In what is probably the least surprising news you’ll hear all day, data from the Ticketmaster’s State of Play: Dance Music Report shows us that there has been a nearly 500% increase in the number of UK dance music festivals since 2000. Additionally, in the last three years, over 10 million people have attended at least one dance music event with a 29% increase in interest for the genre.
While I don’t think anybody would have been surprised by the increase in dance music festivals, as EDM has steadily been on the path for world domination for some time now, I will admit that the almost 5x increase in festivals did catch me off guard. While there might not be a direct correlation between the increase in festivals and the decrease in UK clubs per BBC Newsbeat, it would appear that the UK’s dance music fans are increasingly taking themselves out of the club, and into the parks.
Clubs are still the #1 destination for UK dance music attendees. According to this survey, 60% out of the 1017 participants have visited a club in the past three years, but the numbers for festival attendees are also growing with 51% visiting a festival in the same three year window.
Live Nation’s president of electronic music Jamie Barton had this to say about the higher production value of EDM festivals as one possible reason for this trend.
“First and foremost these festivals are just much more exciting. As a young person there is just so much more on offer at a major electronic show. People talk about DJs being the new rock stars, but they’ve gone past that. I’ve seen some of these guys produce shows at a level way beyond even successful rock stars. We are living in the ‘age of experience’, simply serving something up isn’t enough, the kids want more.”
Festivals also seem to be more appealing to your wallet with a more “bang for your buck” experience than a regular night downtown, a view that this report would agree with. 14% of participants would be willing to spend over £150 on a festival (where you would catch multiple acts) while only 10% would be prepared to spend over £50 on clubbing.
Whether or not you’re a fan of the big festival experience or you prefer the more low-key weekend nights downtown, it’s impossible to deny how big electronic music has become, and as they say – the numbers don’t lie!
If you’re willing to delve deeper into the numbers, the report is open and available to everyone. Just input your email on the official Ticketmaster site to access the PDF download.