You're not the first person to point out that U2's average fan is probably an older person, but you could say the same for basically everyone that #1s a festival the size of Bonnaroo, even Radiohead. On the other hand, U2 has at least had some pretty massive songs in more recent years that may have drawn in younger audiences. I'm pretty sure if you're 32 years old you aren't like "who is U2?" or "U2 is just a bunch of geezers". If you're 32, you were 16 when All That You Can't Leave Behind came out. That album had four huge singles that you almost certainly know and remember fondly. You also probably remember the Super Bowl performance after 9/11, which was a big deal at the time. I'm a little younger than that, and I knew people getting into U2 in high school because of the U2 iPod and HTDAAB. Then there was the whole Songs of Innocence fiasco that surely pissed some people off but also raised awareness of U2 among a younger generation than that. I think this whole thing about U2 skewing older is pretty overrated. HCFs would not have caught U2 at a festival before, so there is also some novelty to their appearance.
But but but but South Park told me I'm supposed to make fun of them?
I think it's less of Bonnaroo becoming a second tier fest and more of US festivals filling their 2nd-5th lines or so with trash. Coachella being Coachella still has some interesting stuff. But even it has its worst lineup I've seen. Panorama is like a Coachella past/ modern fest hybrid so it's pretty solid. Gov Ball seemed to forgo the best of the best headliners for a really solid undercard. I'm sure just like Roo, Lolla and ACL will be strong up top with uninspired midcard. The most unique gets are either small fests or curated by the musicians. Basically major fests are becoming Applebees, you can enjoy em but you know they are feeding you average shit. The best food is going to be your local restaurants (smaller unique fests)
Basically major fests are becoming Applebees, you can enjoy em but you know they are feeding you average shit. The best food is going to be your local restaurants (smaller unique fests)
The quote "festivals are lineup-driven, and if you don’t have a great lineup, you’re screwed" is only true for traditional top heavy fests that rely on big acts to draw people in. No wonder so many of them this year are getting into trouble. The bubble is real. Hopefully, fests such as Eaux Claires and Newport Folk will continue to thrive, since they attempt to do something different and appear to aim for longevity rather than short-term cash cows. Bonnaroo will go under if they keep up the trend of aiming for big ass headliners and shitty undercards, because we all know that there's a limited pool of top level talent.
I've read that hardcore festies (HCF's) article before and while it's very insightful, I don't think that crowd is sustainable for the future. Something tells me that these people are more into trends than music, given the predisposition to go for VIP and the headliners. Once the festival bubble pops and something cooler catches their attention, their abundant disposable income will no longer go to festival promoters' pockets.
The "hardcore festie" article is dumb. It blankets every festival in the United States as being some homogeneous market, while not actually analyzing different circumstances that change how festivals need to differentiate their marketing.
Live Nation is just too stupid to realize that a lineup that sells out a market like Chicago, NYC, Austin or San Francisco isn't going to sell out Bonnaroo in bumfuck nowhere Tennessee. They're too stupid to realize the EDM junkie they're obviously trying to target can go to an entirely EDM focused festival closer to them, for cheaper, and have a bed to sleep on when they're passed out from whatever substance they've been fond of.
February 17, Sting at the Pageant April 9, Radiohead at Sprint Center April 14, John Mayer at Sprint Center April 21 - 23 Coachella May 12 Tom Petty at Scottrade May 19 - 21 Hangout Fest May 30 Roger Waters at Scottrade June 2 - 4 Governor's Ball June 5 Sigur Ros at Peabody June 14 Muse with 30 Seconds to Mars at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater