8 Advantages Of A Club Versus A Festival
One of the most amazing aspects about EDM is the variety of environments in which you can watch an artist perform. Whether it be at a huge, outdoor, 30-artist festival or at a smaller venue that just houses 2-3 DJs, each setting can have a critical impact on the way we experience each set. Different people like different environments, but for me, the smaller venues have greater benefits than the bigger ones. When it comes to safety, age restrictions, and sound quality, there's a lot to appreciate from a small venue.
How many times have you witnessed someone that is at a festival and is on the verge of passing out, but the security and medical team are too far away to notice? I have seen countless people losing consciousness in lines, virtually inaccessible to help because they can’t be reached. Clubs and venues are much smaller in size, and therefore security personnel can cover the entire area and spot anyone who may be having some trouble. There are much less people in attendance which makes the crowds increasingly easier to control.
Depending on the artist performing, generally the prices for the events are relatively lower in comparison. This past month I attended Pendulum, Andrew Rayel, and Grandtheft in a club venue; the prices were $25, $25, and $15 dollars. Festivals, because of the massive lineups, are minimum $150-$200. Now there are some exceptions, where Hardwell is charging $107 for general admission and Avicii charged $85, but generally the majority of events in smaller venues are much cheaper than giant festivals.
Giant festivals tend to be outdoors, and therefore weather dependent. A heat wave could be passing by, or even a thunderstorm, and with the amount of preparation involved it becomes practically impossible to reschedule, not to mention depressing for fans if it is cancelled altogether. When it’s indoors, it doesn’t matter if there’s a rainstorm, snowstorm, heat wave, the show can still go on with no interruptions. Moreover, if the weather is bad, it’s a hazard. If it’s really hot, heat strokes would be rampant. If it’s really cold and/or raining, expect to wake up with the flu. At the same time, location also plays a huge factor, with outdoor festivals like TomorrowWorld and Mysteryland taking place in beautiful outdoor venues that provide a much more scenic view than the walls of a club.
In a club, an artist has the freedom to take the crowd where he wants to. They can play underground, unreleased, and overall unknown tracks. They can choose to take whatever direction they feel. In a festival, it is difficult and risky to play underground tracks, because let’s face it - the majority of the people in attendance are there to hear the popular, mainstream tracks they can all sing along to. The artist has less freedom to choose what they want to do. This limits the boundaries they can cross during their performance.
Access to Bathrooms
A huge problem with festivals is the difficulty in accessing bathrooms. They are usually outhouses that have been used and abused by thousands of people and are absolutely disgusting. Moreover, the lineup is ridiculously long, with no toilet paper and no sink to clean up. It can truly be a traumatizing experience for anyone. In clubs and smaller venues, there’s multiple stalls usually attended to by a staff member that ensures everything a person needs when using the facilities are available for them.
Access to Water
Along with the difficulty in accessing bathrooms, water can be a scarce resource in festivals. Even if there are water stations, they are so rare that people fight and jump on top of each other to get to the taps as soon as possible. At clubs and venues, there are bars and bathroom sinks you can refill a water bottle you had bought. People wouldn’t be shoving and pushing in order to get to the bartender the same way they would in a festival.
The majority of festivals today (although some are changing) have no age restriction. There are some that put the limit at 16, others at 18. In clubs or venues, it is according to the legal drinking age placed by the government. In the U.S., it’s 21, and in Canada it varies between 18 and 19. By having those who are of age, it limits youth from being exposed to alcohol and drugs they aren't as knowledgable of or experienced with. Because they are underage, it causes many problems, like who would be held accountable, who sold them the drugs or alcohol, etc. At the age of adulthood, that person is responsible for his/her own well-being.
Clubs focus a lot of money and energy on ensuring their speaker systems are working and emitting sound properly around the venue. In festivals, they can only do so much. They have to place the speakers by the stage and hope that the people in the back can catch the sound waves. In a club, they can be placed on the ceiling around the dancefloor, making sure the crowd is hit with as many sound waves as possible to maximize their experience.
Written by Taya-Maria El-Asmar