As temperatures are dropping and Christmas nears, already being released are the names of next summer’s festival headliners. June, July and August are the core months jam packed with sell out music festivals up and down the country, featuring some of the planet’s biggest artists and bands.
But as names are announced, people come out the woodwork, showing music elitism at its ugliest.
For example, Donington Park’s metal festival Download 2015 have announced their main headliners for the three-day event as 80’s glam rock group KISS, 90’s shock rocker Marilyn Manson and 00’s prog rock Brit boys Muse.
I, for one, am pleased Muse are headlining. As one of my favourite bands, it’s great to see them back on the festival scene. And I’m not just saying this because they’re my favourite, but, they sure know how to put on a show.
Don’t believe me, or care to disagree? They’ve been nominated for Best Live Act (or similar awards appreciating live music) over 30 times at numerous award ceremonies, winning 11 of them; including two BRIT Awards for ‘Best Live Act’, ‘Best Headliner’ at the European Festival Awards, two Kerrang! Awards for ‘Best Live Act/Best British Act’, three Q Awards for ‘Best Live Act and three NME Awards for ‘Best Live Act’, just to name a few.
When the alternative rock trio were announced as the Saturday night headliner, people became pretty vocal on social media at the news.
I was actually planning to put some of the comments for verbatim in this piece, but the language is appalling, it probably wouldn’t be suitable for the C Word (even though there were plenty of C-words being used to describe some people’s disdain).
Not every single band out there is to everyone’s taste. There were plenty of bands at festivals I didn’t like, so instead of whining, I simply didn’t see them. It’s like people forget festivals tend to have three stages or more all running at the same time. I feel like the people who complain about music festival line-ups are the same sort of folk to complain about a movie in the cinema, watch the whole thing and then have the cheek to ask for a refund.
I think what’s shocked me the most is that these people who are complaining about the Download 2015 line up are the same people who were defending Metallica when they headlined Glastonbury’s famed Pyramid Stage last summer.
Glastonbury markets itself as a folky, alternative kind of place and Metallica wasn’t really the right place for them, truthfully speaking. But they did it, they managed it. Reviews were positive, with them winning over sceptic fans and critics alike.
And it isn’t just in the rock and alternative scene where the headliners have been a bit of a surprise. R&B and rap’s power couple Jay Z and Beyoncé have both headlined Glastonbury, in 2008 and 2011, respectively, and although people were doubtful, both sets went down a treat. Much to the disdain of outspoken Mancunian Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher who said Jay Z at Glasto was “wrong” and “Jay Z? No chance”.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though the festival season is about half a year away, try and keep an open mind. There’s an amazing world of music out there, and what’s the point pigeon holing yourself into one genre?
I can guarantee for every band you’re planning on seeing, there are three bands out there you won’t have planned on seeing but you will anyway, and you’ll love it. Music elitism is pointless, just go out there and enjoy music, there’s enough of it so you won’t ever get bored!