We all know those people. You know, the ones who hear that you’re seeing an artist at the main stage of a festival you are attending and respond with some sort of moan, groan, or snarky comeback. Every rave family has some sort of population of these people. These are the main stage haters, and they are a dedicated and loyal group that are hard shells to crack.
The symptoms of a main stage cynic are pretty apparent. When you’re comparing festival schedules their lists are filled with names you’ve never heard of, and when you bring that up they snipe back with a comment about how they’re so much better than anyone at main stage. Or the slightest mention of someone named Skrillex, Garrix, Tiesto, etcetera beam such a strong stare of judgment that it literally pierces the inner fibers of your soul.
I am not one to bash another’s musical interests. As someone who enjoys venturing outside the norms of EDM into the realms of other genres, I am in no place to dare judge a fellow EDM head on their preferences. In fact, festivals are the last place where judging and scathing should be prominent, at least in my opinion.
Everyone is different, which is one of the finest components of the EDM culture. We all have our likes and dislikes that are unique to ourselves and in a sense can portray a piece of our individuality onto the world, even if it is ever so slight.
Which is why I am about to make a confession.My name is Derek Lavezzo, and I love the main stage.
I am not ashamed of this admittance, but rather I feel it should be celebrated. We all know those people who secretly love the main stage, but are too fearful to express their feelings for fear of backlash or changing of perceived persona amongst their friends. Let’s be real, whenever you are in a group of hardcore dance music fans, the main stage is usually the furthest thing from their minds and any mention of such blasphemy is met with either a grand roasting or silent disdain.
So, here I ask, what is so wrong with loving the main stage? Why should there be a stigma attached to the desire to be at the main stage? Why should I fear admitting that I enjoy the music of some of the biggest names in EDM today?
In my humble opinion, if I am going to drain my bank account to the deepest caveats of dehydration to attend a festival, you can bet I am going to take advantage and see some of the biggest names in the game. Those names cost an absurd amount of money when they have their tours or club shows, so why not enjoy them while you can?
Though I thoroughly enjoy seeing the lesser known acts on the more intimate stages at these festivals, the reality is a lot of those artists tour regularly and at a lesser expense than the more recognizable names. Also, festivals put so much thought and creativity into stage setups, I want to see the grandiose stages equally as much as the smaller stages.
The main stage is the central point of any festival. It’s the most lush and lavish stage in the entire festival and is jam packed with acts that normally only come to your city once per year; and even that is a lofty number for most cities. The artists are big, the effects are gargantuan, and the entire aura is over-the-top. The main stage is a wondrous entity that rarely disappoints, and its very nature alone adds another layer to the performance of whoever is playing there.
I do love me some NGHTMRE, Brilz, Milo & Otis, and Henry Fong. But I also love me some Kaskade, Calvin Harris, Axwell ^ Ingrossio, and Hardwell. What’s so wrong with sprinkling a little bit of both throughout your festival experience?
So, to all of you main stage junkies like myself, do not be afraid to shout it from the rooftops. Do not fear the inevitable judgement from your peers, but rather let it go in one ear and out the other and use their negativity to fuel your good times at the main stage. The main stage is nothing to be embarrassed about, so let your flag fly high and enjoy yourself.
And to you that judge and appall said main stage lovers, just remember the basis for which EDM was founded on. This is not a place for negativity and bashing, but rather love and understanding. Do you have to agree with their choices in stages and music? Absolutely not. But you do not have to make snarky remarks and make your fellow ravers feel inadequate and embarrassed for their preferences? Not by any means. Support your fellow friends and family, and never bring them down.
That is my decree to all of you out there. Embrace what you love, never be ashamed to share your interests, and radiate only positivity to your fellow festival-goers so you all have an equal amount of fun. That’s what it’s all about anyway, right?
From my first festival experience at Buku 2013 I have been a nonstop part of the EDM community and love every aspect of it. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and it's what I love to do, so music + writing is the perfect combination for me.