The task at hand was a riddle. The riddle, essentially, is as such: There are two brothers—identical twins—and one always lies and one always tells the truth. You meet one brother at a fork in the road: one road leads to salvation, the other to death by monster. What singular question must you ask—to the brother in which you do not know if he is the liar or the truth-teller—to determine which way to safety?
But all I could focus on was how many of Josh’s* french fries I could eat before he noticed I wasn’t actually thinking about the riddle at all. In a miraculous feat of mental strength, I managed to figure out the riddle (answer: Which way would your twin tell me to go?) and eat a majority of the fries. Josh was impressed, I was still hungry, and the night was young. So I suggested we get dessert. Music from the nearby Boston Calling festival carried through the dense air. We’d ditched the event a little while before to go somewhere a little quieter, a bar on the periphery of Boston City Hall Plaza, where the extravaganza was held. He asked me about the symphony, I commented on his flip flops.
This is not a love story. This is not a lust story. This is a tale of necessity and manipulation.
I had met Josh no more than two hours prior. We, like many people on a Saturday night, had connected via Tinder. 26 million matches are made per day, after all. I, unlike many people on Tinder, had a plan before I ever swiped right. A social experiment of sorts, I aimed to both take advantage of the hookup culture at music festivals and see how charitable my matches on the dating app could be. Through swiping, could I get a drink? A free meal? A place to stay for the night? How many other singles were swiping during the entertainment, too? Did all these new city visitors cause a spike in matches?
I set my sights on three distinct music festivals, ones each with varying personalities and lineups: South By Southwest, Boston Calling and Governors Ball. Held in Austin, Boston and New York city respectively, these festivals bring out different crowds: industry types to SXSW, locals to Boston Calling, Governors Ball casting a wider net of interest. While the featured musical talent featured many overlaps, standouts like Drake at SXSW, Sia at Boston Calling, and Kanye West at Governors Ball resulted in each having a unique artistic element.
Then, some ground rules:
1. Set distance radius at no larger than 10 miles.
2. Update biography to reflect which festival I’m currently attending.
3. Swipe right not because I want to, but because I have to.
4. Swipe right not because I are desperate, but because this person seems likely to not murder me.
5. Swipe right if this person looks like they are in or associated with a band.
6. Message every match—preferably something ridiculous.
7. Request food, drink, and on which couch to crash.