FEATURE: Coachella doubles up

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So Coachella is doubling up for 2012. The massive festival will now be held over two identical weekends: 13-15 and 20-22 of April.

According to their website, the decision was made for two reasons. Firstly, because 2011 passes sold out incredibly fast and many people missed out. Secondly, because many who bought tickets through other outlets or scalpers were ripped off and scammed.

I’m curious. I know Coachella is absolutely massive, but are organisers pushing their luck here? No doubt it will sell out, eventually. But I get the feeling it may suffer the same fate Splendour did. Yeah, it sold out, but not nearly as quickly as everyone expected. And that’s not to say it’s a failure, because it’s not, but when you set expectations this high and assume they will be reached then there’s always a large opportunity for disappointment. There’s the legitimate idea that this could simply over-saturate the music festival market.

Everyone knows the Australian festival scene has been steadily growing over recent years, and it all has to peak somewhere (that’s what she said). But seriously, it does. If festivals keep expanding and growing, and new festivals keep jumping up, then soon enough they will stop selling out and numbers will begin to drop. As much as the public love music, and as admirable as it is to see so many people supporting musicians, it’s just not viable to continue like this. But that’s Australia.

I often wonder if overseas scenes are similar. Is the American festival scene becoming over-saturated? Do you think two weekends of Coachella is too much?

And on the other hand, will this destroy opportunities for artists to pull any surprises or special one-offs, knowing the potential for backlash if they don’t repeat it the next weekend? To what extent can you replicate a festival weekend like Coachella, and to what extent will people expect both weekends to be the same?

Unlike Big Day Out or Groovin’ The Moo (both of which travel), Coachella will not be changing locations or moving. This is probably drawing a rather long bow, but will this effect the perspective people have psychologically: to know that while they attend one weekend, they may not be getting everything out of it that others will on the other weekend? Each weekend will be unique in some aspects, and not in others: will people feel like they’re slightly missing out?

It will be interesting to see whether the first or second weekend sells out first: will people expect the opening or closing to be better?

What do you think? Am I overthinking this all (I tend to do that)? Are two weekends a good idea? What implications will this have for the festival and for attendees?

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About Jeremy

19. Student. Blogger. Writer. Music-enthusiast.

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