Channeling the bygone days of abrasive music and heat prostration—days which are dusted over with glinted glory in our culture’s eyes—Leesville sophomore Trevor Simpson came up with the idea for Paulfest with his band, Animal Empathy. Paulfest will function as a music festival on a smaller, garage or back-yard scale.
“We were just goofing around one day and decided to name the event after one of our band members, whose name is Paul,” Simpson said.
Sweaty music festivals with youth gone wild have been a staple of American counterculture since 1969, when the Baby Boomers—in all their vainglory and with their brown acid—got together for three days of peace and music at what’s now known as the Woodstock Festival.
But like everything else in this country—D-Day, the Fourth of July—people decided to detract from Woodstock’s initial appeal and make it an annual event. After Woodstock followed a progression of similar music festivals led by aspiring, nostalgic bands in an attempt to revive the reckless spirit of peace, love, and drugs—in succession and without relent.
Now, in 2010, we have Warped Tour, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, the Sasquatch Festival, the newly revived Ozzfest, Summerfest, and Fest 8, with each festival generating millions of ticket sales. What began as a rejection of Capitalism as if it were a demon disease, as a way of absconding from the tedium of the straight-and-narrow, now serves as the sole crutch for a music industry crumbling under the internet’s omniscience.
Simpson hopes Paulfest will take hold as a seasonal event, adding to its repertoire every major music festival along the way. For example: Paulfest’s take on Lollapalooza would manifest itself in the form of Paullapalooza.
Simpson and his bandmates are hopeful for Paulfest’s success but have yet to find a venue to host their festival, and its date is still undecided. Thus far, Paulfest has garnered over 70 confirmed guests on its Facebook event page.