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Festival Season

Last updated June 25th, 2013

Festival season is now upon us, and it seems as though every genre is accounted for with more and more festivals emerging in the UK and around the world. The festival scene is attracting a broader crowd of all ages, with large festivals such as Glastonbury and Isle of Wight catering for families as well as smaller local festivals. Genre specific festivals are on the rise, which seems to match the increasingly expanding music industry.
There are increasingly more one or two day events taking place in urban areas and cities, these are quick and highly profiting events. Event organisers gain sponsorship to fund these one day festivals, which promotes brands and encourages spending. I recently attended Field Day festival in Victoria Park, East London. The festival began at 11:30am and ended twelve hours later. I paid a little less than £60 for this day of music, not including spending money on food and drink. The park was full to capacity, to an extent where the crowds were too large and you could not enjoy the music and festival experience. This appeared to be a way for the organisers to cram as many people into the festival to further increase profits. However, this is not the same for all one day festivals. It depends massively on the organisation and quality of the event planning team.
A festival in which I have noticed a huge leap in improvement of safety and event organisation is Reading Festival, which occurs every August bank holiday weekend. I have attended the past three years and the difference between 2010 and 2011 was the most noticeable. In 2011 there was increased numbers of volunteers helping to control the campsites, as well as more safety measures and precautions.
Traditionally, music festivals were of mixed genres but all based around rock. In 1970 when icons such as Jimi Hendrix performed at the Isle of Wight Festival, Nirvana at Reading Festival in 1992 and Muse at Glastonbury in 2004 to name a few. Despite Glastonbury playing a variety of music, it has always been known as a rock festival with hippie vibes. However, since Jay-Z performed in 2008, this sparked debate of how the festival scene is changing and introduced a wave of hip-hop and R&B into the festival scene. This has opened opportunities for event organisers in terms of a wider range of funding and sponsorship. There are now also numerous EDM (Electronic Dance Music) specific festivals such as Creamfields, SW4 and Tomorrowland in Antwerp, Belgium.
Young people are now more willing to travel internationally for the perfect music experience, and whilst doing so incorporate both holiday and festival into one trip. Festivals such as Coachella which takes place in t he US and European festivals such as Outlook in Croatia and Benacassim in Spain. Organisers must recognise the level of national and international interest and be able to cater to these needs. The festival scene is always growing and shows no signs of fading just yet, and I look forward to the day where week long festivals are happening in the UK and around the world.
By Olivia Wigley
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