Three weeks ago, I went to the Download Festival. For those who don’t know, Download is a huge three day heavy metal festival that takes place every year at Donington Race Track in the UK. I had a great time over the three days, enjoying some magnificent musical acts as well as a wrestling event on the Saturday. I saw bands, I’ve grown up with or have been listening to for ages as well as bands who I had never heard of but impressed the hell out of me. I won’t go into details about the festival but if you want, you can read all the details on my 80smetalman’s Blog.
What I’m going to write about in regards to Download is a self discovery I made about myself that weekend. Normally, I get very anxious in huge crowds. Many people with Aspereger’s Syndrome do. While I can control it, being in a crowded super market does send the anxiety levels up several levels. What can really send it up very high is when I’m in a crowded aisle and can’t find the item I am looking for. If I can’t find what I am seeking straight away, it’s not unusual for me to leave that aisle and come back later when it’s not as crowded.
It would appear to be obvious that at a festival with tens of thousands of people, my anxiety levels would have gone through the roof. They didn’t. In fact, they stayed quite low, even during the Saturday Night Headliner, Rob Zombie, when everyone was packed in so tight, they could hardly move. My only worry was that I wasn’t able to take as many pictures of Rob as I wanted to because I could hardly move. So the question is: Why I wasn’t so anxious then?
My answer to this was the fact that I was enjoying the music. Rob Zombie not only delivered some great music, he also had a kick ass stage show. The fact that I was enjoying myself with the music I love so much overrode any anxious worries about being in a crowd. This happened a lot throughout the weekend. Enjoying a weekend of great music, I had no anxieties about crowds. Even crowd surfers, although a nuisance at times, didn’t send me into overload. It has been said that many people with Asperger’s Syndrome or what has been called ‘pure’ autism can find relief in music and that music and help soothe their anxieties. I found it true in my case during this weekend.
I did have one anxious moment on the Sunday. After one of the bands finished, I was supposed to meet my stepson and his friend. Failure to locate them combined with walking around and through a massive crowd did begin to send my levels up. There was no music going on at the time to calm me down either. Fortunately, I did find a seem in the crowd and went through it and not long after I found my stepson and therefore, avoided any mental catastrophe. If I did have a meltdown, it wouldn’t have lasted long because the next band would have been on stage soon enough.
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