What do you get when you put road trips, food trucks, loud music and dehydration together? Yes, music festival season is upon us.
In the months of March through July, many people will travel hundreds of miles to see their favorite artists perform all across the country. Each festival has the same basic concept: Solid music lineup with a famous headliner, a variety of food vendors and eager fans. But is all that worth the price tag of one of these festivals?
The most famous music festival now would hands-down be Coachella. Coachella is held in Indio, Calif., where the sounds of Lady Gaga, Red Hot Chili Peppers, AC/DC and the like can be heard, as well as lesser-known indie bands. The cost to hear these artists has increased over the course of the festival’s history with general admission starting at $399 and VIP passes starting at $899 this year, and overnight festivals like Coachella end up costing more than just the price of the ticket. You also must take into consideration travel expenses, parking passes, camping passes, food, souvenirs and more that can end up costing thousands of dollars. Other music festivals like Riverfest in downtown Little Rock, which has a weekend-long run in June, costs anywhere from $50 for general admission tickets to $500 for VIP tickets.
I first went to Riverfest when I was 8 years old when my parents wanted to see REO Speedwagon, and I have been going ever since. I have heard performers like Pat Benatar, Luke Bryan, The Goo Goo Dolls, Sam Hunt and more. I still get to see great performers and eat delicious, local food without taking a huge blow to my bank account.
According to Futurecast, millennials are the target audience for most music festivals today. Everything from the artists in the lineup to the festival advertisement is aimed at young adults. So how do people justify spending hundreds of dollars for one weekend? Some people want to see their favorite performers all in one place, some want to go for the experience, and others want to go for the Instagram-worthy pictures.
I love music and the festival atmosphere, and in theory, I would love to go to the big festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella. The idea of a traveling to a new place, listening to my favorite artists and seeing celebrities walking around sounds exciting. Then reality hits. I am a college student, not a celebrity, so I do not have $500 lying around. If I were going to one of these overnight festivals, I would be standing in lines in the heat, staying in a tent, getting no sleep and throwing away my money. It is an overall experience, and young adults are the ones who are up for the adventure. As for me, I will stick to local festivals for now. Would I go to a big, overnight music festival if given the opportunity? Sure, if someone else is footing the bill.