LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Three chaotic days of peace, music, mud and free love helped immortalize the 1969 Woodstock festival as the touchstone of Sixties counterculture.
Fifty years on, the biggest music festivals could hardly be more different, with corporate sponsors, VIP packages, air conditioned tents, gourmet dining and social media influencers.
Businesses are investing in more than 800 music festivals in the United States alone, drawn by hard-to-reach audiences of millennials who seek experiences along with music.
“Sponsorship is a huge part of the revenue streams. For big festivals, it runs to seven figure numbers,” said Andy Gensler, executive editor of music touring publication Pollstar.
“The cost of talent and the back end production costs can be enormous, so sponsorship is part and parcel for these festivals to survive and thrive,” Gensler said.
Gone are the days when music fans slept in the open air, survived on junk food and put up with smelly porta potties.
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