This past year has been tough on everyone, but brings a unique sense of loss to those of us who love music festivals.
Well-known festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza have become part of our culture. And smaller festivals are gathering places on a spiritual level for those who share a love of live music.
But ever since all music festivals (even the iconic Coachella!) were cancelled due to the pandemic, people have been wondering about the future of music festivals in a post-Covid world.
Here are our predictions based on what we know so far.
If the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic have taught us anything, it’s that music festivals will stay the course, no matter what. In the wake of cancellations and restrictions, artists have found creative solutions. UK indie rocker Sam Fender put on a socially distanced concert which, though not necessarily a success from a traditional standpoint, helped keep the art of live performance alive. The famous dance music festival, Tomorrowland, hosted over 70 artists and over a million viewers in their 2020 livestream. We also got to participate in the first-ever EscapeTracks Virtual R&B Festival, which allowed us to support struggling musicians by donating to Musicares.
Solutions like these have kept the music festival culture alive during its darkest hour. And no matter what happens in the future, it seems clear that it will remain strong.
Independent venues have less access to government aid than larger festivals. As a result, the small venues and festivals are really feeling the hit of Covid-19 restrictions. This situation poses a threat to newer bands and artists, who often get their start in the indie scene.
Since the large crowds at traditional music festivals put it squarely in the high-risk activity category, it may take a very long time for new musicians to have the same opportunities they did before.
The good news is that independent musicians are finding creative ways to respond to the crisis. They are pushing out more music than ever on indie platforms like TuneCore and Vydia.
It’s quite possible that music festivals will never return to exactly what they were in a pre-Covid world.
They might be even better.
Through live streaming, artists have found new and more compelling ways to interact with their fans.
Live concerts on streaming services give fans the opportunity to engage with each other in real time with their comments, something they never got to do before.
Besides that, fans who have traditionally been excluded from the concert scene due to finances, illness, or just a dislike of large crowds now have the opportunity to participate, opening up a whole new world in the music festival culture.
These changes are so compelling that they might just be here to stay whenever it’s safe for large crowds to gather again.