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Ohinever

The popularity of the festival

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Most of these 'solutions' presuppose that there are issues that require fixing.  Or that whatever anyone's l personal bugbears are can be addressed by any one thing. 

A muddy year isn't going to stop people having phone cameras.  Stopping booking pop acts isn't suddenly going  to make rock music popular again. Pulling the shutters down on the BBC doesn't mean that the festival will reduce capacity.  

One person's nostalgia for a particular year really isn't that important in the grand scheme of things.

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17 minutes ago, MEGATRONICMEATWAGON said:

This...

and this...

 

Good post. I'm not knocking the festival for being mega popular. I did prefer it previously overall, when it felt more like an alternative thing to do. It's a little like discovering a band on the up, wishing they would make it big, then feeling a little underwhelmed when they do at having to see them in mega venues and not intimate flea pits, and feeling they no longer "belong" to you. 

The point of my post was just to enquire whether people thought this mega popularity would last for ever. Thanks for trying to answer that. 

 

I suspect we will have peak Glasto for the next few years. Then it'll die down a bit. The current popularity is down to a recent fallow year, amazing weather and the 50th anniversary. Also social media - hadn't considered  that —but you are right. Everybody sees their friends there having a good time despite any horror stories or misgivings they may have had beforehand then want to go themselves. 

 

And once you've been, as we all know, you're going to want to go again, aren't you? 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ohinever

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14 hours ago, Ohinever said:

The popularity of the festival is now unprecedented. People who have never shown an interest in it, in all the years I have been going, have tried and failed or succeeded in getting tickets for next year. My cousin, who is about the least festivalling type you could imagine, has contacted me today to say he is going next year. Several others of similar ilk have contacted me about getting tickets. 

 

Glastonbury is no longer a festival. It is a cultural behomoth, its own meme, and can not be contained. 

 

Will it ever return to 2008 levels of relatively disinterest? All talk of ticketing systems are entirely redundant when faced with the above. What could return it to a festival for festival people? 

2008 was because of 2 factors: 2007 had bad weather and 2008 had announced Jay Z which resulted in media criticism. In 2007 I couldn't get a normal ticket so had to get a coach + entrance ticket i.e. there was still huge demand back then. My point is 2008 was an outlier, and generally the festival was massively popular and mainstream back then. 

I think it was last 'less mainstream' in the 90s, but maybe there's a correlation between how we view it and when we started going. 

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Just now, lukethekid said:

It might also just be because...... it’s absolutely fucking brilliant 

Exactly. So they should make it worse to deter people.

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3 hours ago, maelzoid said:

inevitably the attention from outside the music world will wane.

Why will it? This just seems like clairvoyance to me. 

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1 minute ago, glastofun said:

Why will it? This just seems like clairvoyance to me. 

I didn't say how long it would take, but I think public interest in all cultural events ebbs and flows. At some point the Daily Mail readers will grow bored of sneering at the 'muddy revelers'...

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Value for money has to be a factor.

The festival is owned and run by a family who are happy making a nice amount of profit and not a greedy corporation that wants to rape every penny from its customers.

The way the festival is licensed helps with no restrictions on food and alcohol.

Add this to the exposure the main artists receive thus keeping the booking fee down and you have the perfect scenario for years to come.

 

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It is brilliant that so many new people will get to have a fabulous time.

I wonder whether there will be any impact on the regulars - we have to assume that a fair chunk of them are failing to get tickets. For me, I've been lucky to go 10yrs on the trot - but missing this year. I'm not gutted, I really wanted to go, but I'm going to do something different. I'm the organiser of our group (10+) - if I'm not whipping up the enthusiasm, then they probably won't go - they love it, but I'm the catalyst. I doubt I'll be so enthusiastic next October - I'm not into being disappointed, so I'm not going to get excited only to fail.

I hope the new newbies become regulars, but the lottery of getting a ticket is against them.

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Rise in social media, TV/Press coverage and mainstream headliners (Beyonce, Adele, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran etc). The relatively decent run of good qeather years doesn't hurt aswell.

I know it's on alot of peoples, bith young and old bucket list now, even if they've never entertained a festival before.

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I do think the rise of glamping options has widened the market considerably. Back in the day a lot of people simply were 'not camping people' and would have been put off by that aspect, but now there are a lot more options for them. Two years on the trot of great weather is also pretty unusual.

Some friends of mine came this year who previously I never could have imagined attending, they stayed in Worthy View. One of these people, I have never seen wearing any footwear other than heels. I told her she needed to bring sensible shoes to Glastonbury, so she turns up in...wedges. Almost any year apart from 2019, she would have come to regret that decision, but as it was she got away with it. To be honest I think these friends, and plenty of others like them, would quickly be put off if they had to deal with any serious rain or mud. 

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1 hour ago, Ohinever said:

Good post. I'm not knocking the festival for being mega popular. I did prefer it previously overall, when it felt more like an alternative thing to do. It's a little like discovering a band on the up, wishing they would make it big, then feeling a little underwhelmed when they do at having to see them in mega venues and not intimate flea pits, and feeling they no longer "belong" to you. 

The point of my post was just to enquire whether people thought this mega popularity would last for ever. Thanks for trying to answer that. 

 

I suspect we will have peak Glasto for the next few years. Then it'll die down a bit. The current popularity is down to a recent fallow year, amazing weather and the 50th anniversary. Also social media - hadn't considered  that —but you are right. Everybody sees their friends there having a good time despite any horror stories or misgivings they may have had beforehand then want to go themselves. 

 

And once you've been, as we all know, you're going to want to go again, aren't you? 



