The Evolution of Festivals and Music Culture

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A Deeper Look


The theme and general mood of current festivals, like Coachella and Warped Tour have changed over the years in asthetic and diverstiy. More and more groups of individuals seek to attend music festivals, observing the different universe that can potentially be tapped. Each festival has a surrounding theme/genre that it follows. This ultimately determines who will go to the specific festival depending on the popularity and general want for that specific genre to be heard.


Specifically we want to surround the overall reason of why music festivals began in the first place. Woodstock symbolized the wholesome message of peace and love in many ways, targeting a specific crowd of individuals (hippie/free sprited souls) who favored the outreach for unity among music. Today, festivals still encompass that same energy related to harmony and wanting to be around those who enjoy a similar experience.


Does this need to be examined? Simply put, we want to delve deeper into the growing emphasis of profiting off of a group mentality. It is typical for festival goers to travel in groups rather than attending alone. There is a difference between the consumer value within a concert as opposed to a festival. The experience factor of the festivals can be attributed to the main aspect of commercialism. There is a want for production and distribution by fans where they can feel as if they are in an alternative universe per say.

Festival Popularity

The top three Music Festivals of 2019 are Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. While all these festivals have one thing in common… the music, each festival is unique and different. This year The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival was April 12-14 and 19-21 at Indio, California. Their three-day admission passes went for $429 and their VIP passes went for $999. Coachella believes in creating a festival and culture that’s safe, inclusive and fun for all.

People of any gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, age or ability are welcome. They’re known for their food program because they feature top restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisine including vegan and gluten-free options. New this year, they used Postmates Pickup to order select food and drinks ahead of time. Most importantly, Coachella is committed to sustainability and partner with companies that help minimize our impact on the environment.

Coming up Lollapalooza is August 1-4 at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois. One day tickets range from $130-$2,000, four day tickets ranging from $340-$4,200. This festival started in 1991 and their motto is  “Music is our DNA”. They’ll have 8 stages and 170+ bands from all over the world. Like Coachella, Lollapalooza is known for their eats, especially their Chicago Best Eats. They offer delicious festival food, drinks and sweets from the Windy City’s favorite restaurants. Their food menu is much more than the typical carnival bites, Lollapalooza emphasizes on fresh and affordability. They offer photogenic spots, interactive areas with giveaways and tons of merch. They even have a mini-festival for kids. Lolla believes in connecting with organizations are improve and save lives.

Lastly, Bonnaroo is June 13-18 in Manchester, Tennessee. Their four-day general admission ticket is $319+ and their four-day VIP ticket is 825+. Bonnaroo features a diverse lineup of 150+ musicians, 10+ stages and their music and entertainment goes all night long. What’s unique about this festival is that most of the festival-goers camp there on the farm. Bonnaroo also offers many activities such as yoga, paint classes with local artists, 5ks, etc. As for the food options, they have numerous vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. Bonnaroo focuses deep on art and creativity, offering interactive art installations. Bonnaroo aspires to be the greenest festival and to set the standard in sustainability and greening practices for North American Concert events.

Hashtag: #MusicMakesMe

We created our hashtag based off of the main point of view for our project – music. The hashtag #MusicMakesMe can be tied together with the passion and love for music that individuals exhibit. We want to spread the hashtag for people to post alongside their travel within the festival world. #MusicMakesMe can even paired next to a simple post pertaining to a feeling that related back to music. The goal of our hashtag is for it to find those who want to learn more about music and what events are out there. There is a traveling essence to #MusicMakesMe because it has the tangibility to be used in so many different areas of social media. We want the overarching message of peace and harmony to be spread from the younger generations to the older generations. 

Attendance Per Generation:

The attendance of distinctive festival participants can be determined through interviews/photojournalistic approaches with those participating in current festival culture, like Warped Tour and Coachella, and past festival Culture, like former Woodstock attendees.

The increasing divide will clearly be highlighted between generations of music and the messages that contemporary music celebrations tend to purvey. But this does not mean that there will be a cohesive gathering of similar individuals. We have noticed that there is an age range between who goes to festivals today, where as in the past, younger generations might have been the main company to performers.

Audience Analysis:

Music Festival-goers tend to be younger, 26 percent more likely to be millennials and Hispanic, at 32 percent  more likely than the general population. Attendees also are 35 percent more likely to come from households that bringing in more than $80,000 a year, and spend an average of $247 per year on tickets to live music events, in comparison to $147 per year for the general population.

Studies show that people aren’t opposed to spending money on tickets because it’s all about the experience. Most of attendees spend an average of 33.5 hours a week listening to music. Most attendees spend money beyond the cost of the ticket, whether that be on merch, foods, drinks, etc.

Attendees 21 and older are bigger drinkers than the general population. 34 percent more likely to drink liquor, 34 percent are more likely to drink wine and 27 percent more likely to drink beer. 79 percent of attendees say music helps them relive the past, 73 percent said they would be completely lost without music, 70 percent said it helps them identify with who they are individually and 67 percent say they connect with friends and family through music.