If you have attended a North American music festival over the past year chances are you’ve seen someone running around with a pineapple, rocking pineapple attire, or a DJ with a pineapple companion on stage. There’s even an Australian music festival whose name honors the friendly fruit.
A longstanding symbol of hospitality, the pineapple is a beacon of friendship, unity, and warmth – ideals engrained within music festival culture.
Social significance of the widely-recognized citrus predates Americas’ discovery. Indigenous to what is now Brazil and Paraguay, the tropical treat was a delicacy to local tribes who used it to make wine and even during ceremonies of tribal affirmation. After being discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, the crowned fruit spread to Europe where it’s rarity earned it the title of “King of Colonial Fruits”. Can you imagine discovering a pineapple when your entire country of origin had no idea such a thing existed? What a glorious day that must have been.
While no one seems to doubt the origins of the pineapple, friendly discussions within the festival community have risen regarding the reason behind the recent pineapple movement.
HARD Events Founder, DJ (DESTRUCTO) and overall Industry Icon Gary Richards has been a longtime pineapple advocate, having donned a pineapple helmet in the official trailer for HARD Summer 2014 alongside fellow EDM-Entrepreneurs Skrillex and Diplo. His influence spilled into HARD’s annual floating festival Holy Ship! where past attendees and self-proclaimed “Ship Fam'” have adopted the fruit as the unofficial mascot since the cruise’s 2012 inception.
Dirtybird Records OG member, DJ, and Producer Justin Martin has also been known to support the pineapple during his performances and bass music producer EPROM is among the latest musicians to jump on the trend with aptly-titled track “Pineapple” released on June 16.
But why have pineapples become noticeably more prevalent over the past year?
Past halloween witnessed pineapple carving overshadow pumpkins, “Pineapple Pen” was born, a humble pineapple became crowned a postmodern work of art by The New York Times, and essentially everything pineapple began trending. Even The Independent – one of Europe’s leading media outlets – took notice of the Millennial pineapple obsession.
With hundreds-of-thousands of Millennials attending music festivals around the world each year, festival culture has become a significant influencer on the whole of global pop culture.
Since the start of 2016, pineapples have been seen propped up among the crowd at events ranging from Miami, Florida’s PLOT-curated techno meet up WHERE ARE MY KEYS? and Southern California’s transformational gathering Lightning in a Bottle & techno haven Desert Hearts Festival all the way to mainstream mega-convention Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.
Ask the loyal legion of Ship Fam’ what the cause might be and they will undyingly attribute it to the debauchery of the seas. However, inquire to techno enthusiasts as to the social catalyst and they will cite Detroit, Michigan’s Movement Electronic Music Festival where one mans’ 2016 antics went viral after he held a pineapple over his head for more than 20 hours. Earning him the nickname “Pineapple Guy”, these shenanigans amassed a tremendous social media following.
When asked about his weekend-long commitment, multiple reasons were given, one of which gave modern context to the fruit’s ancient origins.
Pineapples are a universal symbol of hospitality. Everyone is just looking to find their niche, and music festivals feel like “home” for many people.
Whatever the reason behind the pineapple crusade, we support it.
The fruit’s symbolism has facilitated an overwhelming movement fueled by a passionate contingent of pineapple family members. Driving home a positive message, the influence of the pineapple continues to trickle well beyond the confines of the dance floor.