Saturday, April 17, 2010

Is Splendour A Farce?

So Splendour In The Grass was announced this week, and what an absolute stir it's caused. Easily, it can be said, with this one mega-announcement, it has stuck its head above the parapet of mainstream festivals and has stamped its mark as Oz's answer to the mega music festivals of the world. It has, to mind, a wonderful mix of massive mainstream acts, top-line local performers and enough of a smattering of "who the fuck?" moments to tease the interests. There's one massive 'but': it's the privilege of parting with upwards of $450 to enter the party.

As I commented over at farcebook on one of the many convos happening regarding this very fact:

"It is quite expensive - pound for pound, Glasto is cheaper per day... but most artists on their bill are touring around Europe at the time, so they just skip over to the festival as part of their travel."

"Bringing all of the headliners half-way across the world is a fucking expensive task. Added to that, due to the glut of mainstream fests in Oz (and the world) ATM, exclusivity of at least 2-3 of the international headliners is key. This means that, per show, the headliners are getting more per ticket = higher ticket price."

"Sure, it's bloody expensive - but I think the killer will also be the 3 days of essential entrapment into the festival food and bev cartels. Woodford Folk Festival is the only multi-day fest I've ever been to which doubles as a sort of fresh-food mart - you can get almost anything there either cheaply pre-made, or fresh so you can make it in your camp yourself. I don't think Splendour will take on that philosophy, and it certainly won't allow the Peat's Ridge- style BYO alcohol. So 3 days worth of Langos Hungarian Deep Fried Bread and $12 cans of mid-strength piss will be a deal breaker for me."

As much as I would love to be a part of this 10 year celebration (and with fond memories of this brand's tentative first toe in the water to a restricted 7,500 punters), and as much as I feel this is a make or break in terms of business models for Oz festivals for years to come, I just don't think it's got enough to entice my currency from my pocket.


Dr Yobbo said...

$450 is profoundly stupid money. Makes me glad for my festy years being primarily in the pre-hundred buck ticket era.

Albion Love Den said...

True. It's putting economic theory to the test... isn't it meant to be that more competition drives down the price? Not fucking likely in the festival market. Still, this will sell out stupidly quickly and it will signal to other festival operators that the demand is there.

Or it will massively flop. Just hedging my bets here.

Dr Yobbo said...

It won't flop. It'll take longer than usual to sell out, but it'll still sell out. Punter profile might change a bit though, less feral, more cashed-up Gen Y kids with dad's corporate Amex. Basically, it'll suck.

Girl Clumsy said...

Wow! I didn't realise it was so expensive.

The only music festival I ever went to was the notorious Triple M "M1" day. I was working for the station and spent most of the day running around as a band runner.

I did get to meet Shirley Manson, which was ace, but I missed an opportunity to knee the lead singer of Nickelback in the balls, something I'll always regret. The best though was meeting Lano and Woodley and seeing a backstage performance of Puppetry of the Penis.

Anyway, I've never been to a Livid, or a Big Day Out or a Splendour. As Marge Simpson says "Music is none of my business".

I'm sure the money will be no object though - of the few music hipsters I know, the cred of being there is far far more valuable than things like "food" and "rent".

Albion Love Den said...

Oh wow, M1. Wasn't that just confused mess of crud? My cred in amongst all that was passing up one of the many thousands of freebies they were giving away to try to fill the venue.

Girl Clumsy said...

Yeah, I think it lost the Austereo/Village network a bunch of money.

And yeah, I was given about 10 freebies to give away, so ended up getting heaps of my friends in.

And it still had bands like Garbage. And Billy Idol was there. It wasn't all bad. Just poorly thought out.

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