Attack Of The Clones!
A year ago, we ran a piece on our blog showcasing a new and pretty weird artform: the festival line-up announcement video. And while some efforts were seriously good, 12 months later the trend has spiralled out of focus and out of control.
At the ridiculous end of the spectrum lives Line-Up: The Movie. At 26 minutes and 38 seconds long, this year’s effort from the guys at Primavera Sound is some feat. And truth be told, if you’ve got time to burn, it’s absolutely brilliant. But nevertheless, the plethora of big budget clips is getting both tiresome and concerning.
The massive efforts undertaken by even the biggest players in the industry is indicative of a near-saturation of the festival season. Our news feeds are subjected to countless sepia-drenched, slow-motion, sun-speckled cavalcades as individual festivals work harder than ever to leap off the page. But why?
As artists tour all year round to make a living, festival slots in 2014 are more expectation than revelation. OutKast made no secret of their forty festival confirmations this summer. Even Neutral Milk Hotel – one of the most elusive acts of the last twenty years – are a placeholder name across the board this season. The lines are blurring between one festival and another, and you just can’t help but feel the annual Daft Punk rumour mill is a plea simply for something to get excited about.
What’s more, as ticket prices skyrocket, the number of festivals a music fan can realistically attend each year continues to shrink. “Buy early-bird tickets for 2015 at 2014 prices!” only tells us that next year’s ticket price will increase by a hefty percentage. Again. And while more and more events crop up in existing battlegrounds, the competition to win your annual $300 payout intensifies.
Don’t be perturbed; music festivals are still the greatest thing we have on this planet. But there’s an eerie, storm-a-brewin’ feeling that something has to give.
I’ll leave you with a healthy dose of hypocrisy: my favourite festival video ever.