As an avid music festival patron, I’ve found it increasingly disappointing and frustrating to see some of my favourite festivals go down the tube recently. This inspired my class and I to investigate into why this has happened and what organisers can do to ensure their event gets the sales needed to stay afloat.
The last couple of months have been particularly troublesome for the music festival industry. As some of you are probably aware, major festivals inclduing Harvest, Peats Ridge, Sprung and most recently Homebake have been cancelled due to a succinct lack of ticket sales.
So why exactly has this occurred? There have been a few reasons that could be to blame, such as the major increase in ticket prices, the overcrowding of the market or could it possibly be that audiences have become bored with festivals?
This has been an ongoing discussion in my EBM class and we have determined that whilst there is truth to all of the above points, there is a simple answer to the question. Basically, festival audiences and their expectations have evolved to a more advanced level and festivals that don’t acknowledge and adapt to these changes will be left behind.
For as long as the industry has existed, the larger and broader festivals like Big Day Out had a strong hold over the whole market. However in the more recent years, audiences have shown a far greater interest in the more specialised festivals with a clearly defined market and genre. Festivals like Bluesfest, Soundwave and Stereosonic, all of which have a clear style of performer and audience demographic, have now overtaken as the industry leaders with the most consistent ticket sales.
Whilst it is incredibly disappointing to see the decline of some of Australia’s favourite festivals, the more competitive market has forced promoters to create a far greater festival experience for us to enjoy, so I guess its not all bad.