As the festival season draws to a stuttering close, the media is quick to sound the death knell for this once much-loved British institution.
In a year that’s been marred by cancellations, postponements and slow ticket sales, the format is certainly looking a bit sickly. Even Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has pronounced the festival “on the way out,” citing an over-crowded market as the cause of decline – claims which have been reiterated by his competitors.
Industry commentators have attributed the dip in demand to the same stale line-ups being marched out at various festivals across the summer. But, while there is a feeling that people have seen it all before, I find Isle of Wight organiser, John Giddings argument that “the UK music industry isn’t making new stars” a little thin on the ground.
It’s short-sighted to speak of a dearth of new talent when festivals awash with breakthrough acts thrive. End Of The Road, running from 2 to 4 September, being an excellent case in point.
The family-friendly festival boasts the exclusive UK appearances of both Midlake and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, as well as an eclectic array of genre-spanning performers. Needless to say, tickets sold out well in advance.
Too many of the big events continue to rely on established names, thinking they’re a sure-fire hit, while festival-goers become weary of watching the same old acts perform the same old sets.
My advice to music lovers would be to get out there, try something new and untap into some of the fantastic bands yet to break into the mainstream. Who knows, you might actually enjoy it.