It’s the inevitable thumping in your lungs from the bass. It’s the uncontrollable smile that appears across your face. It’s the lyrics to all your favorite songs, and losing your voice by the morning from screaming all of them. It’s the new band you discovered, that you see on Billboard’s charts in five months. It’s the friends you make by complaining about the heat or making bets on the set list. It’s the fact that once the group takes the stage, the sweltering heat becomes irrelevant. It’s festival season.

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The first real music festival I attended was Lollapalooza 2013. I saw Vampire Weekend, Two Door Cinema Club, Wavves, Palma Violets, Knife Party, The Vaccines, Grizzly Bear, Half Moon Run, Major Lazer, Alt-J, Skaters, and many more — all in one day. That was when I discovered the magic of the music festival. I had never seen so many bands or portapotties  in one day nor had I realized what I was getting myself into. I was only 13. This was the start of annual pilgrimages to Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Chicago.
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By August of 2014, I had experienced a total of three music festivals: Lollapalooza twice, and New York City’s main well-rounded show, the Governors Ball. This festival had two requirements of walking across the footbridge and having less personal space than I had ever experienced; but then again, I guess that’s what happens third row at an Outkast reunion set.
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Whether one goes to a festival with a highlighted schedule knowing when their favorite band is on, never leaves the EDM stage, camps out in the scalding heat waiting for their headliner-idol to step foot in front of them in eight hours, sticks to the “discovery” stages for smaller bands, or just enjoys the atmosphere of thousands of happy people nodding their heads in unison to the 808 beat, festival season is made for everyone. And on that note, let the games begin.