Fact or Fiction: 32 million people go to at least one United States music festival every year. Fact or Fiction: Billboard recently released an infographic demonstrating how staggering the music festival numbers have proved to be in the last year. One could argue that music festivals are a relatively newer art form in the span of human history, but the art of live performance is an antiquated one. The 21st century has completely harnessed the eclectic beauty of gathering thousands of people together to listen to a list of bands in the span of a handful of days. But harnessing this explosive art form couldn’t have been done without the assistance of one friend; the friend that always wants to share stories and compile similarly linked text and photos.
When examining Glastonbury’s social media use, Matt Frew and Jenny Flinn argue that “social media provides a window of connection and immediacy into festivity which creates new opportunities and challenges for festival and event organizers.”
The spontaneity that festivals portray is partially due to the fact that the product has now been able to be constantly captured, yet not without constant virtual mediation from festival media advisors. Festivals have now become this co-created product because of the audiences’ newly engaged nature. Of the 32 million mentioned in the first sentence of this post, 14.7 million are Millennials, which are the most targeted demographic for advertisers of this particular sector. Those 14.7 are more likely to engage in interactive twitter festival lineup reveals, YouTube video featuring previous iterations and montages, and comments to festival affiliated blogs. To not properly harness all of social media’s options, a budding music festival in the present day might as well expect it’s first year to be it’s last.