“There’s too many of them and there are not enough big acts to headline them.” says Harvey Goldsmith.

Music festivals are just another element in the ever-growing, pop-culture dominated regime that is today’s youth. There were over 900 music festival events in the UK between May and September last year, says promoter Harvey Goldsmith.

Harvey Goldsmith has produced and worked with The Who, Madonna, Queen, Rolling Stones and other benchmark names in the evolution of music in the past three decades. Goldsmith believes that the future of music festivals is in extremis, at best.

Commission Mcc0062035 Daily Telegraph Warren Allott Hay Festival. Harvey Goldsmith: The Legendary promotor talks about experiences as a top music promoter.

(Image Courtesy: telegraph.co.uk)

“The festival circuit has peaked,” he said at Hay Literary Festival, “It really peaked about two years ago. There’s too many of them and there are not enough big acts to headline them. That is a big, big problem in our industry. And we are not producing a new generation of these kind of acts – the likes of the Rolling Stones, Muse, even Arctic Monkeys – that can headline.” 

Mr. Goldsmith may be on to something. Like we said before, today’s youth is a fast paced and easily bored lot when it comes to, well, everything. And if the music festival industry drives the ax through their reserve of ‘original’ ideas for the festivals any further, sparks may fly right out of our computer screens. Which, incidentally (not), makes it more improbable to stand out in the behest of music festivals that are rapidly growing in number.

Having said that, lack of major acts to succeed the epochal talent promoted by Goldsmith, seems like an unlikely reason for the demise of the music festival culture. It may lead to curbing of many of the smaller festivals that orbit around the bigger ones, trying to become like each other. But limited good headlining acts could also help filter out the redundant from the value for money ones. And let us clarify, by redundant we do not mean music festivals that aren’t as well-established as others. In fact, lack of headlining acts could give rise to indie music culture and uplift it through music festivals. But filtering out a few  me-too festivals out there may not be such a bad idea.

“Music festivals have probably run their course. What is going to happen is a growth in events where it isn’t just music, [but] like this one, with poetry or books or magic shows. There will be lots of small combination festivals that give something plus – not people standing around in a massive great field unable to go to the toilet because they might miss the band.” says Harvey Goldsmith.

We’re all for sharing opinions, folks, as long as pitchforks and fires are kept out of the picture. Feel free to let us know your views.