The rise of the fes­ti­val looks to be con­tin­u­ing un­abated

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Electric Picnic -

SINCE 2007, the num­ber of Ir­ish fes­ti­vals and out­door mu­sic shows has grown year-on-year. We know this be­cause the On the Record blog car­ries out an an­nual crowd­sourced cen­sus to tally the sum­mer’s big mu­sic events.

This num­ber jumped from 65 in 2007 to 109 last year. At the time of writ­ing, the to­tal for this sum­mer is 103, a small dip on last year’s fig­ure.

While it does not claim to be de­fin­i­tive, the cen­sus does give a good snap­shot of the state of the fes­ti­val na­tion, and data-min­ing does help to pro­duce some in­ter­est­ing anal­y­sis and trends.

De­spite the fact that some of last year’s new en­tries are not present this sum­mer (events such as Co Mayo’s West­fest and Co West­meath’s Green Vil­lage, for ex­am­ple), there is on­go­ing growth and con­sol­i­da­tion in the small fes­ti­val sec­tor.

These fes­ti­vals are note­wor­thy be­cause they at­tract new pro­mot­ers to an area which does not ap­pear to be of in­ter­est to the big­ger firms such as MCD and Aiken Pro­mo­tions. Elec­tric Pic­nic co-pro­mot­ers POD, how­ever, have a role in three of the smaller fests, namely For­bid­den Fruit, Body & Soul and the re­ju­ve­nated Liss Ard fes­ti­val.

It’s also strik­ing how fes­ti­vals who were new kids on the block back in 2007 lsuch as Castlepalooza, Glas­gow­bury, Knock­an­stockan and Indiepen­dence are now es­tab­lished af­fairs. You can ex­pect new­com­ers Drop Ev­ery­thing and Body & Soul to be­come part of the fur­ni­ture in years to come.

A con­tin­u­ing trend this year is the lack of her­itage acts and big stars play­ing one-off shows in venues such as the RDS and Thomond Park. In­stead, you’ll find these acts in big sheds like Dublin’s O2.

Look­ing ahead to 2013, it will be in­ter­est­ing to see what the re­turn of Ox­e­gen will mean for over­all at­ten­dances. Maybe the new venue for that event could be the Phoenix Park?

Let’s go out­side: pun­ters feel­ing the fes­ti­val love at last year’s Elec­tric Pic­nic

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