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Gladstonbury Festival 2015.
This proves the extreme popularity for festivals. We desire for a day or weekend where we can escape from daily routine, get high, totally relaxed and entertained! There is one festival that puts all others in the shade when it comes to media attention and the public’s affections. Gladstonbury Festival is a pearl in the festival world. While Glastonbury sells out in a matter of hours each year, even as it hikes prices way above inflation, countless others have been forced out of business while others have a nervous wait to see if they will sell out.
This is partly attributable due to the fact that in recent years the festival scene has become a bit overcrowded so perhaps it was inevitable that some festivals would fall by the wayside.
But it’s hard to get away from the fact that Glastonbury hoovers up media attention and public interest leaving all the others scrapping it out for what’s left of the limelight. Now I’m not saying that festival exclusives are necessarily a new phenomenon, but they do appear to be happening with more frequency these days.
Glastonbury Festival has become a culturally significant event that is intrinsically associated with UK summertime even for people with little interest in music or the arts.
It has even taken on political significance as it stands as a rallying point for liberals and anti-establishment culture, as demonstrated by its long-running association with the Guardian. A by-product of Glastonbury’s dominance seems to be the increasingly common ‘exclusive’ headline performances.
Michael Eavis likes to give a lot of the proceeds from his festival to various charities, meaning the performers get next to nothing when compared to their usual fees. They’re generally willing to put up with this due to the exposure and prestige that comes from playing on the Pyramid Stage.
However it also means that acts that find themselves short of cash can be tempted away in return for great riches, as long as they agree that they won’t show up at any other UK festivals that year.
‘Exclusives’ are now a popular tactic for organisers to differentiate themselves from the competition and get one over on Glastonbury, which can still expect to attract The Rolling Stones for a knock down price.
By offering fans headline acts that they can’t get anywhere else these festivals make themselves a far more attractive prospect for the ticket-buying public as people will feel it’s worth the money and gives them bragging rights over their friends who might be attending different events.
It might also lure in a few diehard fans that are dying to see an exclusive performance from their favourite band. And if this means that more events survive and we retain some diversity in the festival calendar, then it can only be a good thing.