Attending Festivals Can Have Lasting Positive Impacts, New Study Finds

Attending festivals can have lasting positive impacts, a new study found, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, University of California Los Angeles, University of Denver, and the University of Bath in the UK.

Post Malone at Gov Ball 2021. Photo by David Reichmann

New York State has a lot of festivals going on throughout the year for people to attend, including The New York State Fair, Gov Ball, ADK Fest, and dozens more. All of these festivals bring in thousands of people each year, and this new study shows that going to these mass gatherings are benefital to a person’s life.

Researchers found that people had higher rates of transformative experiences the longer they were at the festival, and these transformative experiences persisted for at least six months following the event. These transformative experiences let people feel more connected to humanity, and be more willing to help strangers, something called moral expansion.

On average, 63.2 percent of participants reported being at least “somewhat” transformed by an event, and 19.5 percent indicated that they felt “absolutely” transformed.

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Daniel Yudkin, a postdoctoral researcher and first author of the paper spoke about the findings of the study in a statement.

We’ve long known that festivals, pilgrimages, and ceremonies make people feel more bonded with their own group. Here we show that experiences at secular mass gatherings also have the potential to expand the boundaries of moral concern beyond one’s own group.

New York is fortunate enough to have plenty of opportunities to go to festivals and concerts due to the many different cities and the size of the state, therefore people can have more transformative experience going to different mass gatherings around the state.

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