Is the Age of the Music Festival About to End?

Swell. Just as North America figures out how to successfully stage music festivals someone in the UK announces that the whole idea is passe and that the age of music festivals is drawing to a close. This comes from The Guardian.

The age of the big British summer music festival, including Glastonbury, is drawing to a close, according to the leading rock promoter and manager Harvey Goldsmith.

The man who has produced and worked with most of the western world’s biggest music stars, from the Who, the Rolling Stones and Queen to Madonna, Bob Dylan and Luciano Pavarotti, said the biggest problem was a dire lack of major new bands to succeed the old ones.

“The festival circuit has peaked,” he said, speaking at the Hay literary festival in Powys, Wales. “It really peaked about two years ago. There’s too many of them and there are not enough big acts to headline them. That is a big, big problem in our industry. And we are not producing a new generation of these kind of acts – the likes of the Rolling Stones, Muse, even Arctic Monkeys – that can headline.”

The man does have a point. With the way the music industry has evolved, we haven’t been able to manufacture mega-acts the way we once did. Then again, they are a little over-saturated in the UK. Last year there were 900 or so music festivals in Britain between May and September of last year. That’s a bit much, no? Read up on this article here.

Meanwhile, FYI Music News reports that there are at least 65 music festivals schedule for across Canada between today and September–and that doesn’t include monsters like Field Trip, NXNE, Osheaga or anything to do with the Pan Am Games. The same source says that there are 110 summer festivals just in Toronto.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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