The other day I got a new Twitter follower. It was @Bonnaroo2015, a twitter account dedicated to give festival goers tips on how to make the most out of their Bonnaroo experience this year. Watching their posts pop up I realized other users were adding tips, collaborating, and celebrating their excitement to join together for the music festival. Anyone who follows the music industry understands that it is changing. Some feel it is evolving while others believe it is crashing. No matter which side of the fence you are on you must agree on one thing: We want to keep music alive. We all know it will never go away completely but we want superstars and success. We want artists to feel appreciated and their work to continue to get better.
So the question comes up. How do you make artists feel appreciated when you don’t want to spend twelve bucks on an album? You get selfish and you make it about you instead. If you just said ‘What?’ give me a chance to explain. Music festivals are just as much about the experience as the music. It is isn’t an album on your phone or the vinyl on the shelf. It is about the experience with yourself, your friends, and your favorite music. For a day or a week you are living in a world consumed by music and that world was created just for you.
According to Forbes the top 5 music festivals made $183 million on ticket sales in 2014. That is just the top 5 (5. Stagecoach 4. Outside Lands 3. Lollapalooza 2. ACL 1. Coachella) and it is only the ticket sales that the festival made. It doesn’t count towards what the artist gained in sales and new fans because of the amount of people that naturally happened to find their show. The idea of buying experiences instead of material items isn’t a new concept but it is something that the music industry is going to have to accept. Consumers of any kind are about themselves (as they should be) and the music industry needs to continue to cater to their needs.
So, while everyone else is fighting about why Spotify shouldn’t offer free service I’m going to fight to help what is working. Buy your favorite artist’s music, find new music on Spotify (even the free version. Maybe you’ll like that new Squarespace commercial), go to a concert, go to a festival… the consumer is always going to enjoy their music the way they see fit. So why don’t we on the business side find better ways to let them experience our music instead of fighting against them?