Festival Besties: How Music Festivals Help Us Make Lasting Connections

Music festivals aren’t just a place for people to go out and misbehave – they’re a place where genuine human connections and long lasting relationships are formed. They are an integral part of many people’s social fabrics – especially when it comes to Gen Y and Z.

There’s this idea that’s frequently bandied about, that millennials spend most of their time interacting with the world through screens. But the popularity of music festivals, with their heaving crowds of humanity, provides a counterpoint. In fact, music festivals could be helping us to foster some of the most important relationships in our lives.

We LOVE festivals

Their popularity is showing no signs of slowing down – according to research from Eventbrite, the world’s largest event technology company, live music consumption in Australia is on the rise. The live music sector is seeing continued growth, in terms of attendance for both gigs and music festivals, with a 42% rise in revenue from live performances.

With the demand for and popularity of live music events increasing year on year, it’s no surprise the festival scene continues to grow in Australia. More than a quarter of respondents (26%) have been to a small festival, and over a fifth (21%) have been to a large festival at least once in the last year.

Michele Peppler, owner of Project Wake-Up, runs workshops at music events about the importance of festivals in creating a community and making personal connections. She believes they create the perfect environment for connections to bloom.

“They’re one of the most incredible places to meet people who’ll be in your life for years to come. People tend to drop the masks, open up & are more real than they might be in their day-to-day”, Michele says.

We spoke to couples and friends who made a lasting connection at a music festival, to get their real life story of love and friendships.

Molly & TomColorful Fashion Tropical General Photo Book

Molly met her boyfriend Tom at the Yours and Owls music festival after her best friend spotted him in the mosh pit and thought he was ‘hot.’ Like all good best friends, she soon realised there was more chemistry been Molly and Tom, and stepped aside to let their romance bloom.

They’ve been together for about 5 months, have been to two more music festivals together, and just took their first overseas trip as a couple to Bali.

On meeting Tom, Molly said “If he wasn’t wearing a shirt decorated with pineapples, and wearing his sunglasses upside down on his face, I probably wouldn’t have noticed him. Music Festivals are the highlights of our year now. We try to go to as many together as possible, and meet as many new people as we can. You just never know who you will meet at music festivals, I’m sure glad I met this guy.”

Theresa and Lee

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Theresa and Lee are best friends from different parts of the world – the USA and Israel – who met each other at a festival in Australia. They met at Confest on the Victorian/New South Wales border and their friendship blossomed from there.

On their enduring friendship, Theresa said “An Israeli and an American walked into a festival in the Australian bush and that’s how I met my best friend in Melbourne, Lee.”

“She began talking to one of my friends at Confest, a hippie camping festival in NSW, and the next thing I know invited me to attend an event called the Spontaneous Choir,” explains Lee. “Back in civilisation, we’ve continued our friendship with an annual Chrismukkah party (Christmas and Hannukah) that combines our two cultures.”

Kim and Joel

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It was wedding bells and a family in the future for Kim and Joel, a couple from New South Wales, who are now married with children after meeting at a festival. Joel was in a band and Kim headed to the signing tent at the Byron Bay Blues festival to catch a glimpse of Joel up close after the show.  The rest is history.

Kim said “I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I was clearly meant to venture into the Crossroads tent to escape the rain that day at Bluesfest 2007. My whole world changed forever that day.”