Summer means it is time for music festivals. Somehow the combined joys of music, fresh air and sunshine outweigh the pains of sunburns, mosquito bites, aching feet, claustrophobia inducing crowds and in my case, hay fever.
Festivals come in every flavor and every size. The largest festival in the US (though exact numbers are hard to find) is Lollapolooza, attracting over 250,000 attendees last year. On the flip side, exclusive or local festivals can be as small as a few hundred people. Anyone who has been to a few festivals probably has a strong opinion about what size festival is best. The following are some pros and cons of
Small festival pros:
- more intimate performances
- smaller crowds (if you’re into that)
- less commercialized, cheaper food & drink etc.
- cheaper ticket price
- more specialized content
Big festival pros:
- big ticket acts
- big savings (compare a festival ticket price to the cost of tickets to see each of the headliners separately)
- big crowds (if you’re into that)
Big festivals are at risk of falling victim to their own size. For example, Coachella, which started as a tiny electronic festival has grown over the past 10 years to become a mostly rock festival with over 100,000 attendees. The intense commercialization and overcrowding is causing some of the original Coachella fans, who made it the festival it is today, stop attending. But where else can you see The Kings of Leon, Kanye West, Arcade Fire and The Strokes all in one weekend?
So do you guys prefer large or small festivals? Are the headliners of the major festivals worth the extra hassle?
A time lapse video of the ebbing and flowing crowds of Coachella