With Coachella around the corner and lots of other festival go-ers getting excited for their summertime events, we thought it’d be interesting to discuss why these gatherings are so contagious. There’s music, tons of people, fashion, and all that other fun stuff. Wink Wink. There’s Lollapalooza, EDC, Warped Tour, Coachella, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch – the list goes on. But why do so many people get SO stoked about these events?
Music is actually still considered a human evolutionary phenomenon. In general, it’s a universal language. English speakers can still dance to spanish music, the tourists in Africa can march to the beat of a drum, but in the end, music is a feeling and a different type of language that all of the human race can understand. If you remember who Bill Nye is, he makes the statement, “certain qualities of music are found in speech that affect behavior in natural ways, which also suggests that musical qualities are buried deep in our evolutionary history”.
Nobody really understands why listening to music can trigger such profoundly rewarding experiences. But in recent studies, it has been linked to — can you guess? — dopamine releases in the brain; i.e. your brain’s pleasure chemical. However, why it’s so tricky to find out how and why music can make us feel so good is because it’s not tangible. You might be able to hold onto a guitar or hit a drum with a stick, but the actual music is created through space and sound. The music is wave lengths being processed through your brain and only YOU can decide if that sound feels good to you.
Ironically, the area of your brain that processes sound is referenced by scientists as the “pleasure center”. Those areas of the brain that ignite when you hear music are involved in processing emotion, learning and memory, and decision-making. Ultimately, music creates an intellectual exercise within your brain. It creates feelings relating to past, current, and future experiences in a whole new way – making each music festival new, exciting, and reaching into emotions we probably haven’t felt before: an addicting pleasure source that we strive to feel more of.