Friday, July 16, 2010

Warped Tour a great idea with room for improvement

Went to the Scranton PA "festival" yesterday.

I'm 37, and it's a lot of good stuff, albeit, obviously not my scene. I spoke with some folks in the artist booths, and saw portions of near 30 acts. Did a lot of observing.

The potential is there. A festival of music. Each artist having their own booth for connection with fans. Music flowing from multiple stages all day long. A cooperative, supporting effort among the bands. Security was great. All american rejects had endless crowd surf action that they easily kept up with, and a girl passed out from dehydration in front of me in line (i helped her to a shady seat) and security was there in less than 60 seconds, with medical staff there 2 minutes later.

Many CDs being sold though, for 5.00, with some being 2.00 (that came with a story about "needing your help" ), and one mp3 cd that had 75 tracks on it for 5.00. (didn't see a single one of them being sold). It cost me 9.00 for my Gyro, and 9.00 for a later sausage sub. My lemonades were 5.00. Water was 4.00. Flyers littered the entire place to the point of stupidity. (passed out to everyone and immediately thrown down) Those I spoke with said without a doubt sales are down, and I know the tour itself is down an average of 8-10% this year in various markets (NPR column) Add to that the fact that the tickets were 30.00, and there was I believe over 50 bands.

A couple of times, artists asked crowds directly.

"who here has heard us before?"
to a rousing , "RAHHHHHH"

and then
"who here has bought our cd?"
to a paltry few raising their hands

my conclusion

the industry is still in very big trouble
people will spend 5.00 on lemonade quicker than they will on a cd
that front man for the all american rejects is one cool, crowd owning cat.
the word motherfu#%er is apparently required at some point in every sentence used by any and nearly every front man.
i'm more likely in the market for the girls mother now, than the girl :(

all i can think of is "love fest"

similar setup, but with mellow fare in a field instead of a venue.

the priority being on attracting decent folks and specifically TRYING to keep the price as low as possible.

your concessions could be all legit, but independents who paid a small fee to set up their booth, so there could be a big variety and the price would be reasonable.

security would be very important, but with the bands you could easily dictate the percentage of hooligans you had to weed out.

every artist could have a booth, that's the best part of the warped tour.

it would be in a grassy field, picnic style, with actual restrooms built into trailers that could be easily parked wherever.

yeah, they were foolish to think they could pull off a second woodstock with limp bizkit type music at it's core.

instead of hiring some big names to lure folks in and then treating the audience like cattle, they could rethink the process and sell the audience on the overall experience. imagine that, providing an experience that people would enjoy and making money in the process. are we so far gone as to not be able to do that.

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