The return of Woodstock

(Lena Yang -- Graphics Artist)
(Lena Yang — Graphics Artist)

On June 16 1967, the music world experienced a groundbreaking event and whether they knew it then or not, this event was going to be the single force behind the emergence and forever-changed outlet for how we experience live music. This event was The Monterey Pop Festival. The Monterey Pop Festival was a three day music festival in Monterey, California with appearances by legends of rock including Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, Simon & Garfunkel, Ravi Shankar and Otis Redding—just to name a few. The Monterey Pop Festival, next to Woodstock, which followed suit two years later, is recognized as being the model for the hugely popular music festival subculture that has seen a recent international resurrection.

Music festivals, for a long time, were seen as being exclusive to the “Woodstock Generation” and was thought to have died when these hippies inevitably grew up and traded in their tie-dye and long hair for suits and nine to five jobs. However, with the rise of the digital age and the prevalence of pirating, it seems there is one benefactor from all of this — live music. Musicians rely on live music in order to make a living and music festivals are the perfect way to do this.

Beyond that, music lovers long for community and a connection to the music that cannot be achieved sitting behind your computer screen or the disconnection from huge sterile venues such as the Air Canada Centre. People now experience music in solitude because technology allows us to do such. Music is not meant to be experienced alone. This is a mentality that many have adopted and this has created a counter-culture of peopl who long for the sense of communal stimulation that music once ignited.

Over the past few years, it seems anyone and everyone is attending some sort of festival or another. This year, however, there has been an unprecedented enthusiasm and demand by fans to hop on the music festival bandwagon. Tickets for the first weekend of California festival Coachella sold out in 15 minutes with numerous site crashes from the high traffic of international users trying to get tickets for this concert. This was the fastest sell-out they have ever experienced.

The popularity of such festivals can be hugely attributed to the unbelievable lineup of bands these festivals attract. Coachella headliners include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vampire Weekend, The XX and Postal Service. Tennessee’s Bonnaroo has Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers and Wu-Tang Clan. Overseas, England’s V Festival is hosting hugely popular headliners such as Kings of Leon and Béyonce.

Music festivals all over the world are attracting artists who can easily sell out their own shows, to be part of this amazing music festival experience. For fans, the excitement of seeing an extensive lineup of so many remarkable musicians is an experience that only a festival can provide. It is no stretch to say, that the summer of 2013, is going to be the summer of festival fever.

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