Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Alcohol and Music Festivals

So I’m finally back!! As amazing as England is, there really is no place like home! There’s SO much I want to write about I have no clue where to start!?

The highlight of my two weeks away had to be seeing Mumford and Sons live on their Stopover in Lewes. For those of you do not know what a Stopover is, it's a music festival organized by Mumford and Sons in order to celebrate the life and activities of small towns that normally never experience such large events. 

Having been to the "raucous" South African Music Festival, Oppikoppi, I thought I was well prepared for anything...I quickly realised that this was not the case. Alcohol was flowing at a rate one would expect at any music festival, but the alcohol seemed to impact the Brits differently to the South Africans. I can honestly say that I've NEVER seen so many fights in such a small area before!! Granted, I've witnessed my fair share of alcohol induced fights at Oppi, but nothing like in Lewes!

It's this alcohol abuse at music festivals that just makes me want to rant!


I must confess here that before I gave my life to Christ, I was this intoxicated person at Oppi I'm busy ranting at now. So I can say with full conviction that it's just dumb and often inconsiderate!

Can people honestly not enjoy the incredible talent of Bear's Den, Johnny Flynn, Edward Sharpe or Mumford and Sons without being intoxicated!? Since when are people incapable of enjoying music without including alcohol?

I arrived at the Stopover early on Saturday morning in order to make sure I got as close to the stage as possible. Mumford and Sons were only scheduled to play at 21:00, so I was in for a looooong wait! Luckily the day's lineup included artists like the one's I mentioned above, so the wait wasn't TOO bad. As the day progressed and the lineup became more and more popular the stage area began to fill up. On numerous occasions I had to stand my ground in order to prevent yet another drunk person from pushing in front of me, saying he was going to see his friend a few rows in front. I can't even count how often someone intoxicated would either push past us, fall into us or start fights next to us!!

It didn't take me long to start wondering what alcohol/drug-free music festivals would be like. Living in South Africa, I haven't had the privilege of going to a Christian Music Festival like Heavenfest or Cornerstone Festival. I don't know if they are alcohol-free, but my point is that I'm sure the vibes surrounding such a festival must be completely different. Alcohol has become a commonality for almost any kind of event, be it a concert or a sports match....and I'm honestly struggling to see why people feel it necessary.

I've mentioned this in a previous post, but I remember a number of us being on an outreach, jamming to Passion's White Flag for an entire night, it was better than any concert I've ever been to! It really IS possible to enjoy, sing/dance to and go crazy over music!! Seeing Hillsong live was incredible. Everyone's focus was on praising our Lord. Seeing Switchfoot live was even more incredible! Although there were a few intoxicated people, the majority of spectators were there to worship our Lord and/or just to witness this amazing band's God-given talents.
The Switchfoot concert proved to me that rock concerts did not have to be these "raucous" events they are known for and that music can be enjoyed without being smashed.

I'll end my rant here....

I know this is such a broad topic, and I'm sure many people may disagree with me, but I'd like to hear what you had to say on the feel free to leave a comment!

Peace and Love everybody



  1. Hey A

    I agree completely; alcohol is absolutely unnecessary at such events. It helps to bridge the gap between ourselves and sin (lust etc.) which in turn distances us from God. To me, a prayer is a step forward in one's spiritual journey, while getting drunk is like taking 3 steps back because it creates a self-feeding cycle that continues to grow (much like other 'habits' e.g smoking and porn)

    I'd rather be freed through Christ than bound by my own reliance on alcohol, so I would advise against drinking at such events.

    On an unrelated note, I, personally, would be insulted if people were drunk at my concert, because that indicates that they don't appreciate the amount of effort I would have put in.

  2. hey there,
    firstly wow... seeing mumford and sons must have been amazing.
    i love their heart felt lyrics.
    but also real and knocking on the thoughts many listeners both christian and other alike.

    hmm, i would like to add, yes too much alcohol ruins festival.
    i never get why people go to Splashy or Oppi and are so wasted the whole weekend they don't even watch the bands... thats odd for me.
    but i am a massive music guy. i go for bands.

    i do think some festivals "carry different ethos" for example in the UK, i went to Greenbelt in Cheltenhem.

    Now that is more of a Artistry Festival, with speakers and bands.
    alcohol is on sale... but people dont abuse it.

    but like you said... it is a broad topic.
    and thanks for ranting...

    people can be annoying once wasted! :(