Are there problems with festivals?

So good old Glasto sold out in record time: 1 hour and 27 minutes, according to their twitter page.

Interested by the headlines I saw, I went to look into who would be playing the festival in 2014. Turns out, there is no line-up. The website efestivals lists different artists and labels them as their “rumor, strong rumor or confirmed.” Listed are major artists like David Bowie, Stone Roses and Fleetwood Mac as well as smaller acts like Miles Kane and Temples. None have been given the official confirmation.

Am I the only one that sees a problem with this?

True, there are some festivals you can go to and be confident it’s going to be great. Maybe you love so many bands that will be touring that you can’t possibly be let down by the lineup.

Problem is, for £210 (plus fees), you better fucking like the lineup.

It is clear that festivals are becoming trendy. Great, but are there maybe more negative connotations?

Summer 2006 I attended Lollapalooza in Grant Park. I was 15-years-old. We were lucky enough to be staying in Chicago for the week while my dad attended a conference. He got us discounted tickets through work. It was bad ass. Last year, Lollapalooza single-day tickets sold out in an hour. There’s no way even my dad could get a discount for that.

With tickets for festivals becoming such a hot commodity, competition builds and not everyone plays a fair game. If someone is genuinely looking forward to a great weekend of music, I get that.

But that’s what it should really be about. Not looking cool or getting bragging rights (or even those assholes who buy and resell tickets).

Here I am beating a dead horse. There’s nothing to say to change trends or society. So why bother?


  1. Glastonbury’s system is brilliant, the tickets are printed with a passport style photo to prevent ticket touting. I was lucky enough for one of my friends to get tickets for our group within an hour, but its never easy.
    I do agree with you, it is a gamble to take when you have virtually no idea on the line up and for some people that could cause problems. The thing is though, there are enough people who have taste broad enough to thoroughly enjoy themselves no matter who turns out to be playing, as demonstrated by the ridiculous sell out time. There is always something for everyone at Glasto.

    1. What Glasto has done is innovative, definitely. They’re really on the right track to making it fair. However, it just seems idiotic that seetickets knew exactly how many people were registered to try to get tickets but still had “technical difficulties.”

      I think the real problem I was trying to get at was more of how trendiness might be what’s really destroying festivals (the best example of this is Coachella, which is more of a runway than a festival). Tickets are selling faster, but many of these festivals have been around for years and have always had great lineups. I think more people care about having a cool internet life instead of just caring about seeing good music. For people who just love music and the experience who gives a fuck about those people, right? I think festivals are fantastic (but I’m poor so I don’t get to go). Have loads of fun for everyone who couldn’t make it! I bet it’s going to be fantastic.

      1. All the ticket companies are the same, yes events like festivals or large concerts are always going to give you ‘higher demand than usual’ but that’s what you do, sell tickets to these extremely popular events, so be prepared for this kind of traffic! For some people, it does seem to be more so you can say you’ve gone, which is sad. People shouldn’t loose sight of what they are all about. Love the music. Love the festival. Roll on June 2014.

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