Photo by Owen Franken – Corbis/Getty Images
Have you ever felt a high of happiness for days after leaving a music festival? Well, it turns out there’s actually some science behind the feeling.
A research team at Yale University conducted a study to analyze the effects that festivals have on an attender’s psychology. Dr. Daniel Yudkin, the first author of the research paper, stated, “We’ve long known that festivals, pilgrimages and ceremonies make people feel more bonded with their own group.” Yudkin continued, “Here we show that experiences at secular mass gatherings also have the potential to expand the boundaries of moral concern beyond one’s own group.”
The Yale team was first inspired by the mental benefits of religious gatherings to dive deeper into “intense social bonds and feelings of unity.” They found that other communal gatherings including festivals such as Burning Man, Burning Nest (the U.K. version of Burning Man), Lightning In A Bottle, and the Dirty Bird Campout also made the festival-goers feel more connected to humanity and motivated to help others, including strangers. The study also revealed that these feelings of bliss and selflessness tend to continue for six months after the event.
After the Covid-19 lockout, community is more important than ever now. Yudkin wrote, “’The findings are an important reminder of what we’ve missed in years of pandemic isolation.”
Need a life-changing boost or pep in your step? Maybe a festival is the answer after all. Or you can at least watch some clips from the famous Monterey Pop Festival 1967 to get in the spirit here: