05/26/12Posted in Features by L4LM

Hey Festival Promotors: Let's See Some New Headliners


This year, the music festival scene has taken on a life of its own. It seems like not a day goes by without some new festival popping up, or an old one stays by announcing it's latest line up. The rise of electronic dance music has also made a mark on the industry – besides just Ultra and Electric Daisy, exciting artists are popping up at even the more rock and roll oriented festivals. There is definitely a lot of exciting and new concepts popping up almost daily.

One thing that is decidedly not unique this year, is the list of headliners. It seems like every festival is picking their main events from a tiny pool of elite artists making their way around the festival circuit. The draw of some of these mighty acts are becoming completely diminished as they headline multiple festivals throughout the same summer.

The worst offenders? We can start with everyone's favorite mop look a like Skrillex, who is headlining the Hangout Music Festival, the Bamboozle Festival, the Spring Awakening Music Festival, Bonnaroo Music Festival, Camp Bisco, and Outside Lands Music Festival! Thats six major festivals – and that's only in the United States! Skrillex is also headlining over ten festivals around the world, everywhere from the UK to France.

 

Another problem facing these events is bands embarking on nationwide tours during the festival season. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are headlining The Hangout, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza – all in the midst of an international tour spanning over 60 dates! A destination based festival's headliner should draw people across the country for the promise of a 'can't miss' event – that gets diminished when I can see the same band a stone's throw from my bedroom.

And what about bands with dedicated fans who are willing to travel and catch multiple shows on a tour? Their fans have been alienated through tour planning. Bonnaroo booked Phish – known for it's traveling circus of fans who drive through the night as to not miss one show – in a way that makes it impossible for the fans to catch their tour opener, and still catch their set at Bonnaroo. Same story for the Hangout Festival, who booked the Dave Matthews Band to play the third day of their festival – while on the first two festival days the band is booked in other cities. If dedicated fans want to follow these bands – they simply cant.

Oh, and believe me, there are some more guilty parties here. Jack White, finally solo from his variety of other projects – is going to make sure you hear his new tracks. He's headlining The Hangout Festival, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch Festival, Firefly Music Festival, Lollapalooza, and Outside Lands. Even with his drawing power and the freshness of his new solo show, six headlining gigs in addition to a summer tour is just overkill.

Even The Black Keys, who have ascended from it's garage rock roots to be a bonafide headliner, have top billing at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Catalpa, Osheaga (Montreal), and Firefly. Do you see a trend here? Five festivals in the midst of a world tour. Rock and roll vets the Foo Fighters are taking on Outside Lands, Bonnaroo, Bamboozle, the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the DeLuna Festival, and the Music Meltdown. Even the re-unions, the one gimmick that usually works in creating a "once and a lifetime" opportunity, have faded this year. At The Drive In and The Beach Boys, probably the two most talked about re-unions for this year, both booked multiple festival dates. Pulp, who re-united for Coachella, had trouble bringing in fans for their re-union tour – their recent Radio City Music Hall shows had tickets for nearly half of face value on the secondary market.

Who is really to blame here? You can't really blame the artists – while they could be weary of overexposure, who can fault these acts for turning down such large pay days – upwards of six figures – for just one night of music? It's like a 'Godfather' offer – who's going to refuse that? One theory is that there is just a lack of superstar, headline worthy acts out there today, forcing these festivals to reach into what is essentially the same handful of artists to be their main draws. If your Scrabble bag only has 6 different letters, a bunch of players are gonna get the same ones. Another reason could be the sole number of festivals this year – theres another one seemingly every week. With so many headlining spots to fill, there is a bound to be some overlap.

But, don't worry, it's not all bad. For one, this just means more music in general. More options, more chances to see some of these huge names. And, of course, there are some positive exceptions. Outside Lands has an extremely diverse line ups featuring the usuals – Jack White, Foo Fighters, Skrillex – along with huge legendary names that haven't really been seen on the recent festival circuit – Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young and Crazy Horse. This is probably this year's best job of giving fans the hottest names of the summer, along with some legends that they may not get a chance to see otherwise. Lollapalooza also struck gold when Black Sabbath decided to withdraw their 2012 American tour – Lollapalooza is now the only chance American rock fans will have to catch Ozzy and the gang this year.

While we have a lot to be thankful for this festival season, with some of the biggest and most diverse line ups ever, along with technological and budgetary advancements allowing these events to become unique spectacles full of insane light shows, art instillations, and, well, holograms from the dead. In a sense, maybe that is the future of these headline acts. The spectacle of the event itself will become the main draw, with the artists creating a soundtrack. But, until walking into a festival is akin to walking into the year 3000, let's try to make sure the music is the real draw of these festivals.

-Written by Justin Charles


Related



Comments


Basketball Player Darius Washington, Jr. Reacts To Phish Song Written About Him

"The Line" is a newer Phish song inspired by basketball player Darius Washington, J ...


Lupe Fiasco Joins Umphrey's McGee At Hangout Festival

Umphrey's McGee recently performed at the Hangout Festival, where they were joined ...


