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Most music lovers will vouch that concerts are the epitome of what music is supposed to be about. There is a sense of community and connection when a group of people gather, dance, drink, and bond over a shared musical obsession. Whereas concerts are a communal music experience, music festivals expand that community tenfold. With a larger size, a degree of intimacy might be lost between performer and audience, but so much is gained. Keep reading to learn more about the many pros and music festivals and what music festivals are popular today.
One of the biggest appeals of music festivals is that they are a one stop shop for music. Because music festivals are centered on a certain theme—such as a genre, composer, style, or city—if you find a theme you love, you are bound to love most of the lineup. This makes it one of the best ways to experience some of your favorite music live while discovering new songs and new artists. The thematic design of festivals also makes it a cool way to mix and mingle with people who share your interests. Whether it is a niche, local band or a big-name, stadium-packing group, people congregate over the sounds they love, creating a collective experience that is hard to parallel.
It is true that music festivals have been around for decades but festivals are undergoing big changes these days. Forbes contributor H.O. Maycotte shared that millennials value experiences more than other things they can buy, such as products. This means that things like music festivals are very appealing to people who want to support this type of collaborative economy. Unlike in years past where tours dominated the music industry, festivals appeal to the more sporadic tastes of listeners and are less harsh on performers. These things, paired with growing sponsorships for brand festivals an unbound social media hype, make music festivals a stand-out opportunity for music fans. Although there are some controversies about disappointing festival lineups and canceled festivals such as the beloved Sasquatch Festival in Washington, festivals overall seem to be going strong.
Popular music festivals include: Coachella, South By South West, Burning Man, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Lollapalooza, Electric Forest, Pitchfork Music Festival, Bonnaroo, Afropunk Fest Brooklyn, Ultra Music Festival, Austin City Limits, Milwaukee Summerfest, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, Firefly Music Festival. There are countless others, too, from local to national, each with their own feel and theme. To see which festivals are near you and which festivals are road trip worthy, start browsing.