Yeganegy, Roxanne. 2014. “Summer Music Festivals: From 60s Counterculture to Big Business.” Epoch Times (July 24).
Many mistakenly believe that British music festivals are offspring of the politically-based 60s festivals, however, increasing ticket prices, booking fees, corporate sponsorship, and suppression of “free” festivals (per Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994) reinforce the notion that festivals are business.
Are festivals just simulation? Early iterations of the popular music festivals we come to know had political implications, mixed in with politics. Some festivals continue to do so – rejecting corporate sponsorships to favor local businesses – gaining credibility from festival goers (encouraging others to do so, but at strong financial loss).
Participant-based installations, costuming, themed-camps promote immersion, audience investment in the event itself. On the surface, hedonism, but more so about breaking down audience-performance dualities, promoting DIY culture of Burning Man in increasing number of festivals across Europe.