Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza. These are just a few of the biggest music festivals in the U.S. Yes, their lineups are always great and everyone gushes about how much fun they have when they go and the music blogs talk about them for months on end. I have even gone to two of the aforementioned festivals myself. They truly are magical. However, I am never going back!
The truth about music festivals these days is that they are just getting TOO popular. I don’t mean that in a pretentious way, I mean that in a comfort and sanity way. At Lollapalooza, you can hardly move and get close enough to some shows to even hear the band. By the afternoon, Grant Park is so crowded that you have to wait 20 minutes to refill your water and to get anywhere you have to step over hoards or people sitting in the middle of the sidewalks because there is nowhere else to rest. There isn’t enough space for how popular the festival is. Bonnaroo is starting to become that way too. It’s redeeming quality is that you can at least camp and get away for a little while.
I still love music festivals and don’t want to stop going, I’m just setting my sights a little smaller. So small, in fact, that the rest of the country has never heard of it. It’s called Starry Nights and it happens every October in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Now, I’ve complained about Bowling Green in another article, but Starry Nights is one cool thing it offers. It happens in a field about 5 minutes from my house and it is small but continuously growing. What’s great about a small festival is you can always get close enough to see the band, it is hundreds of dollars cheaper and it’s simply pleasant to attend. There is space to roam, camp and just hang out with your friends. At Starry Nights, you don’t have to walk a mile from one stage to another and it’s very likely that the band you just saw perform is going to come stand next to you in the crowd later to watch other bands.
If you’re a music festival lover and tired of the giant crowds and the ridiculous ticket prices, try looking a little closer to home. There are plenty of smaller festivals from state to state that don’t get national recognition. However, this is where you’ll find your own Starry Nights.