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Melinda Newman

As Lollapalooza Turns 25, Five Must-Dos For Music Festivals To Stay Relevant


Author Melinda Newman shares 5 tips for music festivals to stay relevant in the changing musical landscape. Which let's admit, is not easy. We think that these points mentioned by Newman are worth noting and are already beginning to be implemented by festival coordinators to improve the overall musical experience.

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Lollapalooza is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its launch this weekend. The festival, which switched from a traveling roadshow to a stationary event several years ago (after a 4-year hiatus), has expanded to four days in Chicago to memorialize the occasion.

While Lollapalooza looks to be healthy, the festival business has gone through some growing pains. Bonnaroo’s attendance was down 28,000 people from the 2015 edition, with the Manchester, Tenn.-festival registering a 45% drop from 2011, the peak-attendance year in the fest’s 15 years, according to The Tennessean. Other festivals are struggling as well.

Here are a few suggestions to keep the festival market healthy:

*Watch the Price Points:

One reason pundits are giving for Bonnaroo’s decline is the ticket price, which was $324 for general admission. Given how much some individual acts charge for tickets, that doesn’t seem unreasonable. However, the biggest selling point festivals had for years was the sheer value of getting to see a number of huge names, plus a strong undercard, for a relatively modest sum.

*Switch Up The Roster:

It used to be that each festival had its own personality—and own headliner. Coachella had a different vibe than Bonnaroo, which had a different vibe from Lollapalooza, etc. Now, acts can route a whole summer tour going from one festival to the next. There’s no reason for a fan to make a festival a destination. For example, headliners at Lollapalooza this year? Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lana Del Rey, Radiohead. Headliners at Osheaga, taking place the same weekend as Lolla in Montreal: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lana Del Rey, Radiohead. They could practically carpool from one festival to the next. Festivals are cannibalizing from themselves and losing their own identity.


See 3 other suggestions for how music festivals can stay relevant in this story by Melinda Newman at Forbes

Tags : Forbes Lollapalooza