Moby was playing and I was onstage, meters away from him. I was standing in relative darkness, looking through a gaze cloth nicknamed the “seventy-five percenter” at the vast crowd below. That is when I noticed something peculiar.
Sound travels at 300-something meters per second. This means that at a festival site of 600 meters and 80,000 people, the dancing individuals in the back are just under 2 seconds behind on the music. Technicians have to take this into account when hanging speakers halfway, which is where “delay towers” got their name.
So when everyone is jumping, in the back they are jumping 2 seconds later. This is a gradual delay from the stage to the other side of the festival, with means that people jumping to the music don’t jump simultaneously, but in a wave starting at the stage speaker array. From there, every beat sends a wave through the audience as they go up and down, a sinusoid traveling through hearts and bodies at the speed of sound, all the way to the back.
It looks like a pulse emanating from the stage, a wave of energy blasting through countless dancing bodies.
Just my luck to try and get a driving license in the most uptight, unreasonably anal country in the fucking world.
They put you in a car and set you off on a ridiculously long journey, drifting in an ocean of poor driving and blatant disregard for the traffic rules all around you, and expect you to put down a literally spotless performance. It’s a nearly unbearable pressure, especially in my case, where the success of my summer and future career depends on whether I can drive one of those tin cans. And when you’re finished, they tell you, with friendly smile and their dumbshit little list on their lap, that you failed.
Time and time again. Failed, failed. It was all good, except that one wheel on the curb when you parked. Fail.