Yeah, no one is suggesting to make it worse. The blinkers from some on here is amazing when suddenly someone says something critical about the fest punters themselves, especially when you can choose from quite a few threads on here about "the future of the John Peel", "the future of the Park" - all trying to actively find solutions for things that don't/didn't quite work as well. The SEC is a huge area that regularly gets criticised as well, and without a doubt atmospheres change from decade to decade. Compare what it was like in the 90s to now - there's massive change, and not just from structures, but from people too. To disregard there could be a sea-change in attendees is naive.

It's all unwritten laws though isn't it, which makes it hard to identify and "solve".

Showers/washing hair with buckets of water next to water taps is something several people dislike... 
Mobile phone usage/holding phones in front of others who want to watch the band...
Flag usage...
Impoliteness...
Rising self-centredness/it's all about me attitude/rise of social media/selfie-brigade...
Going front and centre to all the pop acts and not giving a shit about the political fields and healing fields...
Picnic-chair brigade who refuse to move for others...
People leaving plastic behind/tents behind...
Aggressive behaviour...
People who just want to "tick a box"...

These have existed for a long time, some have become more common place - altho only a couple of them are actively criticised on here and to judge anybody else for fulfilling several of these points and en masse is somehow not allowed... 

Anyway, focusing perhaps on more self-made groups/bands/singers which have to work hard on forming a following would see more "festival people" than just the scenesters and social-media types who want to be the next Alexa Chung or the next Harry Styles... Which I know, is a form of elitism in itself, but alas, we're not all perfect :P


 

Edited by MEGATRONICMEATWAGON

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Few places in the world where you can watch Adele at 8pm and dance to hardtek at 8am. Few places you can carve a spoon, watch napalm death, watch david attenborough then listen to drum and bass under a crane. Few places you can run a 5K, eat a curry free curry then watch craig charles.

Fuck off with all this other people are making it crap due to isntagram shit. Find what you love and you'll likely find your crowd. And take a chance and do something you dont like and you'll probably find a better crowd.

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15 minutes ago, Boilingtent said:

Fuck off with all this other people are making it crap due to isntagram shit. Find what you love and you'll likely find your crowd.

Exactly. The whole 'Instagram has ruined everything' angle is pretentious, bigotry and nonsense. 

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The coverage has always been there, watched it as a kid from Bowie in 2000 , REM, Macca etc till Amy Winehouse in 2008 and always dreamed of going. Went to Leeds and V in the 2006-8 and Glastonbury was known as the cream of the crop then, we've been every year since 2009 so would never have got hooked without the covervage. 

I'm from a small town in cumbria and there are plenty of people I know in different circles in their 50s who used to go to Glastonbury in the 90s, so it's not just some new trend?

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30 minutes ago, Boilingtent said:

Fuck off with all this other people are making it crap due to isntagram shit. 

G19 was an amazing opportunity to get an Instagram selfie with Acid Mothers Temple.

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I do think  we got a peak in numbers for the 50th and  we will get a slight drop off next but only back to previous levels so still massively hard to get a ticket  a few will naturally call the 50th the big one to end ... and some of the never intended to go to a festival but will do that big Glastonbury 50 one won't be able to hack some aspects of it .... 

Edited by crazyfool1

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On 10/11/2019 at 1:55 PM, MaxPower said:

Surely the % of people glamping is tiny relatively.

It's getting more and more every year.. Next year another big plot of camping land will be set aside for pre pitched camping at how ever much per tent that is so if you look at the older site maps you can see the difference between the site/pre pitched or boutique camping and the normal punters camping.. 

Also I've been up on row mead over 15 years now and I know that at least 5 big groups up there won't be again this year due to not having tickets.. 

It wasn't so bad when you had to work hard to get your ticket but at least you did.. OK some of your group / mates didn't but at least you still had a good group of people to go with but the last 2 years have been nuts.. No tickets along the row.. 

Pyramid Palace..gone half the sofa crew half the pimms less than half of us.. Its great if you do have a group of you but I personally like to have my mates with me and it just seems like this is getting almost impossible to do and I do think it's got something to do with the demographics of the festival that has changed and with alot more people having or willing to pay for pre pitched, boutique and off site camping.. Plus its something that people are keen to knock off their BUCKET LIST And last year was the first year that I had actually felt the difference in the festival.. 

But hey maybe that's the only way glastonbury can continue... Especially with EE taking the reins.. 

I know what I mean lol... Copy and pasted from a 2013 thread 

 

Edited by guypjfreak

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On 10/11/2019 at 3:16 AM, David Gray (90+2) said:

I think coverage and a lack of alternative festivals of similar standing make this a must for many. Can't speak for everyone, but there seems to be a progression through the teenage years in festivals:

14-16, Latitude with your family

16-18, Reading, Leeds with your mates

18-20, Boomtown, Houghton with your cooler mates

20+, Glastonbury with your best mates

Essentially, people tick off the others and come to the realisation that only Glastonbury is left.

You could translate this to other things, too, like choosing mountains to climb. Eventually you want to do Everest.

I do think there is an element of status-seekers and Instagram-chasers in the ticket hunt these days, but I don't know what you can do about that to put them off. Mud, probably.

When I was little it was

14 - 16: The local weekend festival that had minimal camping, with my brother

16-18: V Fest or Reading - prove to my mum that I could stay alive at a big festival

18+: Graduate to the big G.

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The only way Glasto will become less over subscribed is if other festivals make themselves more popular and begin competing with it for the same sort of experience. At one time I thought Boomtown might achieve this, however its less mainstream music bookings perhaps somewhat dilute this potential.

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If the BBC stopped showing it the festival probably wouldn't attract the big acts as that sweetens the smaller fee and if that happened less people would be going.

Same if the byob situation was different.

What makes Glastonbury special is the creativity and the spirit of everyone behind it so even if it lost the biggest acts it would still be popular just maybe a bit easier to get tickets.

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