When Woodstock took place, it was the largest music festival of all time. Organizers expected about 50,000 people, but two days before the festival they had already sold 100,000 tickets. By the end of the three days, it was estimated that the festival had a million attendees.
One million attendees.
People have come together to listen to music for centuries. It's one of the most human activities of all--a celebration of life, a declaration of joy, something to do just for the sheer elation of it all.
But concerts and music festivals are more than just a nice thing to do; they're also big business. It's estimated that by 2022, live music will be a $30B+ industry. And Millennials are a big driver of that. According to Eventbrite:
• 29 percent of Millennials attended a music festival in 2017 (up from 17 percent in 2014)
• 84 percent of Millennials attend festivals to escape the daily grind
• 81 percent of Millennials attend festivals specifically to engage with a like-minded community
In other words, Millennials go to festivals in droves to get away from daily life and connect with other adventurous, openminded people. The music is just a bonus.
There's nothing quite like taking a few days to get into a completely different headspace to help you reevaluate how life is going. When you're around beautiful soundscapes, lovely natural environments, and other people equally as high on life, you feel filled up. And when you come back to daily life and work, you do so rejuvenated.
If you're not ready to brave the stupefyingly challenging conditions of Burning Man, here are seven alternatives to it that are arguably even better:
Where: Bahia, Brazil
When: December 27, 2019 - January 3, 2020
How many people: ~3,000
Cost: ~$194 (student price) - ~$389
Looking for a gorgeous, creative, and unique way to ring in the new year? When it comes to festivals, Universo Paralello, held on the lovely beaches of Bahia, is on the smaller and longer side. So you'll make good friends with whom you can spend quality time, enjoying high-quality EDM while you swim in the warm, Brazilian ocean (remember that in the southern hemisphere, December is the beginning of summer).
Where: Near Auckland, New Zealand
When: February 21-23, 2020
Cost: $245-355 (tiered)
How many people: ~8,000
"[J]oin this mindful tribe of party animals," encourages Splore, a unique art and music festival held on the beach in Tapapakanga Park (outside Auckland). It includes a dedicated Kids Zone, dynamic visual arts, and a whole variety of interesting workshops and forums. The focus is on harmony with nature and connection with the tribe of humanity of which we all form a part.
Where: Santa Barbara, USA
When: April 10-12, 2020
How many people: ~7,000
Lucidity is a transformational experience with live music, DJs, dancers, art, vendors selling sustainable goods, all set against a beautiful background at the Live Oak Campground. The festival features seven different "villages," each of which has its own theme. Lucidity is about freedom of expression balanced with a celebration of nature and connection.
Where: Tankwa, South Africa
When: April 27-May 3, 2020
How many people: ~11,000
Cost: ~$180 (R2,700)
Very much a sister event to Burning Man, Afrikaburn describes itself as "the spectacular result of the creative expression of participants who gather ... to create a temporary city of art, theme camps, costume, music and performance!"
Like Burning Man, Afrikaburn eschews vendors, so you've got to pack in all your food and drink.
Where: Rothbury, Michigan
When: June, 2020 (exact dates TBD)
How many people: ~45,000
Cost: ~$175 (general admission); $75 (individual day pass)
If you love bigger festivals, EDM, and jam bands, you'll adore Electric Forest. It's a beautiful forest festival complete with a lake and a waterpark. Bring lots of neon.
6. Ozora (aka O.Z.O.R.A.)
Where: Near Budapest, Hungary
When: July, 2020
How many people: ~35,000
Cost: ~$185 (€170)
Ozora was founded in 1999 and has grown into "one of the most influential psychedelic trance festivals in the world." Held on a huge tract of land that has desert-like spots as well as lush forest, it's well-known in Europe, and draws a diverse crowd from all over the world.