The end of the British music festival?

If you are hoping to get to a British music festival this summer, you’ll be disappointed that there aren’t any. You may, however, buy tickets to see the top 10 singles chart come together to play the same set list up and down the country.

Festivals attract thousands of people, and their easily lead wallets, every year for a failsafe good time. Where once they were led by great music, festival organizers will now flaunt any mainstream A-List pop star to sell tickets to dumb minded ‘I don’t do guitar music’ people who are following their student rite of passage from Leeds to Magaluf.

Photo: Katy DaviesCreamfields festival

Acts like Beyoncé, Eminem and Jay-Z aren’t headlining festivals, they’re extending their stadium tours out to the countryside. NME asking ‘Which line-up is best this year’ is like questioning which is the better looking identical twin, as festival bills across the board look the same with a few ‘we paid more’ surprises. The commercialisation of festivals is strangling the way we watch and enjoy live music; yet the gullible bandwagon of ‘Yahs and Rahs’ will happily fork out in excess of £200 for a three-day ticket to sardine themselves within a sea of fan-girls.

So, if the Great British festival is dying a slow, painful and diseased ridden death, what festivals are the right minded 18-to-twentysomethings going to this summer? They’re getting as far away as they can. Look at this year’s line-up for Rock Am Ring in Germany, you won’t find any commercialized pop star boy band bullshit there. This is how a music festival line-up should look; a bunch of artists, well-known and upcoming, heading to a field to play a once in a lifetime show.

British music festivals have become the equivalent to supermarket ready meals; prepackaged, easily accessible and contain things you wish weren’t there. Skip the queue of pretentious prigs pretending to be music fans, save yourself some money and do something more worthwhile. I suggest a road trip.

Jack Stride

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