Whether you’re a spectator or an organiser, the result is always the same—no soon are it’s doors closed that you’re thinking of the next event.
Yes, it’s true, festivals are fashionable, and not because the concept in itself suggests something original but rather because we have always felt an irrational pleasure in jumping and sweating alongside people like ourselves, living each moment as if it were the last.
They say that people saw the experience coming, although frankly, as far as I’m concerned, I must say I had no idea. Only now, looking back, am I aware of when it all began, for me at least. It was the early nineties and my parents had gone on holiday, leaving me with what was then considered a genuine treasure: the keys to the house. Of course, I decided to share this first great victory for all teenagers with my friends and organised the great party.
All the preparations were completely under my responsibility and supervision. I decided to charge an entrance fee to buy the drinks and pay the DJs—then known as ‘disc jockey’, and I set up a huge communication network—now known as ‘social media’, among all those friends who, despite not being able to afford the entrance fee, at least promised to bring more people along. The great feat was under control of course. And yet, with everything set, the inevitable happened when my parents returned without warning, an unforeseen event that had to be solved if we didn’t want all our efforts to be sacrificed. I must say that the party was memorable, just as—if not more than, my deportation to the dark ages of punishment.
Be that as it may, since that very first time I’ve continued to attend events and festivals, and, funnily enough, what began as a hobby ended up becoming a commitment and is currently my profession.
Consequently, I think I can speak from both sides of the fence, from the experience I have accumulated as both spectator and organiser. As a spectator, I have certainly felt such instances of euphoria and I’ve held on to them as if they were my last breath. As an organiser, I have indeed experienced unique moments: the speed at which everything is happening increases as we draw close to the opening date, the day on which there is no turning back, when we clench our fists and tense our knuckles. Let the show begin, which means watching audiences have a good time and enjoy what you’ve organised for them.
Perhaps the toughest part of this cathartic mirage is that after burning as many calories as if you were taking part in a triathlon, after months of expectations and doubts as to whether this or that was right, after just over forty-eight hours, it’s all over and all that’s left is a strange sense of emptiness … In any event, all ills have remedies and in this case my answer is to start thinking of the next event.