Festivals in the 21st Century

I remember the first year I attended Coachella I was fifteen years old, with no driver’s license and had to convince my parents to not only allow me to go to this Burning Man-like event, but also they had to drive me. Finally they caved and we drove out to the desert with my parents who dropped us off at the gates and bid us adieu. I fell in love with festivals that year – the art, the multitude of acts, the ambiance, the people – it seemed like a different world. Since then I have gone to Coachella 8 times and although the event itself has developed, the musical landscape still embraces acts of all sizes. This article relays the advantages of touring the festival circuit for small bands and big bands alike. The perfect example is Outkast who has not released an album in years and yet is making millions headlining this summer’s biggest festivals. People in the industry joke that if you own more than ten acres of land you can host a musical festival, and judging by the lineup of festivals this summer some followed through. Jokes aside, it takes a lot of work to produce a music festival but with more people spending their discretionary income on music festivals there definitely is room for growth and development within this niche. I for one am very interested in seeing what new festivals rise up and which will be nullified with the increasing competition.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/how-coachella-bonnaroo-and-more-festivals-revamped-the-music-industry-20140513

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Made in America comes to LA

Live Nation, Budweiser and Jay Z have joined forces to produce a music festival that bridges the gap between different genres of music. It has taken in Philadelphia for the past two years and is making its inaugural appearance in Los Angeles this summer. The festival will be held on August 30th and 31st in Grand Central Park, which is unprecedented for a festival of its size. The festival expects to draw 50,000 to the iconic downtown spot on the steps of City Hall. Concerns have been raised by city officials about the safety and crowd issues of such an event but the Made in America team ensures that all problems will be mitigated ahead of time. There is much buzz about this event and I personally am very excited to watch its development.  

Hozier

This is one of those songs that strikes you from the first listen and after seeing the video I am hooked. Hozier’s haunting ballad reminds me of old Blues tunes with bellowing vocals and striking major chords. This Irish singer-songwriter emerged last summer in the US and recently was featured on KCRW. I have been listening to his EP incessantly and cannot wait for what is to come.

Future Music Festival Asia

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/future-music-festival-asia-called-off-after-fan-death-20140316

Once again, another music festival is cancelled due to drug-related deaths. The third and final day of Future Music Festival in Asia was called off this past weekend due to methamphetamine overdoses. One person was confirmed dead while there are allegations of five more. It is terrifying to see this burgeoning link between large-scale music festivals and drug-related deaths. People like to point their fingers at electronic dance music festivals as the culprits, but seeing as Future Music Festival is a mainstream pop music festival, the problem must be mainly in the numbers of these festivals. Festival goers need to start being more responsible for themselves and their friends at these events. These drug and alcohol infested weekends are not something to be toyed with. It is the promoter’s responsibility to make an event safe but it is ultimately the patron’s responsibility to make good decisions while at these events.

Pono Music

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1003614822/ponomusic-where-your-soul-rediscovers-music

This Kickstarter campaign video is more star-studded than the Grammy’s itself – Tom Petty, Norah Jones, Eddie Vedder, Mumford & Sons, Beck…the list goes on. All to endorse Neil Young’s service Pono Music, a music download service/music player aiming to revolutionize the music industry. Compressed, low quality audio has become extremely prevalent, with most audio files being compressed to only five percent of the data that the original analog recording master offered. Pono will give consumers the opportunity to experience the music at the quality and fidelity that it was originally intended. The iPhone, being the most common method of listening, only supports 48 kHz and 16-bit playback while the Pono Player supports 192 kHz and 24-bit playback. The difference between these audio qualities are ineffable in the recording studio but I am somewhat skeptical of its effectiveness on a mobile device. I gotta hand it to Young though for his marketing campaign that has already trumped its goal with 33 days left. Definitely worth a look and listen especially to professional musicians and audiophiles who have at least 4 bills to spare.

Jay Z + Kanye @ SXSW

http://mashable.com/2014/03/10/jay-z-kanye-west-sxsw-samsung-concerts/ 

Austin, Texas is the place to be this week for music enthusiasts and tech junkies alike. Groundbreaking panels and unprecedented showcases are a mainstay of this conference, such in the fashion of Samsung’s Jay Z and Kanye West concert this Wednesday. This will be the first time the dynamic duo will perform together since Kayne joined Roc Nation (Live Nation’s and Jay Z’s record label) earlier this month. If you are in Texas this week I suggest you purchase a Galaxy phone and download the Milk Music app just to get the chance to view this show. Iphone enthusiasts – this is one reason to convert.

Hello my name is Becky Moine and I live in Los Angeles, CA. I am 24 years old and graduated in 2011 from USC with a Bachelors of Science in the Music Industry. I got my start during college writing concert reviews for Performer Magazine and went on to intern for various music companies such as Interscope Records and AEG Live / Goldenvoice. I got my first job out of college at Insomniac Events and got the opportunity to coordinate artist relations for large-scale festivals such as EDC. I currently work for Live Nation as a Project Manager of Touring and work on our North American arena and amphitheatre tours. I love music and I am so happy to be able to coincide my work with it. Stay up to date for music news, concert reviews and other happenings in my life.