by Baylie Clevenger

Music is a part of life that has always brought people together. Whether it be through storytelling or connecting people with similar music interests, music is universally loved and celebrated.

Ball State junior Ashley Vega has found some beautiful opportunities within her love for music and concerts. Her passion for music has brought her a whole group of friends and even decided her career path.  

Ashley has been to more than 20 concerts, and she has traveled for about 15 of those. She spends a lot of time camping out for shows so that she can get in and find her favorite spot on the barricade for the show, and spend time with her friends in line.

Image by Ashley Vega

She has also dedicated a lot of her concertgoing time to one artist, Hoodie Allen, whose concerts she says brought her most of her concert friends. Through her dedication, she has also gotten to know Allen as well as his crew and band over the years.

“The best part is making friends and getting lost in the music, also forming relationships with the artists. The worst part is the cost and how mentally and physically taxing it is. Losing all that sleep and doing all of that traveling is extremely exhausting, but well worth it for the experiences,” she said.

While Vega does not think there is necessarily a culture, the way people go to concerts has certainly evolved over the years. Seeing how people camp out, interact with artists, and dedicate time and money to the concert experience, I would argue that there is a culture surrounding modern concerts.

Image by Ashley Vega

“…So I think avid concert-goers participate in a certain culture whether or not they mean to. People who travel hundreds of miles, or camp out for hours or days, or wait after the show to meet people, or know every lyric, or never miss a chance to see a certain artist, are all a part of concert culture…” said one of Vega’s concertgoing friends, Sarah Wolf, 17.

Concerts in current times have gotten a lot easier to attend. They have also become safer. With technology and and the rapid spread of information, concertgoers are able to sustain themselves while camping outside of venues for hours and traveling long ways to see their favorite artists.

Even with the ease of concertgoing nowadays, Vega says she would have participated in this lifestyle, regardless of the era.

“I would totally still choose to do it if it were like it used to be, nothing can come between me and live music, whether that’s a long line for tickets or service fees over $20. I’m here for a good time and some good memories,”  said Vega.

With more safety and easier access to resources, concert culture has changed, allowing people like Vega to pursue the concertgoing passion and lifestyle while making lifelong connections along the way. As mentioned before, Vega has met a whole group of friends through doing so and feels passionate about music. Her passion for music has even influenced her career decisions.

“Going to concerts has had a big impact on my career choice. As someone who knew I wanted to go into music in high school, once I started going to concerts on a regular basis I realized it’s the one place I feel most alive and truly myself. Music has brought me people and experiences I would’ve never had, and it’s given me a whole different perspective on life. I have friends all over the country and even the world, and it’s all because we listen to some of the same music,” Said Vega. “Also, becoming close with my favorite artists has made me realize that I want to work with people like that every day because they have so much to say and so much knowledge to spread. A career in music is really the only thing I can see myself doing and the concert lifestyle that I lead is a big part of why.”


Featured Image: Ashley Vega

Images: Ashley Vega 

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