For the past ten days I have been enjoying myself glittering around the Island of Freedom, Sziget Festival in Budapest. It’s a seven day romp of music, art and culture. Headliners include Florence and the Machine, Avicii, Foals, SBTRKT, Limp Bizkit, and Major Lazer. There is also an afro-reggae village, a world music stage, numerous circus performances, and even an opera stage. Szitizens gathered from 95 different countries.
But, on this universal archipelago of inclusion and solidarity, I – as a 5 foot 0 girl – was made to feel like I was less entitled to enjoy live music than certain other festival goers.
The first time that this happened was during Tyler the Creator’s set on the A38 stage. My two girl friends and I – all around the same height – wandered to midway through the crowd. Don’t get me wrong here, I have spent the past five years being on everybody’s elbow level and so an accidental knock to the head is a common occurrence in my life. I was never expecting to be cushioned from the sway of the crowd.
But then there was the time that a group of Odd Future wannabee testosterones aggressively referred to us as terriers and told us to fuck off if we couldn’t handle them throwing their 80kg of flesh and muscle about the tent like a Frisbee. Mosh pits can be fun, but why should I feel like I am not allowed to enjoy live music because I happen to be a female, a foot shorter and 20kg lighter.
I am paying exactly the same amount of money as you to be here, don’t force me to leave the audience because I’m scared that you might break my leg the next time you perform a blind running kick to Kasabian’s ‘Fire.’
At this moment I am going put a disclaimer out there to thank all the random males over the years that have hitched me on their shoulders so that I could catch a glimpse of Alex Turner or Eminem. You guys rock.
You guys that intimidate and hurt people when they just want to dance in their own perimeters and enjoy the music – you guys don’t.