Written something which turned into an essay about modern 'music fans' that you see at a lot of music festivals http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4146799-an-alternative-music-festival-or-a-clap-a-long-athon-reading-2013-reviewed
Got me thinking about the changes - good and bad - that we've seen happen to music festivals over the years.
- Ability to check out bands online on YouTube, SoundCloud and Spotify playlists - rather than just taking a punt.
- The bigger the festival market has become, the better quality smaller 'boutique' events have popped up
- So much more music that it becomes a big scheduling task to cram things you want to see in
- So much more music (especially at newer fests like Great Escape) that you could spend weeks checking out all the acts. It's a full-time job keeping up.
- More bands, means less chance of acts soundchecking (I like at Primavera and End of the Road that acts actually get a proper line check, makes a huge difference to the experience)
- The mainstreaming of festivals means you can end up surrounded by a lot more stag dos
- With some festivals almost guaranteed to sell out, promoters have become a little lazy, when they could be really brave (Mutek in Montreal was incredible for sound and visuals, and I've never really seen anything like it before. Made me wonder what other festivals could do in terms of surround sound and one-off performances and visuals)
- Phone reception is still rubbish (if not worse than it used to be)
- People taking photos for entire shows instead of watching the gig
- Young people seem to be taller than they used to be