On the Road: An Interview About Traveling for Music

By Lauren Tepfer

With festival season in full swing and the summer months coming to a peak, traveling for music has never been more present in our social, internet-driven lives. Lots of my friends have been spending the past few weeks together riding in buses, sleeping in cars and traveling in planes all for the sole purpose of music. Because I’m 17 and still in high school, I’ve spent the past few weeks living vicariously through them. I spoke to two of my friends, Erin and Amanda (I believe both gals truly embody the music lover persona), about their travels. Read on!

How old were you when you first traveled for music?

ERIN HANEY: Not many musicians come down to Miami, surprisingly. I’ve literally been told by some band members that “Florida is the butthole of the United States”. Definitely true, but still. The first time I REALLY travelled for music, I was 18 years old. I travelled to New York City to see The 1975 play 2 sold out shows at Terminal 5 and my love for traveling for music quickly bloomed from there.

AMANDA McCALL: I traveled to Orlando (which is about 3.5 hours from Miami) for One Direction when I was about 17. I was really surprised my parents actually let me go!

Where is the farthest you’ve journeyed specifically to see a musician?

EH: The farthest I’ve traveled for a show was from Miami, Florida to Tempe, Arizona.

AM: I flew to New York by myself after my 18th birthday to see One Direction at MetLife. It was a surreal experience, honestly. I met like 50 of my internet friends for the first time: some that I had known for 3 years. Seeing the band that brought us all together, together, was really special.

What’s your favorite part about traveling for music?

EH: The experience. Seeing new places and meeting new people for something I’m passionate about. It’s a dream.

AM: A lot of reasons. Being able to see friends from different parts of the country is usually the best part of my trips, especially when communication is regularly limited to a cell phone. I’m also a sucker for a road trip. I love being on the road and discovering new places. I’m from the bottom of Florida so it takes over 7 hours just to get out of the state. After moving to New York City, I’ve found taking short bus rides to neighboring cities extremely therapeutic. It’s also challenging! I travel alone so I am always pushing my independence, and it can be scary and stressful. The artist themselves also obviously play a huge role in my decisions to travel. If it’s an artist I’ve been waiting a while to see, or if I know that one show just won’t be enough, I’ll find myself at a Megabus station.

Have you ever followed a band on their tour?

EH: I’ve seen The 1975 12 times since 2014. Since 2016 started I’ve seen them five times so far so… yes? Kind of? Traveling around to different states and seeing all of my friends I have met at previous shows or  have connected with through Twitter/Tumblr is just amazing. Experiencing each show with them is the best because every night is a different vibe with different friends; lots of laughs and tears and singing along to all of our favorite songs that brought us together. It’s unreal.

AM: I guess I’ve followed Børns on a coupe of his tours. I’ve seen him 12 times in a span of approximately 8 months. My interest in his music and live show is really peculiar to me, though. When I was in high school, my internet friends traveled endlessly for One Direction, which I was never able to do. When I moved to New York for school I was financially independent, I was technically an “adult”, and I was living in best part of the country music wise! I saw Børns for the first time 15 days after I moved in and his album came out shortly after. It’s the soundtrack of my Freshman year! It was my first year of complete independence and I used Børns as an excuse to explore my newfound freedom.

Have you ever met any friends with similar interests while traveling? Did the friendships ever evolve?

EH: Yes, of course! I make most of my friends through the shared love we have for music. I’ve met many people in different cities that I still keep in touch with occasionally and some that I talk to every single day. Some I’ve met once at a concert and then the next time the band we went to see originally tours the U.S. again, we travel together and have a little reunion. It’s the cutest.

AM: Most of the people I meet while traveling I have spoken to online before, and I end up in their cities so I see them for the first time. I also meet a lot of people because they know my friends!

What is your favorite part about attending live shows?

EH: I like seeing and hearing the music that I listen to everyday being brought to life. I also love the idea that you and the rest of the crowd are all there for the same reason and living in that moment together, like a big happy family.

AM: Probably dancing. Letting go of anxieties, stress, emotions, in a crowd of people who are in attendance for the same purpose. I also love connecting with artists. I think it’s such a vulnerable thing to get on a stage and expose yourself and your art! Ryn Weaver said the most magical thing; she was talking about how the people in the crowd are no different than the people on stage. Everyone in a venue is there for the exact same reason. It doesn’t matter if one is playing the instrument while another is listening, everyone in attendance just wants to feel the music! I love her.

Are you attending any music festivals this summer? How far are you traveling for them? Who are you most excited to see?

EH: Yes! As I’m typing this I’m laying on an air mattress in the Bonnaroo campground. I’m attending this festival, Firefly, and Lollapalooza. My friends and I made Roo and Firefly into a road trip- so we’re gone for 16 days, traveling from Miami to Manchester, TN, to Dover, DE, and then back to Miami. I’m most excited to see HAIM, LANY, The 1975, Wolf Alice, WET, and Blink 182 at these festivals. Definitely Blink 182.

AM: Currently traveling for a music festival right now! Two, actually. My two good friends and I are driving from Miami to Bonnaroo and then we are heading to Firefly. They’re actually my first big festivals, and we are camping…pray for me. It’s like a 20 day trip. I’m really stoked! I’m gonna see Børns, Haim, The 1975, Fetty Wap, Blink-182, LANY, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and Jack Antonoff (a king), just to name a few. ✿