The Rising Trends of Music Festivals in the U.S.

Although music festivals seem to be on the rise and new ones are constantly making their debut in cities across the country, they have always been a popular and sought-after event to attend not only for people in the United States, but also around the world from the United Kingdom to Serbia to Japan. As Deployed Resources begins to activate their logistics support services for festival season, check out these interesting facts and figures about music festivals in the U.S.

A Brief History

While music festivals seem to be a modern phenomenon, they span back in history originating from 10th Century BC and beyond— that’s around 3000 years ago. In Ancient Greece it was common for these popular events to not only showcase popular music, but also include competitions in music, poetry, drama and athletics. The 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair in New York is often considered the first modern music festival where more than 150,000 tickets were sold; however, nearly half a million people arrived at the 600-acre farmland festival grounds contributing to this pivotal moment in music history6. Tickets for the three-day event cost $18 in advance and $24 at the gate (equivalent to about $120 and $160 today)—however, it is commonly known as being a “free festival” as the grounds fencing was never completed allowing people to join for no cost. While it was only scheduled to last for three days, it ran for four where performances lasted throughout all hours of the night.

Festivals by the Numbers

There are currently more than 800 music festivals in the U.S. alone. While some feature a specific genre, others span across a variety ranging from country to hip hop to electronic to alternative. As of 2017, the largest U.S. festival is Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where performances run for 11 days attracting between 800,000 to 1,000,000 people each year and showcases more than 800 acts and 1,000 performances6.

According to Billboard online, in the U.S. alone, 32 million people go to at least one music festival every year (that is more than the entire population of Texas) and 14.7 of those million fall into the “millennial” generation demonstrating the growing trend and “rite of passage” among today’s youth. Furthermore, on average people are traveling 903 miles to attend their festival of choice which is almost equivalent to the drive from New York to Orlando, Florida. Now that is dedication!

Tickets, Other Costs and the Economy

One great aspect of music festivals is festival goers only have to pay one ticket price for a multi-day event with some of the most sought-after performers. Due to this packaged pricing, rates per artist can range from 44 cents at Vans Warped Tour to $2.87 at Voodoo Music Festival to $3.95 per artist at Hangout Fest (2015)—and this includes your front row access! While there are always additional festival costs which may include merchandise, food and beverage—a water bottle can cost you anywhere from $1 to $5 a bottle—thanks to companies such as Deployed Resources festival goers can save money by utilizing festival ground facilities such as the sustainable water refill stations, mist tents and shower modules to enhance their experience and keep money in their pockets.

Festivals also help stimulate the local economy. In 2014, North American corporations spent $1.5 billion sponsoring music venues, festivals and tours, and the five biggest music festivals made a combined $183 million in ticket sales3 — and this doesn’t include revenue from merchandise, sponsorships, food and beverage sales. According to Forbes, in April of 2016, Coachella generated $704 million in overall spending activity by consumers and businesses and contributed an estimated $106 million to the local economy.

The Power of #SocialMedia

As mentioned before, although it seems as though music festivals are on the rise, festivals have been taking place for thousands of years. However, the constant everchanging world of social media contributes to their popularity and global awareness. New research reveals that nearly half (46%) of festival attendees say they found out about a festival they attended through social media, and 30% of those who watch a livestream of an event will later attend that same event in person5. In 2015, 3.5 million tweets were tweeted into the Twittersphere from the first weekend of Coachella alone! 1 Imagine the buzz surrounding the 800 festivals that take place around the U.S. each year.

Also, not only are today’s youth attending music festivals for the music alone, but also for the food and beverage experience and enjoyment. Today, 84% of food festival-goers post pictures of the food they purchase and 99% of attendees in the millennial generation will recommend food they found at a festival to their social circle4.

Transforming Music Festivals

To keep up with their growing popularity and demands, Deployed Resources strives to provide exceptional turnkey logistics support to the special events industry through a wide-range of evolutionary services and products. In 2018, festival goers will be able to enjoy products such as mist tents, sinks, toilets, urinals and shower modules which will enhance their experience while providing safe, sustainable and eco-friendly solutions.

Enjoy our unique services and products at the upcoming music festivals in 2018:

  • June 7–10, Bonnaroo Festival
  • June 15–18, Firefly Music Festival
  • August 2–5, Lollapalooza
  • August 16–20, Phish Magnaball Festival
  • October 5–7, 10–12, Austin City Limits
  • October 26–28, Voodoo Music + Arts Experience

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