Student combats drug stigma associated with music festivals

Photo courtesy of WikimediaCommons
VIEW OF the Electrobeach electronic music festival in France

Commentary by

Arianna Berardi

There is an awful stigma associated with dance music and their festivals that drugs are just everywhere.  People are high and cannot comprehend where they are or what they are doing. While like any place in the world there are people who do, there are way more people who don’t.  Dance music and the festivals they bring around are incredible, and they foster incredible experiences and memories … without the consumption of drugs.

Music is a magical entity all on its own. Especially dance music because its sole purpose is to make people dance. Music festivals are supposed to be a free place filled with light, acceptance and love. People think of dance music and immediately think of all the negative stereotypes that surround such a concept. What people do not know and are so close minded about is that “raves” and festivals are a place to be yourself. You can be yourself without worrying about getting judged.

These festivals are not there to condone drug use, they are there to celebrate the art of music and people who love it. They were created for crowds of people deemed “outcasts” or “different” to go to a place that has no judgement and to feel accepted. These festivals are supposed to be a giant party where people where people can be themselves without judgement, and just listen to music and dance freely.

Dance music, raves and festivals are supposed to be a scene for people to be colorful and creative. The crowd, which is mixed of different people paired with the music, is supposed to create the ultimate scene of people. But for the few that do drugs at the events and go a little too hard and end up making headlines, ruin the entire vision of the culture. The few that make the headlines for the negative effects and use of drugs overshadow all the people that radiate love for the music and acceptance of the crowd.

It is heartbreaking that such a small group can tarnish and maybe ruin (in the eyes of some) the reputation of such an incredible culture. For those who have never been to a festival, take it from someone who has been to so many. The people who genuinely want to be there for the culture, not for the mainstream aspect of it, are some of the most incredible people you could ever meet.  They are the people that music speaks to. Whether it is lyrics or a beat, it’s a judgement-free dance party. The lights in the show transport you to a new world. It’s almost as if you’re in a bubble where nothing bad could happen.

Dance festivals are magical places where you are more than welcome to be yourself. A place where you are encouraged to dance like nobody is watching. Full of people who just want to have fun and enjoy the music that is playing. The few that do drugs and go a little too hard may tarnish the reputation of these wonderful events a little, but the lasers from the stage shine a little light for us all. For those who are willing to venture into these festivals, be prepared to enter an experience of a lifetime. A truly special experience that you have to go through on your own to fully fathom the magic they bring into your life and the place they will forever hold in your heart.

Interested in writing for the forum? Email the editor: sergio.caceres@scranton.edu

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