Somehow, Jack Johnson Is Only Playing Five Festivals This Summer

noah | April 11, 2008 1:45 am

That’s the word from Jeff Leeds at the New York Times, who penned a story on the fact that there may be something of a summer-rockfest glut hitting the U.S. over the coming months. With the lousy economy putting the hurt on potential cabana sales and the overlapping lineups making each festival less of a destination, can America handle “more than a dozen” parties based around the consumption of music? The answer seems to be “it depends on the lineup”–apparently the jam-band-heavy Mile High Festival is selling like gangbusters, while the promise of two Radiohead shows isn’t helping tickets to the New York-adjacent All Points West festival move as quickly as one might have hoped.

Meanwhile, Charlie Walker of Lollapalooza promoter C3 thinks that this country hasn’t seen enough huge music extravaganzas; “It’s a big marketplace,” the Times quotes him as saying . “We’ve got a little ways to go before we see any saturation.” But that tune might change once his festivals start feeling the hurt that Coachella was rumored to be feeling this year (before the announcement that Prince would play, at least): Coachella promoter Paul Tollett called last year’s sellout “an anomaly” prompted by Rage Against The Machine being on the bill, and he was wary of more festivals cropping up because “everyone [could] have the same bill and the same sort of feel at the festival. … If every one of them is just a McFranchise, there’s a specialness that’ll be lost.” Something tells me that he’s feeling the sting of his festival going the “booking Roger Waters in an effort to be different” route–an expensive mistake, if the rumors that Prince’s $4.8 million payday for headlining the festival’s second night are true.

Concert Industry Is Banking on a Festive Summer [NYT]