the hardest one to write. I don’t like to write about the sad stuff, but it can’t be avoided at this one. Bittersweet now that Chris Cornell has passed, taking his own life just 10 days later. Soundgarden was the band I was most looking forward to seeing, being hard to track down (much like Kings of Leon). Being able to witness the greatness of these voices that speak for a generation is one of the reasons I love what I do. Some voices speak to you, and Chris Cornell’s did that, to me and many others. Black Hole Sun dives to a depth most don’t want to, but can’t deny its draw. RIP Chris Cornell.
Girl Out for the World