Oppression manifests in different ways, but often offers the opportunity for community to spawn. Counterculture movements are one such example of community that takes shape in response to the sometimes-oppressive beliefs and behaviors of “regular” society. The contemporary camping music festival community in the United States is a counterculture movement that offers commentary and perspective on American culture. Fueled by a love of art and music, this community welcomes rituals and rhetoric deemed socially unacceptable outside of the 3 to 4 day jamboree.
Like all counterculture movements, this community is unique to a particular place and time. The personality and behavior of the US camping festival subculture reflect and respond to aspects of American society. Evaluating it will illuminate uncommon perspectives, challenge the notion of acceptable, and help us understand the influences and consequences of society’s expectations in greater depth.