I’ve been going to music festivals ever since I turned 17 (plus a few others with my family as a child) and i’ve noticed a change in festivals as a whole in those 10 years. Everything from the style of music featuring higher up in the lineups, to different technology advancements in the running of festivals.
I was lucky enough to spend 2 years working in the marketing team for a major dance music festival too, plus wristbanding at music festivals, so that allowed me to see the other side of festivals instead of just being a punter. The main differences for me were the rise in electronic music on main stages, with guitar music taking a step back. Plus, there’s been more US Hip Hop artists getting the headline spots, which I personally feel is great.
In terms of technologies though, this is where i’ve really seen a difference. When I first started going to music festivals, i’d purchase the tickets (sometimes often over the phone, mad right) and these would get delivered out and swapped for a wristband on the day of the festival. I’ve also had wristbands shipped out ready to put on before the festival starts, to allow ease when entering the festival, but my personal favourite which i’ve noticed recently is having the tickets on the phone to show. Loads of ticketing sites have released apps for this too, which means you get tickets directly on your phone without waiting, and also stops ticket touts.
Drinks and food have also changed since the early days of festivals. I know recently festivals like Parklife and Kendal Calling have pledged to cut down on plastics which is great, but technologies are being used to help with the day to day running of the festival, for both the organisers and the punters. Mobile, contactless and RFID wristbands are being used so you don’t need to carry money round, which is always a risk. This would definitely be my personal choice after losing money in the past.
A recent survey carried out by an online label company https://www.data-label.co.uk/ looked into what festival goers preferred method was when making purchases at festivals and which ideal form of entry they’d prefer. Just like me, a massive 48% of Millennials said they would prefer mobile, contactless and smart watch payments, compared to the 32% of Baby Boomers who would prefer the old fashion tickets and wristband options. Top choice for Generation X who were surveyed was to have an RFID wristband with pre-loaded cash, which I also think is a good idea, but I know a few festivals have tried it in the past and it hasn’t worked. As long as you have the option to get your leftover money back at the end I think it could work.
What are your thoughts on the future of Music Festivals? Will everything eventually go wireless like it is in the real world? Let us know in the comments below…