Above and Beyond Bring ABGT100 To MSG

There are so many dedicated fans in today's electronic music scene, groups of people claiming to be 'family', groups of people who travel across borders to catch their favorite DJ and hold up a banner[...]

An Afroman Show Will Always Be A Good Time

Last week, Afroman released a new remix to his 14-year-old single, "Because I Got High," in support of the legalization of marijuana. This week, he played to a sold out show at Hangar 9 in the college[...]

Bonobo Captivates In DJ Set At Denver's Ogden Theatre, 10/17

[Photos by Cody Deel] With a die-hard army of fans spreading across the globe, Bonobo has built up a reputation for himself for his DJ sets, as well as his shows with his live band. Last Friday night[...]

I Never Knew 'Bathtub Gin' Belonged In Dark Side Of The Moon, Until I Saw Pink Talking Fish

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pink Talking Fish bassist Eric Gould. Even then, Gould was getting excited just talking about his band's upcoming performance of Dark Side Of [...]

STS9's Successful 'ReEmergence' in NYC with New Bassist Alana Rocklin

STS9 at Best Buy Theater - New York City 10/17/2014 With the departure of founding member and bassist Dave Murphy in January of this year, leaving many fans in disbelief and wondering about the band'[...]



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



Kanye West Outdoes Himself, Stops Concert To Criticize Handicapped Fans For Not Standing Up

None of the top 10 reasons we love to hate Kanye West compares to what happened last Friday night in Sydney, Australia, when Mr. West literally stopped his show to criticize two fans for not standing [...]

Listen: Howard Stern Sends Correspondent To Phish Lot

Howard Stern sent one of his correspondents, Wolfie, out to a Phish parking lot prior to one of their summer shows. Wolfie interviewed a number of fans, just outside of The Mann in Philadelphia, and t [...]

Rapper Stitches Offers Cocaine to Audience; Wife Chases Him Off Stage

Well, rest assured we won't be visiting Lake Worth, FL anytime soon, especially after watching the video below. Rapper Stitches (the guy with faceful of tattooed stitches), got all sorts of grimey at [...]

Phish Fans Have An Average SAT Score of 1149 (On The Old SATs)

As it turns out, despite Howard Stern's lampooning, Phish fans are actually smarter than the average fan. A study performed by the site Music That Makes You Dumb has resulted in a comprehensive corre [...]

Lotus' Talking Heads Deconstructed and Papadosio Electrify Red Rocks, 9/19

The pairing of Papadosio with Lotus for an end-of-summer musical celebration at Red Rocks just made sense. Both bands, in addition to opening DJ group Orchard Lounge, played with palpable energy and p [...]

Heavy Hittin' Moments From LockN'

Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, VA once again played host to the second annual LockN' Festival over the past four days. The music was an interlocking tangle of various genres, with each day bringing [...]

Imelda May Rocks The Paramount & Interview

Imelda May and her band took up shop at The Paramount on September 28th, fresh on the heels of the release of her new album, Tribal. The Irish Rockabilly Invasion has left no doubt that the hearts, [...]

Bass Center VIII Explodes With Performances From Bassnectar, Big Gigantic and More

Throughout his 15 year career, San Francisco’s Bassnectar has played countless music festivals, toured as frequently as possible and rocked sold out stadiums across America. But, up until last Satur [...]

Lettuce Members Share Real Time Experiences From The Road

We're about to embark on the road with our favorite funk powerhouse, Lettuce, hitting cities all over the US - from Austin to Nashville to NYC and many in between! Throughout the tour, the boys will b [...]

L4LM Presents The 2014 Catskill Chill Music Festival Awards

We had an absolute blast at this year's Catskill Chill. From the friendly and helpful staff, to the top notch musical acts and tribute sets from many genres, to the "chill" environment all around, th [...]

Rock and Roll Is Alive, And Gene Simmons Is An Idiot

Gene Simmons recently made headlines by declaring "rock is finally dead" in an interview in Esquire. Never mind that the interview was conducted by Gene's son Nick Simmons, but the KISS icon couldn't [...]

Just How Much Of Led Zeppelin's Music Was Stolen?

It seems that whenever we post an article about Led Zeppelin, music fans are quick to point out the band's history of ripping off old blues musicians without properly crediting them. While blues music [...]


Help out Live For Live Music as a writer, photographer, or as a member of our street team for the chance to win awesome perks!