Festival experience leaves positive impression

Helen Nguyen

Written by Helen Nguyen, Assistant Business Manager

I kept jumping from foot to foot—I couldn’t help myself as I stood in line for the Frost Music Festival. AlunaGeorge, Kaytranada and Flume were going to perform later that day. Flume is one of my favorite artists, and it was all I could do to not excitedly jump up and down, impatiently waiting my turn to be granted admission into the festival. The people surrounding me were all decked out in crop tops, bro-tanks and shorts—all giving off happy vibes and easy smiles. There was excited talk among the crowd about the headliner, Flume, and how the festival-goers couldn’t believe he was here in Stanford.

As I approached the front of the line, I got a closer view of what lay beyond the tall metal gate. Pink flags fluttered in the warm and early summer air. White, yellow, orange, pink and baby blue bed sheets gave off a warm welcome as they billowed from a wire. Once the security guard scanned my ticket, I walked through the gate’s entrance and ascended the winding asphalt path. I was then met by a string of lanterns and bursts of colors as the path opened up to the top of Frost Amphitheatre. Frost Amphitheatre was hidden
and tucked away in a thick growth of trees. The only reminder that I was still in Palo Alto was the Hoover Tower looming in the distance. The amphitheatre was comprised of tiers of grass, creating a gentle slope forming a bowl shape surrounding the stage at the bottom of the field. The incorporation of student art pieces and Frost Music Festival decoration provided a contrasting palette of color amongst the green scene.

As time passed, the venue filled with people who filed in and sat down to watch the performance. When the opening act, Siberian Front—an alternative and indie rock band comprised of Stanford students—be- gan performing, the excited buzz quieted down as the audience enjoyed the energetic set complete with the happy music of guitars and smooth vocals. I was caught in the moment, and all I could think about was the music and the people around me.

Siberian Front’s performance set a laid-back and pleasant tone for the rest of the afternoon. As their act came to a close, excitement flared and people began rushing downhill to try to get a spot as close to the stage as they could.

Electronic pop duo AlunaGeorge was next—the duo transitioned from the alternative vibe of Siberian Front to the electronic and dance-centric mood that continued for the rest of the festival. There was a sense of euphoria and unity as the crowd became a collective body of smiles that swayed in sync to the duo’s performance. I loved being so close to the stage. It was as if I was able to get up-close and personal with AlunaGeorge and jam out with them.

Once AlunaGeorge wrapped up their set, the crowd couldn’t wait for the next performer, DJ Kaytranada, to continue the festival with his ambient beats.

My heart began to race as I proceeded to fast-walk faster and faster as I recognized Flume’s hit, “Sleepless,” blaring through the air. I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears–I was seeing Flume live! It was obvious that the crowd around me was very excited to see Flume as well. When his remix of “You & Me” played, the crowd went wild and it almost seemed as if the audience held their breath until the first big drop. I could feel the electricity that reverberated through the crowd, touching each person as each beat was hit. I was in awe and fell in love with the scene and the music. Flume captivated the crowd, masterfully playing hit after hit, tastefully hitting all the favorites. People sat on others’ shoulders and swayed along with the crowd to his music, enjoying their time in the air.

Flume closed off the night with his remix of Lorde’s “Tennis Court”—I didn’t want to think about it, but I knew those five minutes would be the last that I was going to be able to enjoy the Frost Music Festival scene before having to wait another year. His performance brought together the whole festival, and topped off the scene like whipped cream with a cherry on top.

As I shuffled out with the crowd, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit of sorrow. I knew that I enjoyed every single second that I was there, but I felt nostalgic about it already. With the help of the performers, attendees, atmosphere and music, Frost Music Festival was transformed into a dreamlike refuge of sun and sound that I will never forget.