When The Sherp is not busy attending a music festival, he likes to think about the upcoming festivals most likely to make the headlines this year.
At the end of every year, few festivals walk away by becoming the most talked about events of the year, either by the performances they play host to, or the news they make because of off-stage controversies. While one can never really figure just how a music festival will deliver at the end of the day, one can preempt it, by the enough buzz around the festival. That’s what we’re doing at Festival Sherpa. With the global festival season about to begin in a few months, we’re busy raking in bets for the festivals that will prove the most buzz-worthy.
Coachella and Governors Ball feud
Governors Ball was under the impression that it had the all-powerful stronghold over New York City, until Coachella decided to extend an edition of its own called Panorama and decided to bring it to NYC. To which Governors Ball retaliated by sending a petition to the city’s Mayor, so there can be ensured enough gap between the two festivals.
Scheduling two same-genre festivals on top of each other like this makes it difficult for either to provide the maximum benefit to its fans, its neighbors and taxpayers.”
But despite all this, Panorama is on, and this hits the intensity of festival organising home like never before. Despite how each of these festivals will fare, there is a sustained interest in how this cold war will shape up.
Panorama’s first edition
Speaking of the Governors Ball-Coachella feud, New York City walks away happy with another music festival competing for its attention. In an official announcement, the new festival of Panorama is being billed as a “Three days of music, art, technology, and local food offerings.” A festival named so, to pay tribute to New York’s panoramic view, there is significant excitement about Panorama. First, with Coachella’s backing, they’re bound to bring contemporary music’s most exciting names, if they’re competing with Governors Ball. But with art and technology as an offering, the festival might be a modern art offering as one as ever been.
Governors Ball and Kanye (With Beck)
But, Governors Ball has Kanye! The industry’s most maverick producer, prone to polarising opinions like few others, is returning to Governor’s Ball alongside a lineup that is easily one of the very best this year. With his new album, Waves (or Swish? Oh, Waves it is!) releasing in a few days, Kanye will take to the stage with new music and some old, legendary hits to boot. He is headlining Gov Ball along with other acts as Beck (can we have a Beck-Kanye confrontation or collaboration?), The Strokes, The Killers, Courtney Barnett, Death Cab for Cutie, CHVRCHES, Of Monsters and Men, HAIM, Father John Misty, Eagles of Death Metal and Jamie XX among several others. That sort of an eclectic mix is bound to send the headlines running.
The Guns N’ Roses reunion at Coachella
After several unprintable jibes against each other, two of the most talented and volatile figure of rock music, Slash and Axl Rose are coming back together with the rest of the original crew of garage rock band Guns N’ Roses, and the festival bringing them together is Coachella. Their headlining performance is awaited with bated breath by rock music fans and journalists alike, hoping it will be as news-worthy as their career.
Primavera Sound with the lineup
If lineups and that alone would generate news, then this year will be clinched by Primavera Sound, for the festival might have the best lineup yet. Firstly, British alternative rock legends Radiohead are back to headlining festivals, Primavera Sound being one of them. But Radiohead isn’t the only act returning to a mainstream festival stage, with LCD Soundsystem continuing their reunion tour all the way to Barcelona. With them, the festival also has in tow, post-rock geniuses Sigur Rós and Explosions in the Sky, psychedelic rock favourites Tame Impala and Animal Collective, indie supergroup The Last Shadow Puppets, baroque act Beirut, among a host of other musicians, counting to over 130 acts in all. That way, the Primavera Sound lineup might just be one of the most diverse ones we’ve seen, because of which its performances would be talked many times over.
TomorrowWorld and the uncertainty over it
As it was in the last few months, The Sherp thinks it’s possible that TomorrowWorld will continue to dominate the festival buzz given the uncertainty over it. With SFX Entertainment filing for bankruptcy and Tomorrowland hinting that there is little chance TomorrowWorld is coming back, everyone is eagerly awaiting the next plan of action. What would make it real cool though is if the festival actually returns with a new promoter!
Other EDM festivals like Tomorrowland and Ultra
The dance music industry, up until a year ago, seemed the most profitable business. The many festivals that existed sold out copiously, as did the music. The collapse of TomorrowWorld and SFX Entertainment has opened up a crack in the system, thereby deeming every other big-budgeted electronic festival vulnerable. That would mean that other big festivals like Tomorrowland and Ultra will be held with much more care to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.
Burning Man and its commodification
Would you believe that at some point Burning Man used to be free? The festival meant to stand up against the system and capitalism has hiked its ticket fare because of the increase in the Nevada entertainment tax. The prices of the main sale tickets were not raised by the management but rather due to Nevada’s new 9 percent live-entertainment tax recently amended to include events such as Burning Man. The tickets are pegged at $424, with the base price increased to $207 from $190. For a festival meant to inspire radical living, the festival will sure make news for its radical expenses.