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Forums > Social Discussion > rituals in the modern world: festivals/concerts/free parties

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sunbeam
SILVER Member since Nov 2001

sunbeam

old hand
Location: Madrid

Total posts: 1032
Posted:hello people. wave I am doing a project in Anthropology, in a unit called Ritual and Belief. Our theme is rituals in the modern world and we have chosen to focus on Festivals, Concerts and Raves/Free parties; as rituals in themselves and more specifically on the rituals that they involve.

I dont want to lead discussion too much; I am interested in your own opinions. But if you could answer any or all of these questions and/or add your own comments/thoughts I would be really grateful for your input.

1) Please state which of the following you go to or have been to: festivals, concerts, raves/outdoor parties.

2) Was your first attendance at one or all of these events a particularly special experience? What was memorable about it? Did it change any aspect of your day-to-day life?

3) Why do you choose to attend these events? If you do not attend them, why do you choose not to? (please answer seperately for each category ie. festivals/concerts/raves or parties)

4) Would you consider them to be rituals? Please explain.

5) What (music) scenes/subcultures do you identify with (if any)?

6) Do you feel that these events have an influence on your identity on
a) an individual level
b) a collective level
Please explain your answer.

7) Please provide some descriptive words (feelings etc.)that you associate with the followings stages of each event
a) before/at the beginning b) during c) at the end/afterwards

8) Are there any beliefs/values that you associate with these type of events?

9) Can you describe any of the rituals that people participate in at a a)festival b) concert c) free party/rave

10) Are there any things you have done/do at one of these events which you would not usually do in your "normal life".

Please add any further comments/questions.

I am really looking forward to reading your responses. Thank you in advance for your ideas.

*Disclaimer: this is not a cunning ploy to try to get HoPpers to do my coursework for me. Anthropologists are interested in the meanings that individuals attach to their own worlds, and I am not wasting time on HoP I am doing fieldwork... just so you know ubbangel


"I don't take drugs. I am drugs" - Salvador Dali

sunny

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Posted:1) Please state which of the following you go to or have been to: festivals, concerts, raves/outdoor parties.

Fetivals, raves/free partys, outdoor partys, concerts.

2) Was your first attendance at one or all of these events a particularly special experience?

My first rave was exciting. It was in a warehouse not far from where i live and i remember watching people spinning glowsticks and being so high and I thought wow.

3) Why do you choose to attend these events? If you do not attend them, why do you choose not to? (please answer Festivals are alot like how i wish i could live, especially festivals such as Boom festival where its one large friendly gathering all there to experience things.
Concerts I go to for the gigs themselves
and free partys i go to to dance, be high, meet people.

4) Would you consider them to be rituals? Please explain.

Erm...I'll have to think more about this one

5) What (music) scenes/subcultures do you identify with (if any)?

Vaguely the hippy movement, but then I think someone should shoot me for even suggesting that as really I am sure someone from that era would tell me i knew nothing of what it was really about. I am into the local head scene and into the local rave scene.

6) Do you feel that these events have an influence on your identity on
a) an individual level
b) a collective level
Please explain your answer.

I feel both.again i am going to have to come back to this on a later date. I feel to tired to give a detailed answer.

7) Please provide some descriptive words (feelings etc.)that you associate with the followings stages of each event
a) before/at the beginning -> excitement and nervousness
b) during abit of anxiety, but mostly intense happyness

c) at the end/afterwards--> empty yet complete :-S

8) Are there any beliefs/values that you associate with these type of events? Things such as boom festival have a lot of beliefs and values....being eco friendly

9) Can you describe any of the rituals that people participate in at a a)festival b) concert c) free party/rave
yes but not right now. I am so tired..I just can't sleep :-(
10) Are there any things you have done/do at one of these events which you would not usually do in your "normal life".

nope....except strip to my underpants in full veiw of people to get changed becuase its to hot to be in the tent for a min ubblol


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sunbeam
SILVER Member since Nov 2001

sunbeam

old hand
Location: Madrid

Total posts: 1032
Posted:Thanks for your answers KaiyaLeaves, but my dissertation has been handed in. Thanks again to anyone who helped and please message me your email address if you want a copy emailed to you...

smile


"I don't take drugs. I am drugs" - Salvador Dali

sunny

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:we call free parties in australia 'doofs'
as in "yes mr officer, i did a poo in the doof"


