The sentiment is echoed in business models being pushed by the music industry itself. The summer music festival scene is exploding. The hugest multi-day concerts, like Austin City Limits and Sasquatch, are selling out months ahead of time. Old staples, like Sarah’s McLaughlin’s Lilith Fair, are being reborn, and locally-organized independent music festivals and folk festivals are springing up and growing all over the world.
And the festival model makes sense for promoters and producers. Rather than funneling time and money into a single artist, and concerts that may draw a few hundred fans, they get to run an efficient, cost-effective music Wal-mart: huge crowds all get the same decent product, relatively low cost-per-band, short sets, cattle-style herding from beer to food to port-a-potty. It all runs like a big box store for concert-goers.
Even during a recession, kids are willing to fork over the cash (as much as $300.00 for a basic ticket to a 4-day festival) to see their favorite bands and enjoy the festival experience. And some, like Bonnaroo, are growing exponentially, pulling in $30 million last year alone through ticket sales and ad partnerships.