Combatting Event Burnout
October 23, 2022
Written by Bebe Howell, lunchbox team member
Many of us have built our lifestyles around attending festivals, making memories with the ones we love most, and traveling around the world in order to do so. They are an escape from the mundane day-to-days that we often experience. It is hard to imagine that this escape could ever turn negative. However, several festival attendees are coming to terms with what’s been dubbed as “event burnout”.
“Event burnout” has become a common phrase by this point in 2022. It appears that a large number of us have been slowly dialing back from the seemingly nonstop calendar of events that run each season. Why is this happening, and how can we navigate feeling this way?
When the world slowly but surely opened back up following the COVID-19 pandemic, ravers flocked all over the country to the first events that were back up and running. More and more festival announcements filled up our social media timelines. Our texts and DMs were flooded with friends sending new lineups and festivals that seemed to pop up each day. The soaring levels of joy and human connection that we would experience at these events had been a missing puzzle piece in our lives for so long. It was a natural instinct for us to gravitate towards the first possible experiences that could put that puzzle back together again.
I packed my calendar with as many events that I could possibly attend once the majority of the U.S. reopened over the summer of 2021. I attended multiple shows a week at Brooklyn Mirage. I boarded planes at a soaring rate (no pun intended) in order to experience almost 10 different festivals within 5 months. I felt little to no burnout during that spree. I was just over the moon to be back in these happy little wonderlands, making memories with my favorite people and listening to the music that changed my life.
Flash forward to this fall of 2022. I have attended no more than 5 Brooklyn Mirage shows during its entire season. I’ve turned down festivals that I usually would be ecstatic to attend. I’ve had to cut back on traveling to visit friends and family like I used to during my downtime from events because I don’t have the slightest bit of energy to do so anymore.
I’m burnt out. I spent so much of the latter half of 2021 and even early 2022 traveling to so many events that most of them have lost their sparkle for me. I kept pushing myself towards these festivals regardless when I first started experiencing this feeling. Now, I relax at home or go out to do other, non-partying related activities most weekends… and above all; don’t feel an ounce of FOMO for the events that I’m missing.
I account my decrease in FOMO to the increase in recovery time that I would feel after each rave experience. The more events I went to, the more difficult it was to get back into the swing of work and my regular daily routine afterwards. Even the single-night shows at my local venues on a Saturday were beginning to offset my Sunday way too harshly. I would sleep in late and ruin my ideal schedule of getting ahead on things like errands and catch-ups with friends so that I could go into Monday with ease.
Taking a break from festival-related travel and events every single weekend has allowed me to prioritize so many other aspects of my life that are conducive to my growth. Not only have I been able to start taking my financial savings more seriously, but I’ve started prioritizing non-music travel again and it feels incredible. I used to do a lot of traveling before the pandemic; not for festivals, but just for a general desire. I visited so many different countries between 2019 - 2020. I put that interest on the back burner once I really got into the depths of raving. Recently I spent a week in Punta Cana and remembered exactly why I used to take similar trips that didn’t revolve around a festival. I came back to New York feeling relaxed and rejuvenated for the first time in years.
I urge anyone who is feeling this same way about events to take a step back. Your life does not have to revolve around shows and festivals just because you see other people attending an ungodly amount. Since I’ve cut back on so many of them this year, it makes me more excited for the ones I do have on my itinerary. I’m getting that “sparkle” back that was missing from my rave experiences for so long.
I promise you that that feeling of FOMO dwindles over time. And most importantly; I promise you that those eventswill feel like magic again. You are not alone in feeling this way. We all need to take a break from certain aspects of life from time to time in order to evaluate what is and isn’t serving us well. You don’t need to attend 10 festivals in a year in order to be a “real” raver. You’ll soon realize after taking a step back that the most positive, life-changing experiences at these events stem from you showing up as the version of yourself that you’ve worked so hard on outside of that venue.