Christina Zavaleta (CW), Julian Medranda (SSW)

The cornerstone of youthful energy and vibrance, a vivid display of art and soul in an open, outdoor venue, an extended period of time dedicated to one thing and one thing only: Letting loose and losing yourself in the music. Music festivals — simply put — are amazing. Or can be amazing, if you take the right precautions and don’t chug an entire bottle of whiskey before the concert even starts. After all, turning up can be fun, to a degree, but being too lit to the point where you can’t stand can defeat the purpose of appreciating the music and the ambience of a music festival entirely. So in spirit of ASPB’s end-of-the-year music festival, Spring Splash, coming up this Saturday, May 6, two Highlander writers offered their most memorable music fest moments as well as some tips on staying energized (and most importantly, conscious!) on turn-up day.

Christina Zavaleta, CW Julian Medranda, SSW
  1. To you, what is the difference between a “music festival” and a “concert?”
A music festival is an all-day event where various artists perform on different stages throughout, whereas a concert is a single-staged event headlining one band or artist with some openers. But festivals seem like something you can get more of a bang for your buck from for obvious reasons. I mean, by definition, a music festival is an assortment of musicians as opposed to a headliner and some openers. Also means I’m saving some cash.
2. Imagine you’re at a thrift store looking for a music festival outfit: What would you buy? I generally throw an outfit together with my friends, usually things I can get from my closet and their closets. If that counts as thrifting. I’m not trying to spend any more money than I need to. I don’t buy clothes specifically for events unless they’re themed. So whatever I think looks cool.
3. How do you prepare for music festivals the day of? Get a good night’s sleep, eat, shower and get ready while listening to music from the artists who will be at the festival. Eat, hydrate, get lots of sleep and listen to whoever it is I wanna peep.
4. Favorite music festival memory? I got separated from my friends and ended up vibing with one girl in the same situation. We looked after each other and had lots of fun, and we ended up getting called onto the stage so joke’s on our friends for abandoning us both. Throwing up at Beach Goth 2015 and When We Were Young because I didn’t want to spend money on food or water but wanted to be in every pit.
5. Are they only worth it if you go with friends? I haven’t ever gone alone, so I can’t say. But I will say that you really do have to go with the right people in order to have a better time. I don’t know, I’ve only gone with my partner. Don’t have any interest in going to one without her.
6. What if you don’t know how to dance … at all? When in doubt, jump. Learn how to cook from Lil B.
7. Nastiest thing you could eat on music festival day? Those bacon-wrapped street hot dogs that are drenched in grease. Sounds good but you can feel the plaque grow in your arteries from the smell alone. Microwaved cheese pizza for like seven bucks.
8. Funniest thing you’ve ever seen at a music festival? People sitting on bleachers perfectly still, trying not to die due to the copious amount of substances they consumed. It’s just so funny, like you know they want to have fun but you can tell they kind of overshot their expectations and end up just concentrating on keeping the world still for the rest of the day. My face after throwing up. And people getting carried out on stretchers.
9. What has been your favorite UCR music festival so far (Block Party, HEAT, Spring Splash) and what year was it in? Spring Splash last year was my favorite because I went with the best people. The most recent HEAT was cool because Post Malone rules.
10. Fist pump or nah? If you’re trying to be a Jersey Shore guido then maybe. Nah. Not even ironically.
11. Things to be aware of to stay safe? Drink water! Especially if you are drinking or smoking, you will get dehydrated faster than you think. And stay with your group or partner — anything could happen so it’s best to have a buddy or be surrounded by people you trust. People taking advantage of yourself or somebody else and any substances that aren’t alcohol or weed.
12. How do you feel after the music festival (ex: sad that it’s over, exhilarated that it happened, tired, etc.)? Very tired and very hungry. But tacos are always a great remedy. Tacos and then sleep. Super tired and excited to talk about my experience with others.
13. Would you be mad if they played Darude’s “Sandstorm” this Saturday at Spring Splash? Yes, you can’t bring back dead memes. Dead meme is dead.
14. How does UCR’s music festivals compare to those off-campus? I can’t really compare them since they aren’t really festivals. Real festivals last all day and night whereas the ones at UCR last the length of a regular concert. But whatever is free is good to me. Well, they aren’t really festivals. But they’re free for us so can’t complain too much.
15. Are music festivals worth it? Definitely! The times that I’ve gone have been so much fun. I know I’ll continue to attend more festivals and enjoy my time as a young adult. Mostly; it’s best to have these experiences while you still can — unless if you’re burning a hole in your wallet, in which case there are more important things in life.