Being in my late teens with my twenties being around the corner I am definitely in my prime of festival-going and have been to a fair few music festivals over the past two years. One of the first festivals I ever attended was ‘V Festival’ which has sadly been discontinued, and as I say goodbye to another festival I wanted to look back on how festivals have changed over the years and what has shaped them into the event we know and love today!
Popularity over the years
With over 230 music festivals in the UK alone it comes as no surprise that they have become the ultimate event to attend during the summer! Although they were not always as popular as they are today.
Music festivals originated in the United States with the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. These music festivals allowed people to express themselves through art and music. It became a place for like-minded people to share their mutual interests. By 1968, the first Isle of Wight festival began which in the years to follow exploded in popularity. The founder of the infamous Glastonbury festival Andrew Kerr attended the Isle of Wight festival and decided to start his own; which is how Glastonbury came into fruition. Glastonbury then became the template for modern music festivals we know and love today!
How has the internet effected the music festival?
Moreover with the introduction of the internet and social media the original Glastonbury template for the ‘music festival’ has changed. Millennials are no longer interested in the music aspect as much but we crave ‘experiences’ that we can immerse ourselves in. In an age of Instagram we constantly crave the FOMO-inducing posts we can share. (Have a look at your friends instagram page who’s instagram game is too strong for their own good).
It appears the once humble music festival can give us just that! Geoff Ellis, Boss of Scotland’s T in the park festival, spoke at a music industry seminar called Wide days . Saying: ‘The big thing we’ve noticed is the behaviour of millennials now’, he added. ‘They maybe want to go to a festival like T in the Park or Creamfields, but once they’ve ticked that box they’re off the next year to Magaluf or a festival in Serbia. It’s not that they didn’t have a good time, it’s because they want to keep doing different things, whereas a festival-goer ten years ago would go back every year with their mates. That’s all changed. People are chasing the next experience’
This sounds all too familiar. After the discontinuation of ‘V Festival’ it comes as no surprise that experience chasing has become the go too for millennials instagram feeds. In the future festivals that don’t offer the experiences we are looking for get the chop.
Until next time! Make sure to check out my twitter for regular updates!
– Max Martin-Wilson