There’s something in the air. A scent. That salty, yet refreshing air, just as sweet as it is cool. Those sights. Buildings that tell stories of generations past. The sounds. Reverberating throughout the tight knit community and streets of Bonavista. It’s an inescapable feeling, something not seen or heard, but felt. An energy. A reality that takes on its own personality, where artists and musicians from Port aux Basque to Brigus, Marystown to Gros Morne come together and celebrate their efforts, their art and, most importantly, each other. It’s a week where, albeit only five days, feels like it exists forever and passes in a flash, all at once. A week where nothing else matters, where everyone feels that this is the moment in time where they wish to occupy forever. It’s a week where bills, weather patterns, places of employment, annoying in-laws cease to exist, or matter, because for this week, the only thing that matters is music. Ah yes, the music awards are in town.
If anything is to be taken away from this years’ MusicNL Awards Week, it’s that the host town contained a little bit of magic, and if you were there, you witnessed it. Felt it. Experienced it. This is the kind of magic you wouldn’t otherwise be familiar with if you’re constantly in your comfort zone of your home town, wherever it may be. This magic is only captured when you leave your comfort zone and travel far away from it, far enough away that you don’t come back until the week is over. This magic is the kind of magic that hints to you that these musical events should be hosted and celebrated around different parts of the island every year and maybe, just maybe, is the best way to keep our music scene relevant and the music community in touch.
You see, when an event is hosted in our own backyard, we tend to retreat home after the event and continue our ho hum status quo of everyday life. It’s not a slight towards any certain human or humans, rather it’s human nature. It allows us to continue and maintain our own self created tunnel visions of what is, and what isn’t, and subsequently, prevents growth and opportunity within other realms. It only promotes oneself to, well, oneself and therefore maintaining the status quo fishbowl known as a local music scene. However, when one travels outside of their comfort zone it is then that they must learn to adapt and see panoramically around themselves as the tunnel gives way to an ocean. That ocean is opportunity. An opportunity to see what else is out there, what else is fresh and what else is just as successful and talented and hard working as you are. You may have never seen it, witnessed it, felt it, understood it, or even cared for it, until now.
There’s something to be said for leaving home to come together, or at least the confines of wherever it is that you call home. That same home where mundane continues to be mundane, the stagnant stays stagnant, the same people hang out with the same people, the status quo remains the status quo, routines, routines, routine. But not here. Nope. This place is different. This place is just outside of your comfort zone, but you like it. In fact, you love it. It allows and encourages you to see what else is outside your own world, your own universe, and most importantly, your own home, even if it is just for a week. It allows those with tunnel vision and idealistic thoughts of what should be, see what can be. It allows friends to continue growing their friendships all while planting seeds of new ones. It allows you to knowingly let your guard down and let those in your world who were never there before. Why? Because this week, it isn’t just your world. It’s everyone’s world and it’s fun. This week, everyone comes together.
- Ryan Tobin