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:the term "rave" has fallen out of fasion over here in the UK now. it seems the drunken idiots in town centers and all the fleuro clubby people have now started to flood the scene and are causing a huge rift.

the drunken idiots struck this weekend at one such outdoor party, a police car broke down at the entrance and was abandonded by the officer..........5mins later some TWAT with an empty box of stella (beer) comes up and........well here's the video




WE DO NOT WANT PEOPLE LIKE THIS AT OUR PARTYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i'm slowly getting less and less interested in free partys due to idiots like this these days and the fluro massive's constant moaning "why don't they play funky house?" angry

now a days i spend 12 months with a team planning a 3 day festival but the job perks make up for it,getting sent to other festivals on business for free aint bad wink


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theCaitiff


newbie


Total posts: 16
Posted:1) Please state which of the following you go to or have been to: festivals, concerts, raves/outdoor parties.

I don't do raves but I'm into the rest of them, from just the small neighborhood parties to the major events of my city. For the past fifteen years I've lived in the Tampa Bay area of Florida which means there are five or six major festivals every year. Guavaween is Tampa's Halloween street festival and is a completely wild blast. Gasparilla is our annual pirate invasion, something like Carnival or Mardi Gras but with guns, swords, and gold. Then two weeks later there's the Knights of Saint Yago festival, which is the "after dark" aspects of Carnival and Mardi Gras (very "adult" and NOT a family event). Ren-fest comes in March. Florida is the Spring Break capital of America so that season boasts it's share of concerts and events. Summer time... Florida blows up every summer and there is always something for everyone. Of special interest are "Hurricane Parties" which are a special type of free party never scheduled (can't predict Hurricanes too well), but are a central part of Florida culture (to the natives, not the imports or tourists).

2) Was your first attendance at one or all of these events a particularly special experience? What was memorable about it? Did it change any aspect of your day-to-day life?

I don't know if any event has changed my day to day life, but I have to say that my first real hurricane party shattered my world view. I was first allowed to participate at one when I was twelve years old. I was with my father, brother and cousin on a small boat in the Bahamas when a Hurricane blew up. By the time it got to us it was a category three storm and we knew we couldn't outrun it. So everyone on the island did what they could to prepare and went to the local pub (right on the edge of the water) to throw a party. The atmosphere was both a grim acceptance of what was to come and a raucous reaffirmation of life. The only thing I can think of to properly describe it is "la danse macabre," or perhaps "eat, drink and be merry, for tommorrow we die." We stayed in that bar as the tide washed over the door jamb and soaked our feet. Hours later the eye of the storm passed over us and everyone let out a cheer. We were half way through...

Much more so than the alcohol (which even I was being served, laws don't count when hurricanes destroy the town), the very atmosphere and comradery was intoxicating. In that time, in that moment, no matter who we were and where we were from, we were all brothers. We were family and though the storm may destroy every thing we worked for, we would stand together and rebuild.

3) Why do you choose to attend these events? If you do not attend them, why do you choose not to? (please answer seperately for each category ie. festivals/concerts/raves or parties)

I'll answer for every category but the Hurricane parties as one because it's the same answer all around. I attend because they energise people. They pump you up, make your heart pound, you blood burn, and your spirit sing. A good party is a spiritual thing!

Hurricane parties are a whole other experience, they're part of what it means to be a "true" child of the sea. A lot of folks live near the coast in the regions prone to get hurricanes, most of them turn tale and run the moment a storm forms and heads their way. Those of us who were born and raised for it however have a different approach. You've seen us on TV, as the weather man is leaning against the wind and telling everyone in Chicago how bad the storm is, we're that "crazy" guy in the background carrying groceries home from a beer run. Don't you ever wonder what was so important he went out in the storm to get or what store was still open? I know the answer...

Those are the people who hold hurricane parties. But it's not just a party, they are more spiritual for some than a christmas mass. It is life, it is death, creation and destruction, it is Heaven and it is Hell. You may despise your neighbors 364 days of the year, but during that one night you share locked in a sturdy room, he is blood of your blood and flesh of your flesh. He is your family and you know that what is yours is his and vice versa. I've seen years long feuds settled while the world goes to hell outside, because in that moment nothing else matters.