Camp Bisco Adds Live Bands To Their Festival Lineup

When Camp Bisco recently announced their lineup, the festival promised the addition o ...


SUPERJAM Alert: Pretty Lights, DMC, Rob Trujillo (Metallica), Eric Krasno, John Medeski & More

On Saturday, June 13th, Roovians will be treated to a very special SuperJam event. Du ...


Lettuce Members To Play Intimate NYC Show Next Week

When the Lettuce cats are in town, you know that's the funkiest place to be. On Tue ...


Wilco To Play First-Ever All-Acoustic Set

For the first time ever, Wilco will play a full set of acoustic music at their very o ...


Fun Fun Fun Fest Reveals Jaw-Dropping Lineup

Fun Fun Fun Fest has released the lineup for their 10th annual festival, and it's a g ...


ACL Will Rebroadcast B.B. King's 1982 Performance This Weekend; Watch Highlights Here

Considering that Austin City Limits has been broadcast publicly since 1976, it's no s ...


Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Steve Kimock Play Surprise Show

After Bill Kreutzmann's second to last stop on his book tour, at Sweetwater Music ...


Tyler The Creator Says Odd Future Is No More

Odd Future, the hip hop collective comprised of Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean, Earl ...


Gov't Mule Will Return To 'Island Exodus'

Gov't Mule has formally announced the return of their tropical getaway festival, Isla ...


Phish's Jon Fishman Announces Tour Dates With His Side Project

Phish drummer Jon Fishman has announced a number of tour dates for his musical comed ...


The Riot Fest Lineups Are Insane

Riot Fest has announced the first wave of lineups for its Chicago, Denver and Toro ...


Dave Matthews, Jim James, Ryan Adams & More Give Their Top Grateful Dead Songs Of All Time

With all the recent hype surrounding their upcoming reunion shows, it comes as no su ...


U2 Tour Manager Found Dead In LA Hotel Room

U2 tour manager Dennis Sheehan was found dead in his hotel room in Los Angeles ea ...


Grateful Dead Members Are Auctioning Off 300 'Fare Thee Well' Tickets For Charity

Those who missed out on tickets to the Grateful Dead 'Fare Thee Well' concerts may ha ...


Steely Dan To Play 8-Night NYC Residency With Fantastically Themed Shows

Steely Dan has just announced a series of special shows at the Beacon Theatre in NYC ...


Top-Notch Tributes, Surprise Sit-Ins & More Dominate This Year's Summer Camp Fest

In the real world, Memorial Day is synonymous with the beginnings of summer. The weat ...


L4LM Exclusive: Eastbound Jesus Gets To Rockin' On 'Shoes'

Americana/rock group Eastbound Jesus keeps the fans grooving on their brand new album ...


L4LM Exclusive: ShwizZ Gets Funky On 'Duggan' With Dream Theater's Jordan Rudess

If you should find yourself searching for the latest and greatest in funk and progres ...


Technicians Of The Sacred: An In-Depth Conversation With Ozric Tentacles

Ever since one epic jam session in 1983 at the Stonehenge Free Festival in England, O ...


The Del Family Keeps Getting Bigger At DelFest

Del McCoury and company hosted their 8th annual DelFest last weekend, bringing the ...


Top 10 Live Music Acts at CounterPoint Music Festival

Held over Memorial Day Weekend at the Kingston Downs in Rome, GA, CounterPoint Mus ...


The Interesting People That Attend Mysteryland

Mysteryland USA's 2015 edition came to a close yesterday evening after an epic weeke ...


Top 5 Reasons To Attend Disc Jam Music Festival

Festival season is finally upon us! With so many music festivals out there today, her ...


Eric Gould Previews Upcoming Pink Talking Fish Are Dead Shows

L4LM sat down recently with Eric Gould, bassist and founder of Pink Talking Fish, to ...


L4LM Celebrates Bob Dylan's 74th Birthday

 Robert Allen Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan) came into the world on May 24th, 1941, at S ...


Getting To Know: Chromatropic, NYC's Hometown Jam Band

Live For Live Music had the pleasure of sitting down with Danny Cardini and Mark Pott ...


An Interview With Chicago's Newest Funk Sensation, The Heard

The Heard, a Chicago based funk act, is one of the newer bands to be hitting the live ...


Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band Lives The Funk Life '24/7' In Exclusive Video Debut

When Funk Life drops on June 2nd, will you be ready? Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band hav ...


Here's Why You Don't Want To Miss This Year's The Werk Out Festival

It's no secret that there are a ton of summer music festivals to choose from, but whe ...


Top 10 Performances From Philly's Non-COMMvention

Last week, WXPN’s annual Non-COMMvention in Philadelphia brought together music ind ...


An Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Look At Dear Jerry Featuring Your Favorite Artists

On 5/14, nearly every musician gathered in the Merriweather Post Pavillion for "D ...


L4LM Exclusive: Digital Tape Machine Goes 'Deeper'

Digital Tape Machine continue to define their futuristic element on this brand new cu ...



Instafeed



    L4LM Twitter