In the modern world, there’s never been more access to new music and artists. With many different music genres launching musical festivals all over the world, music lovers have lots of choices. It’s also not just teens or young adults flocking to these events, the music festival experience is something enjoyed by all ages. Their popularity is so widespread, it’s estimated that over 32 million people attend at least one music festival per year1. Artists are on board as well, seeking other ways to generate revenue in a world of music streaming and shrinking royalties.

With so many festivals and fans eager to attend, what’s next? How will music festivals evolve in the next few years, connecting fans with their favorite musicians? To answer that, we’re sharing some emerging music festival trends.

Setting the Stage

Early music festival stages lacked somewhat in electronic fanfare. But as technology has advanced, the opportunity to deliver a true experience has grown. In fact, it’s now an expectation of fans. Laser light shows choreographed to the entertainment create a visually spectacular atmosphere, and LED screens at today’s concerts can reach up to 40’, making them vital in current stage production.

With 4K screens offering unprecedented clarity, and video walls adding excitement to any venue, LED screens present a unique way to tell a story. It’s a way to augment a show’s customizable design capabilities, allowing multiple music festival performers to add their own flair to each performance.

In addition to LED screens, festival staging is very high-tech and continues to push the edge. Elaborate rigging, that’s safe and versatile, is allowing musicians to perform amazing acrobatics and other stunts that were previously considered impossible or too risky.

Social Media: Connecting with Fans

Social media touches everything; music festivals are no different. Festivals now use LED boards to promote social engagement with special hashtags. Then those tweets or posts stream to LED boards placed on stage. The future of social media at festivals will have less to do with communicating with attendees; but rather, attendees creating user-generated content, sharing their experiences with all. These in the moment experiences are now more powerful with the ability to go live through Facebook Live and other platforms.

Streaming: Fans Don’t Have to be There

With the capability of exposing millions of more viewers than the physical venue fans, live streaming concerts is becoming increasingly popular. Statistics indicate that livestreamed events are watched three times more than non-live ones2. The 2017 Coachella festival live-streamed three stages featuring 60 acts to nine million online viewers, and Global Citizen is using livestreaming to bring concerts to an international audience. Livestreaming the event is much more than just watching it on a computer screen. With film-style large sensor cameras, sophisticated production hardware and the right mix of sound, viewers experience the show. This experience could be even more real should promoters decide to offer a virtual reality broadcast.

New Era of Safety

Safety for concertgoers looks much different than it did years ago. Today, public security is priority #1 for all music festival organizers.

With cases of death and injury occurring in several instances including the Indiana State Fair in 2011, and the recent stage collapse in Brazil, production teams must be more vigilant than ever in monitoring for weather or other risks. Because most music festivals are held in outside venues, the threat of wind and storms must always be considered. Not only should the venue stage and all its elements be installed correctly, should a situation arise, production teams must be able to quickly and safely dismantle the stage as well.

Long Live the Music Festival

Music festivals are dynamic, often once-in-a-lifetime events, bringing together a mix of musical acts, the chance for memorable collaborations, and the exhilaration of moment-making music to delight both onsite and online audiences. As their popularity grows, these events will only get bigger and better in their attempt to dazzle and connect with fans.

We’ve been creating experiences for live music venues for decades, providing the latest in current innovation. From audio to visual to rigging, VER has the solution to make your event the best it can possibly be. Take a look at some of the concert productions we’ve successfully executed.

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