Last week Jay-Z had a live press conference to announce the “Budweiser Made In America” music festival taking place in Philly over Labor Day weekend. The festival will occur over two days with 28 music acts including Pearl Jam, Odd Future, D’Angelo, Santigold, and Jay-Z to name a few. With Jay-Z cosigning a new music festival, it begs the question, are music festivals the new trend in the music industry or just a throwback? And are artists considered more credible for being in the lineup?
It seems like now, more then ever, there are a plethora of festivals all over the world to suit anyone’s taste in music. And these days, artists from multiple genres are likely to be included in the lineup, which typically only featured rock bands/artists. There are even websites, like Music Festival Junkies that are dedicated to festivals, breaking them down by country, festival type complete with updates on the latest festival news.
In fact, there are ten “mega” U.S. festivals that are easily recognizable to even casual music fans. Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Coachella, South by Southwest, and Austin City Limits are just a few. There are also camping themed music festivals, free music festivals and unique music festivals, literally offering up options for all types of music enthusiasts. In addition, there are fests that focus on a single genre of music like Rock The Bells (hip-hop) and Ozzfest (hard rock, heavy metal).
With music festivals dating all the way back to 4500 B.C. and the earliest modern day festival popping up in 1937, it would seem that the presence of music festivals is both a throwback and a trend. Woodstock is the oft-remembered music festival, taking place in 1969 and resurrected in 1994 and again in 1999. And Lollapalooza has been a mainstay since its debut in 1991 as a travelling fest, eventually rebranded as a 3-day stationary fest in Chicago. Again, music festivals aren’t really new, but the shear volume of then alone makes them quite the trend.
Both mainstream and indie artists benefit greatly from performing at music festivals. Lineups are often heavily filled with indie artists, providing fans a chance to support these artists. And several artists end up playing at multiple festivals. While mainstream acts often headline a night at the festivals, bringing in the casual fan, exposing them to other music acts, at the same time giving credibility to the festival for bringing in huge acts.
Whether you view music festivals as trend or throwback, they are here to stay. And with websites like Music Festival Junkies, it’s easy to find a festival to suit your musical needs. Maybe check out Jay-Z’s “Budweiser Made In America” fest during Labor Day weekend. However, if you aren’t willing to travel afar to get your music festival fix, hit up Lollapalooza. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, J. Cole, Frank Ocean, and The Weeknd are just a few of the artists taking the stage at Grant Park, so it might behoove you to get your tickets sooner than later.