The festival season has officially begun.
Glastonbury 2017 reached another beautiful conclusion just last weekend, Boomtown Fair is set to mesmerise the Matterley Bowl in August and hundreds of day festivals are cropping up across the UK like whack-a-moles.
But gone are the halcyon days of musical yesteryear, in which one could rock up to a festival on the day with just £20 and a packet of cigarettes in hand. Smartphones, along with a side portion of glitter, are fast becoming the most popular accessory in the fields.
Social media has entirely reshaped our public perception of festivals, giving an insight like never before into what really takes place beyond the line-up. And here’s why:
OPEN TO EVERYONE
Instant access to festivals around the globe has never been easier thanks to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat delivering you live video coverage, photos and news updates from any event on the network.
Even if you can’t afford a slightly eye-watering £200+ for the likes of a Bestival ticket, you can vicariously enjoy the mud, music and mayhem from the luxury of your sofa cushions.
— Cal (@Wyatt_C10) June 24, 2017
THE INSIDE SCOOP
Whether it’s Barry Ashworth providing a tour of Blissfields 2014 or Billie-Joe Armstrong casually throwing fans a 45-minute warning for Green Day’s surprise set at Reading, keeping an eye on your event’s social radar can produce some real gems.
Green day – READING FESTIVAL CONFIRMED!! On stage in 45 minutes! In the NME / RADIO 1 tent. 11am!! Be there!
— Billie Joe Armstrong (@BJAofficial) August 25, 2012
Is there anything to better excite you for a weekend of frivolity than photos of crew already on site, or #throwbacks to last year’s shenanigans? The virtual masses can share useful insights on what to expect if it’s your first time, or reveal updates to help you steer clear of the ever-dreaded queues.
SHARING THE LOVE
There’s now an entire community of festival ‘glitterati’ – make-up artists, hair stylists and nail technicians – ready and waiting to replenish your baby-wiped pores or dry-shampooed barnet. Their attendance is often trackable too: many of these much-appreciated magicians will make their presence known to their reams of Instagram followers in advance.
Good or bad, it’s never been easier for festivals to expose themselves to the elements. The tactic worked favourably for South by Southwest – with #SXSW becoming the number one hashtag on Twitter for the duration of the festival – and not so well for Bestival, which downsized last year and didn’t remove the star rating function from its Facebook page, sinking its five-star to a 4.5.
While not quite being the conventional detachment from society that so many mosh-pitting, arm-flailing, die-hard festival goers crave, social media is giving our beloved parties on grass, and artists with talent coming out of their eyeballs, more of a global presence than ever before.
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