The Medicine of Music – What Is the Attraction?
Everyone loves a good party; the music, the laughing, the “grown-up drinks” and making new friends has a certain appeal to it. Music festivals are essentially weekend-long parties where you can experience all that, but also with the hum of an electric atmosphere emanating from hundreds-of-thousands of people. The most popular festivals can collect between 150,000 – 200,000 visitors a year, everyone dressed to impress with their assortment of colours and styles. In fact, an average year shows about 14 million UK adults attending at least one festival, willing to spend up to £200 on a ticket. So how can they be so popular?
The festivals that everyone will have heard of will simply increase in numbers every year because their shows keep getting better and their headline acts get bigger.
- Glastonbury Festival – From 21st June – 25th June, Somerset hosts one of the biggest festivals in the country. With names such as Ed Sheeran, Radiohead, Katy Perry and George Ezra, it would be difficult not to attract so many spectators. On top of the talent spread over multiple stages, Glastonbury offers a circus, family friendly morning shows and performances from entertainers such as Dynamo. It began in 1970, the day after Jimi Hendrix died, when it had 1,500 visitors – it’s never had attendance that small since.
- Latitude Festival – 13th July – 16th July brings the Latitude festival to Suffolk. This year’s acts include The 1975, Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes, but the music is not all it has on offer. There are at least five arenas dedicated to specific entertainment types; film, music, literature and poetry are just some of the categories. It also features a Faraway Forest and a Pandora’s Playground.
- Livewire Festival – As well as music and headliners as powerful and appealing as the two festivals above, Livewire has a special treat this year – it is the only feature needed to attract a higher number than ever. This year, Livewire will have a performance from WILL SMITH and his DJ JAZZY JEFF as they make a comeback – I know, “just take my money now”, right?
The numbers of people attending festivals are increasing for more reasons than sheer fame and excitement. After all, there will be a reason for the inflating popularity. For one thing, with time comes improvements on the equipment, meaning brighter and smoother strobe lights as well as louder and deeper audio technology. There is also a better form of social media and marketing these days – it is only too easy to stumble across an advertisement on the internet or let your eye get caught by the colourful leaflet coming through the letterbox.
There are more theories coming out about why festivals are so appealing to such a wide range of people. One possibility suggests that while in a horde of like-minded people as big as a festival crowd, and with the laid-back attitude towards meeting new people and making friends, people feel a sense of belonging, like membership to a tribe. Festivals therefore help with self-esteem and reaffirm lifestyle choices. The vibe of festivals really do pull everyone in and build them up.