Dartmouth Music Festival
Picture yourself on a boat on the river. Tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Naturally, you upload an unfiltered Instagram because the sky looks sick. You ironically caption “it just sucks to be at summer school #dartmouthmusicfestival #14x #nofilter #live,” so all of your friends back home know you are not actually taking legitimate classes. Somebody calls your phone and you answer it quite slowly because your hands are wet and you can’t slide to unlock. It’s your trippee and she’s screaming at you to get to the Green because Baker Berry is on fire. There’s a giant crowd watching, Bob Dylan is next up to perform and every couple of seconds someone else starts setting off fireworks. Passersby are pelted by water balloons from the Collis porch. Safety and Security has given up on writing people’s names down because they just can’t keep up.
This is what Dartmouth’s first sophomore summer music festival looks like. It may sound a bit overboard, but I’ve carefully researched the topic — I searched the campus blotter from the past few Green Keys, memorized the lyrics of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and consulted both the Wikipedia article on Woodstock and the statuses of my Facebook “friends” who went to Bonnaroo. Let me describe your average day at the Dart-Music Festival.
9:45 a.m. After spending all morning perfecting the “I am not trying to look like I am trying to look like a hipster but I am trying to be a hipster” look, you fill your fanny pack with all sorts of goodies. You pack your Dartmouth ID, your cell phone, a few pieces of gum, a note with your best friend’s number in case your phone dies, a smoke signal and Advil. You hang out in your house, making some scrambled eggs and tater tots as you listen to “Come on Eileen” on loop.
1:00 p.m.Your phone buzzes. It’s your freshman floormate. “COME TO GREEN @NOW. DJ IS AWESOME. hahahahhaha.” Tater tots in one hand, you put on your shades, scramble out of the door and bound to the center of the Green. When you arrive, your group tries to get as close to the stage as possible, but the D.J. is now playing that song with the name that you always forget and people are jamming out. Not trying to throw off their groove, you settle in a spot that has enough space to march in place and wave your hands in the air. You commence dancing.
2:05 p.m.Smoke fills the stage. You hear the beginning of “Feel So Close” and almost start to cry because you feel so close to Calvin Harris right now. You stretch your arms out toward him but he is a good 50 feet away and is on a stage. You must crowd surf. You search for someone near you and ask if he can hoist you up. You decide sitting on his shoulders will suffice.
2:07 p.m.You arrive somewhere by Dartmouth Hall and reach into your fanny pack to call your friends. A few stray tater tots are crusted onto your phone. Nobody answers, so you film the performance until you spot your edgy freshman UGA and her group of friends. You join them and continue dancing.
3:02 p.m.“Summer” starts to play. You look at your new group of friends and shout the lyrics at their faces. You even sing the instrumental parts — it just all seems so relevant as you met these people during the summer and the sky is so blue. As the song is winding down, you walk with the group toward the Collis barbeque. Your 10A professor is sitting on the patio with his children. You consider avoiding them at first, but then decide to over-excitingly smile and wave. Your UGA and her group of friends start to walk away from campus. You don’t know where they’re going, but you can hear music from down the block so you follow. At a large white house, neon lights shine in every direction and hula-hoop dancing people fill the lawn. You are told this is Panarchy #RIP. Someone places a red boa around your neck. You join the wacky dancing — there is no wrong way to dance to this kind of music.
4:29 p.m.You stumble into your roommates. They really want to check out the scene at the Organic Farm and the bus leaves at 4:30 - you run to the bus.
4:37 p.m.A hot new bluegrass band is headlining the farm’s stage. An old lady hands out picnic blankets and corn on the cob. She is literally the best. You make a new Snapchat story #banjo as you listen to the yodelers yodel and the ramblers ramble. You hear the familiar start to “Wagon Wheel” and everyone stands up and starts to sway shoulder and shoulder. God, you love this place, But you have to get back to the BEMA by 5:00 p.m. because the Summerphonics have a sick set lined up.
6:00 p.m.Your freshman roommate blew you away with her solo at the show #facetime. After the show, there is a max exodus. Everyone is walking to FoCo. You are walking to FoCo. There is a line for pizza. You’re exhausted but the day is young so you need a plan. You decide on a quick nap. Then, Gold Coast.
9:00 p.m.Your power nap turned into a short coma, but you arrive at the scene rejuvenated and ready to dance. There’s a string of back-to-back concerts planned and you plan on dancing until your body gives out. You lose all of your worldly possessions at least once but you don’t care because you are very high — on the music — and you realize that everything is right next to you on the ground. You take hundreds of short videos of the bands. You’re doing what makes you happy. That’s what the festival is all about. Don’t force anything, please.
9:36 a.m.Your ears are ringing as you lay in your bed. Your phone finally buzzes to life and you look at the hundreds of crowd pictures and selfies that you took. Someone uploaded the photo an HPo officer escorting you off the stage. Your Instagram has a record number of likes. You strap on your fanny pack and head out for the day’s events. Time for day two.