Overhype; A Zealous Depressant.

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Written by Jenna Dreisenstock

Hype; the sweetest blessing or the most insidious of poison. I’ve spoken before regarding the ways in which hype can ultimately create immense amount of pressure on musicians; how without really being sure what we want to hear, we tend to hurt our own enjoyment of pop-culture as well as place creators in unfair positions. Hype is necessary to the success of an album or event – you want it to be all people are talking about, of course! Yet at the same time, this hype can spiral somewhat out of control; leaving us with an album that really isn’t that terrible, but due to our own over-expectations – is branded as a ‘failure’.

I suppose the same thing can be said for festivals, events and holidays. Like New Years Eve – you know how they say that New Years Eve is so incredibly overhyped; we are destined to have fun, to party hard and have an absolutely magical night as we bring in the New Year – however, due to this hype it’s almost inevitable that many of us find ourselves with those New Years blues; because even if we did have a good time, it will usually never live up to the expectations we held before the evening. It’s as though we are self-sabotaging by looking forward to something so much; is that exactly what we’re doing?

In the weeks following up to a festival or event we’ve been anxiously waiting for, it may seem as though time slows down; the week drags on forever, with the upcoming exhilaration ahead of us it’s difficult to focus on anything else. The more we think about it, the more exciting the whole upcoming experience becomes; and this continues until the actual event. And then. We’re here. We’re at the place. This is what we’ve been waiting for, for so long – and suddenly the time has come.

The initial overstimulation at a festival or event can perhaps be attributed to our overhype too; yet our own expectations can slowly unravel if the venue or experience begins to show ‘cracks’ that were not a part of plan – whether it be something we expected from the venue or the artists, when something doesn’t feel right – especially if something doesn’t go right – it can feel like a punch in the stomach, because it almost feels as though, how could this possibly be. This is not what we expected…maybe we are having fun, but we’re not having that same fun imagined a week earlier; is this the fault of the organisers, or the fault of ourselves?

While it’s true that there are events that simply don’t live up to the hype they themselves create, that we buy into as these expectations have been created for us; many an experience can be ruined simply because we imagine these certain scenarios in our head and then when the experience doesn’t match those scenarios or live up to them – or worse, if one ends up not having a good time at all – it can be a truly shattering experience for us. However the question to ask ourselves is this: are we destined to unconsciously ruin everything for ourselves just with our expectations alone?