Chase Freedom Unlimited presents American Music Festivals.
Kelly Rizzo, Eat Travel Rock, Host.
Music Festival season is in full swing. And 2016 is promising to be the biggest and best year yet. Now, while music festivals are nothing new in general, their counterculture roots and business continues to evolve.
Hundreds at an outdoor concert.
No longer is the album the golden child of the music industry. With the recent decline in record sales, live music now provides more revenue than ever for artists and promoters. And fueling that trend is the hundreds of multi-day music festivals across America.
Lin Brehmer, Radio Personality.
Kids today look back on some of the great music festivals of the past—whether it's Woodstock or Watkins Glen, or something more recent. They feel like this is a part of rock and roll history, we got to go. We got to be part of it.
Jason Thomas, Radio Personality.
A festival experience—obviously, it's a lot different than going to a show at night. You see bands differently, you experience bands differently. At a festival, it's like tapas. You know, it's just like a little bit here—15 minutes here, 20 minutes there. You're sampling all over the place. It's a great way to expose yourself to new artists.
A concert attendee crowd-surfs.
Festivals have come a long way from their peace, love, and rock and roll roots. Today, top fests can attract half a million attendees and gross upwards of $80 million. And while once frowned upon by fans and artists alike, sponsorship has poured additional revenues into festivals, with brands finding new and innovative ways to engage with music lovers.
TJ Annerino, Goose Island Beer, Director of Consumer Engagement.
I think our partnerships with music festivals are strongly based on—people are there to discover. They're there to find something new. And we want to be part of that experience with them. For the last couple of years, we've approached an artist on the bill and offered to collaborate and make a beer with them that would only be available at the festival, which again enhances that experience for the consumer.
After years of consistent growth in the music festival business, most cities are more than happy to host one. And this summer, Lollapalooza celebrates its 25th anniversary in its sweet home of Chicago.
David Kennedy, Director of Special Events, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.
Artists love playing Chicago just because the music fans here are like no other. There's no question. It doesn't matter what genre it is, is there is an appetite for it in festivals here in Chicago. And we're seeing that a lot of people are traveling, too, which is exciting for the city. Lollapalooza provided the good experience inside with the music lineups. They had a $155 million economic impact. It's a real good business for small businesses and big businesses in terms of tourism and bringing tourism dollars to the city.
Relative newcomer to the music scene, Firefly, has capitalized on the festival trend with a June event in Dover, Delaware.
An air balloon is shown in the distance. A juggler performs at the festival.
Helping scale Firefly's festival business has been a strategic partnership with music giant AEG, who has added more than 10 other major US festivals to its portfolio since 2010. But for Firefly organizers, their success may be measured by the festival's impact to their other partners.
AEG also owns Coachella, Stagecoach, New Orleans Jazz Fest and Hang Out Music Fest.
Stephanie Mezzano, Firefly Music Festival, COO.
At Firefly, we partner with St. Jude and created a program called St. Jude Music Gives. And what we found is that this younger demographic really wants a tie to giving back. So we're using this platform to just inform people of the incredible organization that St. Jude is. And it's worked really well.
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Video Courtesy of City of Chicago, Getty Images, Goose Island Beer, Red Frog Events, and Tortuga Music Festival.