This weekend marks my third XOXO Festival. I’m honored and humbled to be a part of a wonderful event such as this.
So what is it, exactly? Contrary to what a current straight-to-streaming movie leads you to believe, XOXO is not an EDM festival. It’s so much more than an “arts and technology festival”, which is the short description that I hear the most. It’s even a whole lot more than what the official website describes, “an experimental festival celebrating independent artists who work on the internet”.
To me, XOXO Festival has been an inspiration, the catalyst for my creativity, and most importantly, the source of a lot of great new friends and a community that I have severely lacked in my life for a long, long time.
Ever since last year’s festival, I’ve been wanting to write something about my experiences there, since it has affected me so profoundly. But here we are a year later, well into the festival’s current iteration, and I’m only starting to write my thoughts out. Better late than never, right?
Part of my inaction has a lot to do with the strong presence of imposter syndrome amongst the attendees, as evidenced by this tweet by a fellow attendee:
— BrianEnigma (@BrianEnigma) September 9, 2016
Every single person I’ve chatted with during every XOXO fest I’ve ever been to says they feel like the most boring/uncool/socially awkward person there. Everyone wonders if they deserve to be at XOXO. I am definitely no exception, and I’m glad that I’m not alone.
I’ve written nary a word about my experiences because I thought that no one wanted to hear what I had to say. There are plenty of folks that have written about the festival, why would I want to add to the noise? Oh gosh, aren’t the folks who haven’t gone to XOXO so tired of hearing about it from their friends that have gone? I don’t have a cool creative project in the works right now. I don’t feel like a particularly interesting person. I don’t have a lot of faith in my writing skills. Add that all up and that equals complete blogging paralysis for me.
This community has taught me that my experiences are unique. That my friends do care about what I have to say and want to hear my perspective.
But for some reason, I still have trouble convincing myself of that. Wash, rinse, repeat.
I’m hoping to share more over the course of this year’s festival and well past the closing party. More soon.