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Recovering From an Era of Staying Inside

The benefits of live music.

by Kennedy Shaw
Photography by Bill Horin

It wasn’t too long ago that we were all inside our homes. Bars were closed, parties were canceled, and our favorite places to gather for shows were left dim-lit and empty. Now, in festival season, the “new normal” is starting to really feel normal- but many instead, opt to stay inside. Even I can admit there is a certain comfort in sleeping by 9 PM on a Friday night. Why put on that outfit and make the trek? But believe it or not, seeing live music may be the healthiest thing for you.

As live events came to a screeching halt, the benefits of seeing live music became clearly apparent. Our need, conscious or not, for live music was reflected in booming depression rates across the US. Music, by nature, is a connective experience. When you enter a venue to see musicians play, you are joining a group of people you have something in common with. For a swift amount of time, the lights dim, the speakers turn on, and hundreds of people are enjoying their favorite songs together- despite how different they may be on the outside of the venue’s walls. This feeling is called “collective effervescence,” termed by French sociologist Emile Durkheim. There are physical benefits of seeing live music as well.

Goldsmiths University recently revealed that just 20 minutes at a concert resulted in 21% of people having increased feelings of well-being. This study included conclusions that there was also a 25% increase in feelings of self-worth, a 25% increase in feeling connected to others, and a 75% increase in mental stimulation. Although staying in on a Friday night can be tempting, seeing your favorite band may just give you the kick you need to see the world from a fresh perspective- and feel inspired to go out again!

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