Survival of the Festivals

Music festivals popped up everywhere around the world suddenly in the past few years with new investors trying to get in on the profits, but recently artists have been backing out and the concerts failing.

David Anhalt, who has interned with music companies and helped put on a music festival shares his insight on the music festival bubble.

“It’s definitely an interesting situation, these festivals started to become really popular following the success of the staples, coachella, lollapalooza and bonnaroo” shared Anhalt.

Artists have been backing out of some of the newer music festivals around the country and there have just been too many options. With people only being able to afford one or two music festivals per year they are generally more attracted to the larger festivals like Coachella or Lollapalooza. And with more music festivals comes more artists.

“They [promoters] started figuring out they could snatch artists away from their tour dates to do a festival show in the middle and a they started putting these festivals in not so accessible locations and so attendance was never going to be up to snuff” added Anhalt.

Senior Reece Chang recognized the change and unreasonably high prices of music festivals and lack of festivals.

“There’s a lot less music festivals being created, so lot of the prices are going up because there’s much less competition between the festivals” Chang comments.

Fellow Senior Brandon Collins shares a different point of view, after going to Rolling Loud, a major hip hop music festival, in October of 2017.

“I had so much fun and the acts were phenomenal. I don’t really think the price was too much of an issue since the acts were so big,” argued Brandon

Smaller music festivals are being lost and forgotten, Chang somewhat recognizes this loss and change in availability.

“BFD is an example [of a smaller festival], I just go to those just because its cheaper and still fun to go to those music festivals that aren’t as big and it’s kind of more chill. But to me it doesn’t really matter if they are lost or not” remarked Chang.

For Collins it’s more about the experience than anything else.

“It was a fun experience being able to enjoy music surrounded by people with similar music tastes” reflected Collins.

For the music festival industry and investors it seems that they got in too soon.

David Anhalt concluded that “Ultimately it just grew too big too quickly. A lot of a time promoters would put on concerts that they couldn’t afford to and they would take out loans in hopes the show would sell out and then when it didn’t sell out they were just left with a big hole in their pocket”