The word ‘festival’ seems to be easily attached to events that don’t bear any resemblance to what music and art festivals actually are. It’s about time, we stop casually adding the overused suffix to make something seem more ‘exciting’ than it actually is.
Think about it.
(Disclaimer: This article is by no means meant to vilify or insult a specific festival or group. It is just based on common observations of The Sherp’s staff and other festival punters, who make festival hopping their sole purpose. Peace and love, folks!)
1. When your ‘festival’ only expands to the diameters of a nightclub.
Three hour shindigs, on a Saturday night in a night club do not a music festival make. Unless this club event takes place over a day or two, maybe in a few venues, and features a bevy of musicians and some contemporary pop-art or activities, we’re pretty sure the words you’re looking for are ‘club night’ or ‘sundowner party’.
2. When your ‘festival’ features 3 hours of music
Yup, it’s the sad but ‘truest’of truths out there. There are a lot of events and parties, that function for a few hours in one evening, but have the audacity to call themselves ‘XYZ music festival’. Generally, music festivals hold a multitude of musicians, interactive activities, a flea or food market and other fun elements for their attendees. Although, the inclusion of these elements are not ‘hard and fast rules’, they do however up the ante when it comes to production of large scale music festivals. In fact, now most promoters look to heighten punter’s experience by making festivals as engaging as possible. To make another point, music festivals around the world are expected to include at least 15 to 20 artists on their rosters. In that context, concerts will musical events that function through a single evening. And festivals most certainly NEED to be more than that.
3. When your ‘art festival’ includes minimal art.
This very point has left a lot of us quite flabbergasted in the past. Yes, we can understand the pressure to make a festival seem more appealing to the millennial and hipster cats around, which is why it’s become quite the trend to add the prefix or suffix of ‘art’. What seems like great branding, also happens to be a downer for the bunch of festival goers who attend and buy tickets expecting a multitude of visual art, but are left standing in front of one measly installation. Failing to deliver on lofty promises, seems to be a promotion staple…but actually lying about the so-called art at a festival is quite unnecessary. To put it simply please don’t be overwhelmed by new branding trends, and just say it like it is. If you as a promoter are hosting a kickass music festival with a formidable line-up, call it just that. Why overcompensate?