Friday, July 12, 2019

How festivals has changed.

It was a kind of interesting article in a newspaper in Sweden how Swedish festivals has changed over the past 10 years. Before many of the festivals were held in some small town in a muddy field. Camping festivals they wrote them as. Many of them have now been replaced by a large city festival inside parks in the biggest cities.

I don't know if this is just a Swedish phenomenon or if it is a change all over the world?

But another thing struck me when I was on Summerfest the worlds largest festival with a million visitors in Milwaukee in USA. It's not a camping festival but held in a park area in the city. What struck me was the vendors. A part of being on the festival back in the days was that you could buy things around your favorite artists or records like they had on Medimex in Italy where I was at the beginning of the month.

I remember when I went on my first festivals and found vendors selling my favorite band's merch like Ramones, Misfits, 23Till and more. The first festival I bought a Ramones pin that I still have today over twenty years later. Back then it was impossible to find anything like that in my home town Örebro. If you were lucky they carried a best-of compilation with Ramones. The record dealers in that city were just greedy people that didn't care about music. They just sold top ten on the album chart and was walking around like small popes deciding what was good music or not. Mainly they missed by far. Today I'm really happy these horrible people that was an awful gatekeeper has disappeared.

The festival was providing a breathing ground where I could choose my music. Discover new cool stuff. Not just on the stages but also in everything else.

I have been going down on the vendors all this year and here is a big change. All they sell now is nicknack. Had a hard time to find anything music-related. 

At the same time, the internet has changed all that was obscure. Today you find thousands of different Ramones pins on eBay just a click away. The rare bootlegs are on Youtube and sometimes easier to find than the official ones.

Moving the festivals to the city is a part of this. You want it closer and more comfortable. At the same time, it won't be a full experience. Suddenly all the other millions if entertainment that is in the city is also calling for attention. All this is has gotten the audience to be looking for the next thing faster then they can listen to a song that is 3,30 min long. It seems like festivals today is to walk up to the mainstage and take a selfie to prove you where there and then keep your hunt for your next cultural experience kick in a cloud of FOMO.

Nothing is limited any longer for good and bad.

*FOMO=Fear of missing out.


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