Are Festivals the Future of American Entertainment?

Are Festivals the Future of American Entertainment?

Fans react as Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, takes the stage at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California on Sunday, April 15, 2012.

Cameron White, Staff Writer

In the last 50 years, there seems to have been a large influx of multi-day music festivals. Ranging from one day to one week, these festivals have captivated America’s youth, and now, people are traveling from all over the world to see the culture that the United States has to offer.

It seems to have started sometime in the late 50s and early 60s. Festivals like Woodstock, which attracted over 500,000 people, have helped start a major trend that has done nothing but grow. While today’s festivals differ in the style of musical performances and the audience in attendance, the general idea is still intact: get as many people together as possible, and have non-stop musical performances for however long the festival is.

The United States currently boasts around 10 major music festivals that happen all over the country at different parts of the year. Some of these include the SXSW festival, Coachella, Sasquatch!, Electric Daisy Carnival, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Vans Warped Tour. Each attract thousands of attendees, and each is very profitable for the organizations behind them.

With the first weekend of California’s Coachella Music Festival over, those who attended are still in awe of this year’s turnout. Coachella attracted around 75,000 people, many of those being A-List celebrities like Rihanna, Emma Watson, and Katy Perry. This year’s festival had a superb lineup, and some novel attractions that have never been seen. One of the more notable surprises that Coachella helped fund was the bringback of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur. Having died in 1996, three years before Coachella started, fans have questioned how ethical it is to reanimate a deceased performer. Either way, this stunt seems to have raised quite a bit of extra publicity for the festival (which will be needed to cover the half-million dollars spent making the hologram in the first place).