How Music Festivals Became Popular

Music festivals are events organised by large companies or groups of companies typically lasting a few days and featuring several musicians, singers and bands. Music festivals can be traced back to ancient Greece where people would gather and conduct competitions on sports, arts and music. However the modern music festival was born out of Woodstock. Even though Woodstock was not exactly the first of its kind, the 1969 Woodstock festival set up the ethos and setting of the music festival we all love today. Since then, the do it yourself, communal harmony of the music festival was replaced by mainstream business minded approaches. However, this did not mean that the people did not like the change: in fact they welcomed it with open arms. Music festivals started garnering a lot of money from all over the world, with famous artists performing at different places according to the money they get offered. The Coachella Music and Arts Festival became the first ever music festival to successfully earn more than one hundred million dollars in profit two times in a row in 2017.

The 1970s and 80s brought about a great change in how music festivals were viewed due to the emergence of the hippie culture. It developed as a subculture to the standard American way at the time, but it quickly became a global movement. People from all over the world started practicing the sub culture, and this was most prevalent at music festivals. Music itself had changed by that time, with rock music, rock and roll, metal and hip hop gaining more and more popularity. However, the people weren’t just going to music festivals for the music: they definitely were looking for something more.

In 2019, a survey conducted at Deloitte stated that 57% of the millennials (who made up 45 percent of the crowd at music festivals) did not go to music festivals for the music: in fact they said they did not even care who was performing. To them, a music festival was all about the overall experience and not just the music. There is so much more to a festival than just the music. This brings us to another reason why music festivals are so popular: the uniqueness.


Each music festival, be it the Lallapalooza, Coachella, Woodstock, Glastonbury, etc. they have their own set of unique experiences. If the management wants people to come back to the music festival, they need to give the audience an experience that they have never felt anywhere ever before. Only then will the people be appreciative enough of the festival to come back each year and revel in the uniqueness. The people are not short of money these days: they are short on experiences and whoever can give them the most unique ones, gets the real prize: a loyal following.

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