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The Outdoor Music Festival Boom


Zoe Mitchell on the Berklee College of Music – Music Business Journal recently wrote Over 32 million people in the US attend at least one music festival a year and more often than not travel 600 miles on average to get there. While the recorded music industry is in turmoil, experiencing live music is at a premium and sellers like Live Nation or SFX Entertainment Live are expanding into new sub genres like Electronic Dance Music (EDM) while brands like Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Heineken, and Miller Coors, ranked from the most to the least active, recognize the medium for its branding potential among the millennial generation.

Some of the bigger festivals in the U.S. by 2014 attendance were Coachella, in Indio, California, with 579,000; Austin City Limits, in Austin, Texas, 450,000; EDC Las Vegas 400,000; Lollapalooza, in Chicago, 325,000; and Ultra in Miami with 165,000. ‘Social’ here means putting boots on the field and few events anywhere can attract such massive audiences. Festival fans are evenly distributed: the age group 18-24, represents 24% of attendances; 25-34, 22%, and 35-49, 28%; the 50+ group, at 15%, tails off some.

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