Seems like a few minutes ago we were talking about the last few days of Festival season Summer 2017 – already it’s a year later. And maybe festivals are kicking off earlier this year, and there appears to be a lot more new ones on the horizon. And I’m not even sure the Warm-Up Festival in Murcia, Spain has the jump on the others. But here we are, first week of May and Festival season is already kicking into gear.
So this happened yesterday – and the venerable Radio Nacional España Radio 3 was on hand, recording everything in sight. A little knob and level adjusting for the first couple of numbers and the usual cadré of very chatty announcers excitedly yammering over the intros, but . . .that’s festival season in a nutshell. You can’t help but get wired with that much music and that many people milling around. And kicking off the festivities with Kasabian is no slouchy matter either.
Here we are – another year and another flood of music of all genres, spreading all over the world -streaming for those of us not able to teleport to the mud and sonic assaults for a dose of what we’ll be humming until next festival season.
And from what I hear, festivals of the European style are becoming hugely popular here in the States – mostly because of the access to a wide spectrum of music, not usually available through regular channels. Amazing, that a three-day festival does what radio used to do, but somehow forgot. Radio’s loss – but I’m not so sure that many people are actually listening anymore. And even the Festivals over here are trying to get their acts together. Coachella, thought to be, aside from SXSW, one of the more anticipated festivals, has been losing some of its steam in recent years – not living up the prototype that Glastonbury established some 50 years earlier. It’s what happens, especially here in America – nice idea gets started; becomes wildly popular and then someone comes along and decides less diversity, more mainstream and less fringe makes for bigger crowds and it’s a magic ingredient for failure. But it also prompts other visionaries to pick up the slack. And so Coachella, as I’m sure it’s the same with many other festivals; off-shoots spring up to take the message and run. Makes for good times and an embarrassment of riches, especially to those of us on the receiving end.
All good fun – and so I make the case, that even though sitting in front of your computer, listening to this concert in the comparative serenity of your comfy chair with fingertip libation; going there in person is a whole different experience, and one not be missed in your lifetime. Get sweaty, soaking wet, disoriented and sideways out of your brain – you don’t get a whole pile of chances to do that between now and the dirt-nap – so do it this year and have no regrets.
Mic drop – exit stage right.