Music festivals are now the major high-point of the summer and the really big name festivals can sell out before a band is announced. Yes, Glastonbury, T in the Park and the Reading / Leeds festivals have such a draw that they can sell every ticket to an audience who doesn’t have a clue what the final line-up will be. Some festivals even manage to sell over one third of their overall capacity a year in advance through early bird sales.
Which begs a couple of questions: Are music festival fans so confident of getting a good line up that buy tickets anyway or is the event more important than the bands?
There is a formula to music festivals
It is fair to say that music festivals can be formulaic. Glastonbury will have a few golden oldies or surprise stars on Sunday but the main headliners on Friday and Saturday will be huge. T in the Park plays it extremely safe with their Main Stage and Reading still clings to the idea that it is slightly rockier than most festivals.
All of these traits allow festival goers to make their mind up about going to a festival, regardless of the actual bands that are on. This is because they know roughly what type of bands will be playing and it is likely they will appeal to them anyway.
Of course, a strong argument can be made that many music festival fans do not care about the finer details of the line-up. A music festival is a chance to get away with friends and party over an increasingly longer weekend. Many festival goers spend more time in the campsite or by beer tents than they do watching bands.
Enjoy yourself how you want
The festival gives them a license to enjoy themselves and have a great time. There is nothing wrong with that but if they are only looking for a good time with friends, surely it could be achieved for a cheaper price than what it costs to attend a music festival.
In saying that, there are people who can spend all day running between stage and tent and back again to maximise the amount of bands they want to see. They may miss out on a lot of drunken moments in the campsite but they will have memories of the bands playing. It is not as if one way is better than the other and once you pay your money, you can enjoy the festival however you like but you just wonder if there is some cool attachment about attending a festival.
There is a cool factor to attending a festival
Going to a music festival has become one of the major things to do in a summer and it can feel at times that if you don’t attend one then you are missing out. This may make some fans feel a little bit snobbish but there is no reason for the “real” music fans to be upset by these people who are out to have fun and will perhaps catch one or two bands by accidents. All the festival ticket money helps to pay for all the bands playing at a music festival, so the fact that festivals can keep on attracting huge crowds will help festivals keep on bringing the bands you want to see. So there you go, however you enjoy music festivals, everyone’s a winner!