The Allure of Music Festivals

Music festivals are everywhere. They’re in Belgium, Miami, California and Australia. Festivals, especially electronic dance music festivals are popping up across the globe as more people, predominantly young yearn to collectively experience something that only festivals offer. That trend leads us to ask a question, why are these festivals becoming so popular and what unique experiences can they offer to their customers?

Well that leads us to explaining the massive surge in popularity that electronic dance music has experienced in the past few years. The genre of music has explosively grown in the United States and other massive global markets. There was even a 400,000+ person Jack U concert in Cuba the other week. Corporate interests couldn’t ignore this emerging trend and had to capitalize on the popularity of this growth. Which is evident with the rise of companies such as Live Nation and Eventbrite, which compete with the giant Ticketmaster to sell tickets to events. It’s even apparent in pop music. As celebrated DJ / Producers have been billed to collaborate with talented pop stars such as Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris’ collaborations, he was also responsible for Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” The list of EDM / Pop crossovers goes on and on and aids in the explanation of how EDM slid it’s way into the mainstream and is now heard on top radio airwaves throughout the nation.

This explosion of electronic dance music has paved the way for more engaging and enhanced live experiences for music fans. The increased visibility of the product was there along with customer satisfaction. The tradition of festivals is as old as the western world. Probably older as congregations of people in order to celebrate is one of the most enjoyable facets of civilization. It draws on aspects of the carnivalesque and our desires to experience something than our mundane everyday reality. That is what modern day festivals package and sell to their festival goers. Albeit, the bacchanalia of 2016 is exponentially different than one from Hellenistic Greece.

Festivals are popping up all over the place and more oft than not are profitable, not just for the companies that throw them but the cities and places that hold them. On top of the enjoyable experience of the attendees. What’s the problem then? Is there even a problem in this world where people go to experience a place where real life doesn’t exist? Well therein lies the inherent problem. People go to festivals to enjoy the company of friends and the people around them. Listen to music that they have a connection with. Encounter people with similar values, share advice, food and stories. Festivals serve as places of communal gathering. Yes people ignore the outside world for the most part and focus on the local community around you and espouse those values.

Mainstage at Ultra Music Festival 2016. Photo by Rukes

Yet the business interests that have found it’s way into the electronic dance music world don’t share the same values as their community members. They have put the bottom line over their consumers values, experiences and satisfaction. The most recent example is SFX going bankrupt. They had their hand in so many other aspects of the business that them going bankrupt affects so many more people. Their bankruptcy resulted in the ensuing sale of Beatport, an online music store similar to iTunes. The American version of Tomorrowland, Tomorrowworld won’t be happening in 2016 due to logical problems experienced last year but mostly because of their bankruptcy. 






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