With more than 800 events in the United States alone, the music festival market has become overly saturated with a high demand for huge performers, diversity in music genres, and cheap rentals on sites like Airbnb on a constant rise.
If your in your twenties and have never attended a music festival, you are in the small minority of young adults who have never had the thrill of entering the gates of a heart-pounding, sound-engulfing, spirit-free atmosphere that is the essence of the music world today. Here me out for a second; attending a multi-day music festival has somehow become a rite of passage for the Millennial generation. In this fast-paced obsessed world, going to a music festival allows you to finally live in the moment and be a part of the very nature of being a human being – enjoying life, being surrounded by music and art, meeting new people, and encountering a once-in a life time experience. This isn’t something I made up. You can date our love for music and social communities back to our tribal ancestors who would sit around a fire and beat on make-shift drums and shout the songs of their times, or to the ancient Greeks who idolized theater and the arts, making social gatherings the norm for our entertainment pleasure. However, in the 21st century, this entertainment pleasure has taken on a new, much larger scale.
The Day and Age of Social Media
Currently, there are more than 800 music festivals in the United States alone. As festival prices annually increase, so does the demand for huge lineup performers, diversity in music genres, cheap rentals on sites like Airbnb, and festival management operations that help you manage your trip and expenses. After decades of consistent growth, these music festival industry is now bringing in a huge surplus of income for local economies of the festivals host cities, such as Las Vegas which hosts the Electronic Daisy Carnival every year. The five biggest festivals in the United States grossed more than $183 million in ticket sales in 2014, and in 2016, Coachella grossed a staggering $94 million. Other reasons for the exponential growth of music festivals is heavily attributed to our generation’s attendance rates. Us, fans, have created the need for an entertainment platform which fuses different types of musics together, and allows us to pick and choose which style our heart desires. But with all this hype and money being made over music, especially during the summer time as festival season kicks in, it is worth mentioning how terrible and overhyped music festivals have gotten recently.
Current social media storms have tinted the foundational nature of music festivals. It has now become more of a showoff spectacle than a gathering of like-minded individualism “Who is wearing the cutest outfit?” “What celebrity what spotted at a tent?” If your thinking that the people attending music festivals have now made it into a joke, flaunting their Instagram “likes” and parading their new fashion trend, your not wrong. In addition, some of the attendees clearly don’t care for the music at all, and with more publicity and media buzz, any hungry-fame-whoring person will immediately post about their presence at a festival. Not to mention the vast variety of brand sponsorships occurring, especially with Coachella, who have been criticized for selling-out their festival to corporation. Festivals are also really dirty.
Not only do they cause environmental harm through sound pollution, but the trash left by attendees is literally a critical concern of many festival organizers. So obviously, it seems that these festivals which were created for the love of art and music, are now just a flock of sheep in the music industry business to make money, money, money.
There’s a few music lovers left out there…
But there’s still a sliver lining out there. If you are a true believer in pure human interactions, a true “lover” of music, and basically just having a f****** good time, your the true soul of these music festivals. You are in that group of young millennials who find it more worth their money to spend it on experiences, then on practical expenses such as buying a house or even materialistic bags and clothes. We want to travel, see the world, embrace new cultures, and what better way to do that then surrounding yourself with others who embrace all spectrums and genres of people and music. Do yourself a favor and head over to Europe, Asia, South America, or literally right across the border to Canada, and be apart of the music festival experience before your what they call “too old.” It doesn’t have to be one that is a mega fiasco, but just one which speaks to your personal music taste and style.
So if your having second thoughts about attending a music festival, you aren’t going to be young forever. Go for it! Boston Calling Music Festival is right around the corner…