A study by Eventbrite highlights the extent to which the generation Y values experience and access over owner-ship: 78 percent would rather go and pay for an experience than material goods, compared with 59 percent of boomers (born 1946-1964). The survey analysis states: “This generation not only highly values experiences, but they are increasingly spending time and money on them: from concerts and social events to athletic pursuits, to cultural experiences and events of all kinds.”
It's been over half a century since the first ever big music festivals took place. Fast forward to today and the concept of the huge festival is well established, but bigger doesn't always mean its better. Countless stages and unmanageable timetables often frustrates the festival goer attending for the music and not the fanfare and distractions. Of course, commercialization is becoming an issue for some, and many of these events being pushed to reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant and attract younger generations alongside older loyal fans. So who is leading the way?
Challenges aside, there are some positive developments happening on a purely entertainment level. Artists are often innovating and coming up with new ideas, And for them it offers an opportunity to reach new audiences and try different formats. Plus, technology has made it easier for more of us to experience concerts live, streaming advancements mean they can now be enjoyed from the comfort of the couch. So what's the appeal? Positioned at the cutting edge of the electronic music landscape and its interactions with digital culture.
The potential of virtual reality and music festivals is huge. Artists will likely start to offer their own virtual reality experiences, which may prove to be a huge revenue opportunity as the music industry revenue model focuses on rich content to supplement streaming.
“Live streams have provided a new way for people to have the second best thing and I could definitely see virtual reality becoming a part of the experience in the future.” - Hardwell
Imagine being able to hang out backstage with an artist before going on stage with them, exploring what it feels like from their perspective. “There is no comparison between watching an artist online versus in person. The energy, emotion, and community that the festival experience provides is unattainable.” Said Hardwell, “That being said, live streams have provided a new way for people to have the second best thing when they can’t attend a festival and I could definitely see virtual reality becoming a part of the experience in the future.”