This year, I attended the Sasquatch! Music Festival to report on the people, music and of course the fashion. Having attended the festival three times, the thing I have noticed change the most is the festival culture. And this isn’t just true for Sasquatch.
Around the country, music festivals have become synonymous with a culture of partying, adventure and at least some music. No longer contained to a three-day, lost weekend, festivals are now accessible to everyone through the Instagrams of celebrities and friends lucky enough to have the cash to dish out hundreds to see their favorite bands. Going to a festival is still a status symbol, but the experience of attending Coachella or Lollapalooza is being commercialized for the everyday consumer. Almost every popular, affordable fashion brand has a section for festival style. (See ASOS, Topshop and of course Free People.) Even if you can’t attend a festival, you can still done a floral crown, some glittery face paint and a pair of cutoffs and imagine you are seeing Lana Del Rey IRL.
Girls at the Lana Del Rey crowd looking like girls at a Lana Del Rey show.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with festival style #trending, but it reflects the changing nature of music festivals. I hate to be a snob, but it feels like many people are not going for the music, but to prove they’ve had the “festival experience,” documented with a few Snapchats and Instagram pics. Additionally, festival style has become synonymous with appropriating other people’s cultures for a “unique look.” Native American headdresses, Bindis and sombreros are abundant and are mostly worn by White people who wouldn’t dream of wearing these pieces in their everyday lives. These examples of cultural appropriation adapt part of a culture, while ignoring the fact that these garments carry religious, cultural and historical significance.
That headdress is a regret, bro.
At the same time, this sort of experimentation can be a good thing. Festivals provide an outlet for people to try out new looks and wear things they might be embarrassed to rock in the “real world.” One of the most exciting things about attending the Sasquatch! Festival is seeing the outfits people put together. (It’s a lot more interesting than the sportswear and rain jackets that dominate the University of Oregon.) It’s fascinating to see how people take on new personas each day with drastically different outfits.
This guy is for sure going to the moon.
In a way, festivals are kind of like a fashion show, but the kind you can go to with greasy hair that hasn’t been washed in four days and the unfortunate stomach sunburn from yesterday’s crop top. I think that’s why festival style has gained so much traction. It’s easy to go through life wearing the same comfortable threads. Whether you go to festivals or not, they’re an inspiration for escaping the boredom of the everyday, albeit with neon and clashing patterns. Just remember, floral crowns are not necessary.
Love this #healthgoth look and practical fanny pack.
Nothing wrong with totally matching your friend or signficant other.
Or power clashing.
She found her lovely vintage floral dress at Buffalo Exchange.
These three friends still look sharp day three of the festival.
It’s all about the layers to survive the hot days and the cool nights. Also, knee-length overalls are a revelation.
This simple dress is complimented by practical, but statement vintage accessories.
This colorful vintage shirt is downplayed by black skinnies and classy loafers.
Nothing beats a flowy, colorful maxi dress.
Even the press people have good style.
You do you, man.
The daisy trend is still going strong.
Nothing wrong with a little color.
Or a lot of black.
But what trend did I see the most?
Boat hats. Like a lot of them.
Which look are you most inspired by?
WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY HANNAH STEINKOPF-FRANK, @HSTEINKOPFFRANK