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Outside the Comfort Zone

October 7, 2015

Outside the Comfort Zone: Landmark Music Festival 2015

written by Drew Snavely

On September 26th and 27th I had the opportunity to attend the first annual Landmark Music Festival in Washington D.C. The mission of the music festival was to raise over 750 million dollars for repairs of the monuments and landscaping at the National Mall. The festival featured a smorgasbord of artists including Drake, The Strokes, alt-J, Ben Howard and many others. Despite Landmark being put on for a great cause and the awesome selection of bands that were playing, I was still a little hesitant to make the journey to the nation’s capital. I know what you are probably thinking: “You were hesitant on the opportunity to see Drake perform Hotline Bling live?!” and the answer to that is yes. I was hesitant to go because I was uncomfortable. 

I had never been to an actual music festival before, so I had no idea what to expect going into it. All I knew was that there was going to be thousands of people there and many of those people would probably be doing many things that would be considered socially acceptable in the real world but not here at Liberty. I was right, and in that instance, I was fine with being right. A memorable quote from the weekend was “everything that I struggle with is within these walls”. I love that quote because that is one of the main reasons why some people would say why I should not have gone to the music festival, but that quote is one of the main reasons why I went to Landmark. It is easy to uphold your values and beliefs when everybody around you is in agreement and doing the same thing, but as soon as you are all alone in a crowd of people with opposite values and beliefs, that is when you will be tested. I want to be tested because I won’t be at Liberty for the rest of my life and I want to be prepared for the real world. So if I have the opportunity to go to a Drake concert where every other person is drunk or smoking something a little stronger than tobacco, I will take that opportunity for the learning experience, because that is a real life situation I may have to deal with further down the road. 

At Student Activities we highly encourage students to engage in culture and we try to incorporate that into every event that we put on. We want you to ask tough questions. We want you to think for yourself. We want you to believe in your values because you have thought through them, not because your Biblical Worldview professor told you what to believe in. We understand that it is easy to stay inside the “Liberty bubble” where it is safe, which is why we try so hard to push the importance of cultural engagement through the events that we provide. There is a fallen world out there that you and I are going into and we need to be prepared for it. 

I was uncomfortable at Landmark Music Festival and I loved (almost) every second of it. I saw enough acts of PDA to last a lifetime and there are definitely some images from the festival that I won’t be able to un-see, but honestly, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It was an eye-opening experience that I was able to take so many lessons from and it is a memory that I will be able to share with my friends for a very long time. So if you are deciding whether or not to do something that you wouldn’t normally do, something that would challenge your beliefs and your values, something that would take you out of your comfort zone, I encourage you to take the advice of the wise Shia Labeouf and “just do it”.