4) Would you consider them to be rituals? Please explain.

Hell yes they are rituals. Even the more mundane parties and festivals are rituals. However they are free form rituals and never happen the same way twice. Indeed that makes them all the more powerful as a ritual observance. People attend street festivals and free parties to cut loose and have a good time. The very chaotic nature of a party ensures their success. If every festival year after year contained the same music, the same entertainment, and the same people, it would lose it's shine.

5) What (music) scenes/subcultures do you identify with (if any)?

I don't really stereotype myself too much but I would have to say I can most closely identify with the country music scene. After that probably equal parts Latin/calypso/island music and modern rap (not hip hop, but rap like Sage Francis, Brother Ali, Akira the Don, Bubba Sparxx, and others).

I also loosely identify with metal and classical music. To me, nature is a symphony. Every bolt of lightning a clash of cymbals, every clap of thunder a kick from the bass drum or roll of timpani... Heavy metal and classical music (especially from the Baroque period) are the world that I live in while country, island, and rap are the story of my life.

6) Do you feel that these events have an influence on your identity on
a) an individual level
b) a collective level
Please explain your answer.

YES to both. On a personal level, I learn alot about myself at festivals, parties, and concerts. When you drop the mask and unleash your true self you can sometimes discover great truth. To me dancing, singing, drinking, and partying at a festival is a release. It is every bit as powerful as meditation as everything I use to define myself to the outer world falls away. I drop my airs and pretenses and let the moment move me. I am a different person at a party than I am anywhere else, and if we're being truthful I am more "true" at that time as well. That is the inner me, free from everything and everyone. That is just Andrew...

On a collective level, festivals and parties tie a community together. You meet with other like minded people and form connections. When I participate in something like Tampa's Gasparilla festival, I am making a statement not only that I am a part of this city, but that I like what makes it great. The same applies to smaller neighborhood parties or even Hurricane parties. People come together and bond to say "WE are this community. This is our time and our place!"

7) Please provide some descriptive words (feelings etc.)that you associate with the followings stages of each event
a) before/at the beginning b) during c) at the end/afterwards

a) anticipation, excitement, thrilling
b) joy, euphoria, release, comradery, invincibility, immortality
c) contentment, belonging, community, peace, (sometimes) hungover

8) Are there any beliefs/values that you associate with these type of events?

Not particularly, but there are a few loose connections worth mentioning. Gasparilla and Saint Yago's are our ties to the Carnival season. They are expressions of hedonism, excess, and "living large". It is not so much a belief or value attached to them but a lack of values that is only acceptable as part of this celebration.

9) Can you describe any of the rituals that people participate in at a a)festival b) concert c) free party/rave

I think it's best summed up as "sex, drugs, rock and roll". The "drugs" component may be alcohol, tobacco, caffiene, or any number of illegal drugs but that really isn't the point. It could be sugar for all that it really matters. People celebrate by getting in touch with that part that wants to sing, to dance, to satisfy fleshly desires, and maybe to indulge in some excess.

Even children follow this loose formula, though differently. They each sweet sugary desserts, sing silly songs, dance in the streets, and meet brand new "best friends".

A party is about indulgence.

10) Are there any things you have done/do at one of these events which you would not usually do in your "normal life".

Yes. Like I mentioned earlier I am a completely different person at a festival than I am anywhere else. In my "normal life" I am a mechanical engineer. I live, breath and bleed certifiable facts and figures. If the "human element" enters my job at all it's as a "fudge factor" when calculating budgets, accident rates, or quality control. When I go home in the evening, I don't really want to deal with people. People require consideration, politeness, and occasionally more work. Instead I just want a meal and a good book or music.

At a party however, none of that matters. If I accidentally offend someone, it's an easy fix. There's no such thing as etiquette and everyone is just looking to have a good time. We can celebrate the ineffable and unseen while we revel in excess. Want to make a new friend? Bring them a drink and introduce yourself. You don't need a reason or common ground, you're both at a party! All of the constraints that smother us in day to day life drop away for a few short hours and life is good. Of course that changes a person.


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theCaitiff


newbie


Total posts: 16
Posted:Whoops, missed the fact that it was an old thread and you'd already done the work.

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:here's a link to a gallery of outdoor psychedelic trance parties in Vic, Australia smile

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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