Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

No more VIPs

There’s an intereview with maverick Waterford-born promoter Vince Power in today’s Ticket where he talks about his new UK festival, A Day at the Hop Farm. The festival will feature Neil Young, Primal Scream, Supergrass, My Morning Jacket and tons …

Fri, Jun 13, 2008, 12:13

   

There’s an intereview with maverick Waterford-born promoter Vince Power in today’s Ticket where he talks about his new UK festival, A Day at the Hop Farm. The festival will feature Neil Young, Primal Scream, Supergrass, My Morning Jacket and tons more.

While Power talks a bit (only a bit, unfortunately) about the rivalry with MCD’s Denis Desmond and selling his Mean Fiddler company to a constorium featuring Desmond and American live music giants Live Nation, he has some strong views about VIP areas at festivals:

It’s the prawn-sandwich brigade, isn’t it? We asked a bunch of 18- to 25-year-olds for their opinions on how music festivals were run. We found that most of the people were really pissed off about how, after buying a ticket, they were made to feel not good enough. Their wristband couldn’t get them in to this area or that area and there was far too much branding around.

I’ve been watching the festival market for the last couple of years, and I feel that the punters – who should be at the core of the festival – are getting more and more frustrated with the experience. At some of these festivals, the person who has actually paid for a ticket ends up feeling the lowest in the pecking order. It’s now time to get back to basics and return the festival to the punters. And remember, because of all the changes in the music industry, bands are relying more and more on live performances than they did before. I really believe this new festival could be the start of a major change in how festivals will be run.

It’s an interesting notion, but I have a feeling the cost of a ticket, the line-up, the facilities, the atmosphere, the history (chequered or otherwise) and other such issues are more important when it comes to why people are thinking twice about festivals. I’ve never heard anyone giving out about areas for Very Impotent People at gigs or festivals. Or am I wrong and are people really raging against the VIP area?

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