Why do certain beats and rhythms 'speak to us' and set our feet dancing and our bodies in motion?
How powerful is music? Why is it soothing? How can it transcend language and time?
These are questions, best answered or experienced for oneself.
Lovers of music can experience it in a multitude of ways. Transmissions can be heard over the radio, online streaming, the actual singing and playing of instruments, out in nature, and attending music shows.
Music festivals differ from regular single artist concerts because of the ubiquitous exposure to new artists, crowds, and sounds. These events usually take place in large parks where the stages of many bands playing simultaneously can occur without too much interference from one another (as conducted in Zilker Park during ACL). The crowds in attendance are quite diverse. People of all ages, races, cultures, and creeds attend to listen to the sounds (people watching here is amusing on its own). Often times the artists are new, up and coming performers. Their music depends on exposure in order for them to grow and continue to get bookings for future performances. In a way, people vote with their attention by gathering to listen to which ever stage is broadcasting the most pleasant sound. Many times I have found myself walking to the center of the park to listen to the frequency of sound that my body finds most pleasing. I tend to walk with an unconscious rhythm in my footsteps, and am most attracted to the sound that I can easily dance to. My feet lead the way with my ears guiding the direction. Once near the stage, one can clearly hear the band broadcast their music's soulful energy which excites the crowd. If the music resonates well with the audience then people will dance, which creates a positive feedback of palpable energy capable of changing lives (it's incredible to experience). The artists weave their song in harmony with their instruments that send their message of love, peace, compassion, or whichever emotion they wish to channel. Like the conductor of a symphony, the leader of the band controls the throttle of musical force and inspires the crowd as a prophet does his people.
I have discovered many new and old artists this way and have concluded that it is virtually impossible to listen to all the magnificent music at the festival, let alone in this world. The only thing that one can do is to follow the most attractive sound at the time they can hear it and appreciate the song for as long as the dance lasts.