This sounds ridiculous, but I think about Burning Man every single day. I just can’t wait to go back! One of my campmates told me that the year after your first Burn is the longest, and as far as I can tell, that is very true. The end of August can’t come soon enough!
So for the inaugural post of my “Wanderlust Cinema” series, I wanted to feature a movie that would satisfy anyone’s festival appetite. Tonight You’re Mine happened to be the absolute perfect film for that. If you’ve been to an arts and music festival, you’ll find yourself transported back to the times you’ve spent crowd-surfing, eating deep-fried everything, and pulling all-nighters with people you love (even if you just met them two hours prior). If you’ve never attended a festival, then this is a crazy fun look into what it’s like!
Note: This is a spoiler-free post. Whee!
When I viewed the trailer for Tonight You’re Mine, I expected the film to follow some traditional steps that many love stories take:
1. Girl secretly falls for guy.
2. Audience is super frustrated because they’d be totally perfect together but he’s too busy pre-occupied with another woman/other women.
3. He eventually sees the error of his ways but *gasp* it’s too late because she’s moved on.
4. Romantic gestures ensue and things seem to work out for a short while and they kiss and make out.
5. Then something doesn’t work out and the audience is once again super frustrated because they’d be totally perfect together.
6. Then things work out again.
Luckily, this movie doesn’t follow those steps. There are certainly elements pulled from this list that showed up, but it was actually a really refreshing film that went totally not how I expected.
Even the first five minutes surprised me a bit, honestly, because it jumped right in without unnecessary exposition. I hate when a film takes 30 minutes for something to happen which I already know will happen because I read the synopsis. Read any summary for Tonight You’re Mine, and it’s not going to be a massive surprise that Adam and Morello get handcuffed together. I mean, it’s in the freakin’ trailer. The fact that this happened right away, before we knew exactly where we were or even anyone’s names, is beautiful! It’s intriguing and gets you ready to be part of the journey and learn more about these characters.
Tonight You’re Mine also captures festival life perfectly. In between sweeping shots of mosh pits and raves, we also see lines for the porta potty and wacky costumes that some festival-goers wear. We certainly get enough information to continue to follow the plot line, but the director doesn’t let us forget the bigger picture.
Adam and Morello are at a festival with 85,000 other people, and it’s just as fascinating to see those two interact as it is to see a crowd of thousands of people by the main stage. In fact, the film doesn’t only focus our handcuffed duo. It’s also about Tyko, Adam’s awkward and adorable bandmate, their out-of-control manager, and Lake and Mark, who are Adam and Morello’s respective significant others (yes, really!). You end up feeling less like you’re watching a romantic comedy and more like you’re actually attending the festival and running into these people.
What I loved most about this film is that it’s about human connections. When you attend a festival, you form incredibly intimate bonds with people quicker than you would in your day-to-day life. I’ve had some wonderful experiences at festivals in the past, from befriending complete strangers as I waited 8 hours to see Matt & Kim play in Brooklyn (worth it), to exploring the Playa one night with Greg, someone I’d met as we rode an armadillo art car in the desert. Yes, these connections sometimes vanish from your life pretty quickly, but that’s the beauty of it. Festivals are proof that some people aren’t meant to be in your life forever, but they may very well earn a place in your memory.
Tell me about your festival experiences! Which ones have you gone to or want to go to? What was the best memory you had?
Now, after watching Tonight You’re Mine, don’t be surprised if this inspires a little festival desire deep down inside of you! Here are a few options for fests you can attend, all at different price ranges:
Location: Black Rock City, NV // Ticket Price: $380.00 // August 25-September 1, 2014
I can’t say enough good things about Burning Man. All I know is: if you ever have the chance to go, go. Go without expectations, embrace life out there, and see what happens!
T in the Park
Location: Balado, Kinross-Shire, Scotland // Ticket Price: £203.95-214.95 (approximately $342.47-$360.94, depending on the days you camp) // July 11-13, 2014
This is actually the festival in which the film is set, and holy shit does it look amazing. I’ve never been, but I think I might just add this to my bucket list.
Location: New Orleans, LA // Ticket Price: $120.00 // October 31-November 2, 2014
As I was going through my memory of festivals and asking friends for suggestions, I was also researching online and came across this one. There’s music, there’s circus, and there’s even burlesque (!). AMAZEBALLS SIGN ME UP PLZ.
Location: Mecca, CA // Ticket Price: $60 (including camping) // April, 2015
Desert Daze just took place, but definitely put it down for 2015. My friend Kate at Form Phantasm says, “It’s like you’re hanging out among a sea of friends, and it gets more and more fun as the night goes on.”
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Location: San Francisco, CA // Ticket Price: Free! // October 3-5, 2014
This is one of my favorite weekends in San Francisco. It’s held in Golden Gate Park and there is plenty of space for everyone, the weather in October is perfect, and folk music is my jam.
SXSW (South by Southwest)
Location: Austin, TX // Ticket Price: Free! // March 13-22, 2015
This is another to look forward to next year! While I’ve never been, my roommate, Rain at IndigoProof, goes every year says it’s unique because, “You can create your own experience and make your own festival.”
What festivals would you add to the list? Do you have a festival that you attend every year?