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The Year Ahead 2015: The Future Of Fests

With the UK festival market facing saturation amongst a spate of cancellations, a different approach to the format may be in order…

As 2015 begins, most of us are trying to ignore the freezing cold outside by dreaming wistfully of summer and the start of festival season. The last few years have seen a huge explosion in new events and the growth and expansion of older ones, but some important questions remain. Now that we, as rock and metal fans, are spoilt for choice, what exactly will the future hold? Can all these festivals co-exist, or will more events disintegrate in the manner that the likes of Alt-Fest, Hevy, Sonisphere and certain ATP events have in recent years?

Kevin Lyman is the man behind the Warped Tour in the US, not to mention one of the chief organisers of the Taste Of Chaos and Mayhem touring festivals. As far as he’s concerned, 2015 could well be a make-or-break year for many of those hoping to stage large-scale musical events.

“The European market has always had the question of a saturation point, and we’re starting to feel that in the US now,” he explains. “We’ve hit that point where there the entry point for starting a festival is so high because the talent pool is small when you need to draw enough people to make it work. It’s the corporatisation of festivals that’s happening right now. There are the mega-festivals, and in the US there’ll be one every 500 miles and maybe the smaller, community-based festivals will suffer as a result.”


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