I have always been a follower of festivals, whether that is by physically attending them or watching them on TV or personally help organise them (I worked at Ejector Seat Festival in 2013 and 2014). I am just passionate about music and seeing festival season taking place is a highlight for the year. Acts of all genres coming together, both big and small and playing festivals all around the world.
However, is this the issue? Artists of all genres playing festivals that are known for their one genre approach?
There has been a lost connection this year between the festivals and their regular attendees. Festival tickets aren't selling out as quickly as they once did and rock music doesn't seem to be selling very well; this is most likely the reasoning for festivals like Reading and Leeds to bring in Indie headliners like Mumford and Sons. However, that lost connection between the regular fan and the festival has caused an incredible backlash and ticket sales are reducing by the year.
Regular attendees just aren't interested anymore. Someone who would turn up to Glastonbury to watch Indie acts play can now expect to see Kanye West this year. Different and damaging.
Harvey Goldsmith, a legendary promoter in the music industry stated:
"So with no big acts to headline, there are no big shows. Glastonbury has got to the point where it can't find any more big acts and that's the pinnacle of the festivals. They are really over."
It is quite sad, to see the music industry lacking in headline acts. We're just not producing those big names anymore and the ones that are still around have done all the headlining slots for festivals. It is just old news and regulars won't want to see the same people in the same slot, year after year.
The dreaded words that Harvey said next:
"Music festivals have probably run their course."
I can't bare it. I know it is happening but for a music fan myself, seeing festivals die out within my lifetime will be a loss to the music industry. Let's just hope the music industry can turn it around. A&R you have a big job to take on...