How To Save Music Festivals: Go Pop
Of all the things music streaming has taken away from the music business, what it has absolutely added is a widening of the musical palate. In the 70s, FM Radio did the same thing, but by the time you reached the 90s, pop and rock became church and state.
Reach 2016 and if social media is about what is exothermic, what is popular, streaming adds that to your own niche listening and widens it in all directions. The result is the line that separates Screaming Females from Rihanna, has disappeared, there is no either/or, it is now both.
And the other result is an explosion of musical taste: listen to Apple Music’s “A List” of new releases, there is nothing except the date of release connecting them, it makes no difference the type, the style, indie, alt, rap, whatever –it is all the same.
That leads me to thinking about Music festivals and their line ups. The biggies, the Governor Balls, the Panoramas, mix hip hop with alt rock under a hipster umbrellas. But what you don’t see is pop and what you definitely don’t see is heavy metal , and what you seldom see is classic rock. Bob Lefsetz noted that Coachella should headline with Justin Bieber next year and I completely agree but he doesn’t go far enough. It should be Bieber AND Lamb Of God. It is all these things and more, instead of the somewhat wasteful first eight sets at every festival set (so wasteful even I don’t recognize them), they should add cream to the coffee.
Panorama didn’t sell out but why would it? All three headliners, Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, and LCD Soundsystem, were Arena big, not stadium big, but the sheer amount of artists should’ve made up for it, It didn’t. If you added an The Weeknd or Black Sabbath, or both, that should’ve pushed them through the final hoop –that should’ve done it. Instead there was a slackness about the event, it didn’t have enough star power to justify.
Next year at Governors Ball? Taylor Swift. See how that works for you.