The Future of Festivals
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
It’s all about safe, curated experiences. And top-notch food. And watching a DJ in a glacier.
It’s summer and festival season is upon us. Time to get your gear together, check out the lineups and decide what you want to see and where (and wear!).
Every year it seems, there’s a new kind of festival vying for our attention — from music and technology to craft beer to cheese curls. But as the number of options increases and the experiences get wilder or more niche, it can be tough deciding how to map out your season vibes. Your best bet: Look for what you like and roll with it.
But if you want to know what’s new and next at fests, grab something glittery and read on. From the rise of foodie events and micro festivals to new ways of ensuring your experience is happy, healthy and harm-free, here is a peek at what the future of festivals looks like.
When it comes to festivals, does bigger equal better? Sometimes yes, but there’s also a movement to head to more intimate, exclusive events. Meet the micro fest, where you experience remote and exclusive locations, smaller audiences, a closer connection to the locals and chances to see artists that wouldn’t typically be part of a major festival lineup. Like Secret Solstice in Iceland, which sells just 9,000 tickets and you can watch a concert in a glacier. You’re not going to get that at Coachella.
Bad drugs and bad trips are no way to spend the festival season. The best way to enjoy your festival high safely? Test the drugs with a “reagent kit” at home before you go (that way you don’t have to worry if you’ve bought something more sinister). And if you want to keep your energy up and fight off those nasty free radicals? Festival supplements are a thing. They help you to boost your immune system, sleep better and ward off those nasty free radicals. The future of festival recreational substances is all about harm reduction.
Most festivals have always had some food available — but traditionally, that’s been aimed at sustaining the audience instead of being central to the experience. But more people are considering themselves foodies, so music festivals are upping their game when it comes to the nosh on offer. But now, food is driving festivals like never before. Case in point: When attendees flock to BottleRock festival in Napa Valley, they aren’t just paying to hear music. They’re seeing their favorite musical acts cook. It’s just an aspect of a new trend that’s marrying aural and culinary pleasures.
Love partying outdoors, but hate carrying a coat? Try a shiny solution for your #firstworldproblem. By day, the Youphoria is a fluffy backpack with space for water bottles and more, and by night it unfolds into a fleece-lined ankle-length coat with secret zip pockets for essentials. Style and function come together in psychedelic sequins that change color when you stroke them. You have to see it to believe it. We’ve also got some other festing accessory suggestions to round out your rave kit.
Following the success of Woodstock, promoters were hoping the Powder Ridge Rock Festival would be the next biggest rock concert. This time it would be in Middlefield, Connecticut, where more than 50,000 would see stars like Fleetwood Mac and Janis Joplin. But then, just one month before, the town rejected the application for the festival. Unfortunately, word did not get back to all attendees and 30,000 turned up anyway for what proved to be a disaster.