Last Thursday my best friend Chris and I left New York City for our much anticipated trip to the Peach State. A weekend of partying, live music and good eats, we had a roller coaster of adventure, some, not so great.
Music Midtown Festival took place this past weekend at Piedmont Park and let me first start this post out by saying that Atlanta and the park itself are absolutely beautiful. I don’t think I have been to a more eye-catching city thus far in my life. I mean, New York City is New York City, but for me, the visual appeal in Atlanta almost has the Big Apple rivaled.
On the Jackson Street Bridge. Any Walking Dead fans out there?
We walked around Peachstreet Street for some time before going to Rooftop 866 for drinks on, you guessed it, the roof. The friendliness of the staff was a welcome experience. Now with the weather in New England getting into the low 50’s at night, the occasional chilly breeze over a warm evening air was everything I could have wanted after a day of travel and not much sleep… and in conjunction with the half cup of whiskey our bartender poured us as a shot, it was damn near euphoric.
That takes me to Music Midtown.
I have never encountered a more rude group of young people at any music show or festival in my life. Although this has happened before, I was surprised at how much worse people have gotten since then.
As huge John Mayer fans, we got to his show as soon as Run DMC exited the stage. Trying to get to the front was near impossible as people were screaming at anyone who dared to come within two feet of them and their friends. Once we retreated back, because I couldn’t even get the beer can up to my mouth without having to distort my body in some way, we found temporary solace. Just as I began to enjoy my little 2×4 spot by the rail, I was heckled by a group of teenagers behind me for sitting down. How would standing increase their position in any way was beyond me, so I just kept my seat.
Still almost an hour until John Mayer went on, Chris went to the bathroom. Upon return, he was met by a human barricade led by girls no older than 18 years-old who cussed at him to go around the entire venue to get back to me. They had recruited an army of equally rude “fans” to refuse clearing a passageway back to me. Eventually, I had to pull Chris by the arm and rip him to me.
Even at Bonnaroo, a festival that annually draws over 80,000 people of all ages, I have never witnessed hatred and immaturity to such an extreme extent.
Girls passing out left and right from who knows what… drugs, I’m assuming. One after the other. Girls crying because their friends passed out, guys screaming at the girls who passed out.
Just a note: the flower headband was popular in the 60s at festivals like Woodstock, and were made with real flowers stitched into organic materials, like hemp.
Also, if you’re flashing a peace sign for the camera in front of Lana Del Rey on the stage behind you, don’t proceed to punch the girl next to you twenty minutes later. Yes, that happened.
Nevertheless, it was an eye-opening experience. Why are young people acting like this? Where exactly is the love that they claim they are sharing in via Instagram caption? And what are the intentions of the boys provoking them? It will be a sad day when music festivals are nothing but an accessory for most, right alongside their flower headbands, peace signs and Fireball whiskey.
Maybe I’m jaded because I’m three years from thirty. But, maybe I’m just seeing clearly now because I’m three years from thirty.
Act right! Be kind! Make friends! It’s so much more fun than being a bully to complete strangers.