Why are festivals more popular than ever?

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2nd September 2019
Crowd stands to watch unseen stage, flags fly in the wind

You’d be hard pressed to find a summer weekend when there isn’t a festival taking place somewhere in the UK.

Nowadays, there’s a festival for everyone. We tend to associate festivals with live music, but there are festivals celebrating everything from food and drinks, to comedy, cars and even cheese! People can choose from a one-day event to a full on, five-day affair, and make the most of the many free events taking place year round.

But why has the popularity of music festivals skyrocketed recently? UK Music’s last official report found that the number of people enjoying live music events in the UK grew by 12% in 2016 to reach 30.9 million – up from 27.7 million in 2015.

People put the growing popularity of festivals down to a number of reasons. First is the fact that festivals cater to a new generation of experience-seekers; people who prioritise unique experiences over ‘things’. Then you have social media, which has generated hype around festivals and allows organisers of events small and large reach huge audiences.

The way the industry is going, the festival calendar is likely to see numerous additions with each and every year. These events will join other legendary festivals in the line-up like Glastonbury, which celebrates its 50th year in 2020. Headline rumours are already circulating (our bets are on Fleetwood Mac!).

So, what are the most epic festivals moments so far? Here are four of our favourites:

1. Queen makes rock history at Live Aid

It’s been hailed one of the greatest live performances of all time, despite it lasting just 20 minutes. During the 1985 Live Aid concert, organised for the Ethiopian famine, iconic frontman Freddie Mercury took to the stage with his band to perform a medley of Queen’s best-loved tracks. The performance was watched by an estimated 1.9 billion people around the world in what would be one of Queen’s career-defining moments.

2. Jimi Hendrix’s blazing performance

It was June 1967 – the start of the Summer of Love – and Jimi Hendrix was performing at the one-off Monterey International Pop Festival in California. After ending his crowd-pleasing set with Wild Thing, the singer and guitarist proved that he was very much a wild thing by dropping to his knees and setting his guitar on fire. That very guitar sold at auction back in 2012 for an eye-watering £237,000.

3. 100,000 people get their satisfaction

Glastonbury has seen its fair share of iconic headline acts over the years, but top of list for festival co-organiser Michael Eavis was Rolling Stones’ stellar 2013 Pyramid performance. Surprisingly, it was the first time the band ever graced the stage, and they played all of their top hits to a record 100,000 excited fans.

4. Coldplay lights up the night

Glastonbury 2016 was all about Coldplay’s super-colourful headline performance, thanks to their light-up ‘Xyloband’ wristbands that flashed in time with the tunes! Agreed, it could only be fully appreciated if you were watching on the television (or in a helicopter), but there’s no denying it was a truly impressive spectacle.

If you are a fan of festivals, check out the NEW! British Summertime week at all of our centres! For more information contact the team on 0303 303 0145 or email bookings@revitalise.org.uk 

Sources:
https://www.ukmusic.org/research/music-tourism-wish-you-were-here-2017/

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