Massive productions, enormous crowds from around the world and hundreds, if not thousands, of artists on the bill. Today’s music festivals are unrecognizable from their primitive origins. More than a thousand festivals take place in Britain every year and roughly 3.5 million people attend one of the diverse experiences on offer in the UK. The modestly sized city of Amsterdam hosted over 150 festivals in the summer of 2018, but has the scene become tired and predictable?
‘Under a Strobe Lit Sky’ – a new 30-minute documentary by Pioneer DJ and DJsounds features musicians, DJs, promoters and festival organizers who share their personal stories and thoughts on the crucial, sometimes intangible qualities festivals need to thrive. Insight comes from Michael and Emily Eavis (Glastonbury Festival), Piers Aggett & Amir Amor (Rudimental), Eats Everything, NERVO, Dave Harvey and Tom Paine (Love International), and numerous other industry experts. They discuss how enjoying music together is a basic human need and how festivals are not just about music anymore but are now crucial starting blocks for artists and spaces to experience a culture that connects people from all over the world.
In recent years, artists have exploded onto the international scene by breaking through on the festival circuit. David Levy (WME Partner, UK) tells us in the film, “Festivals increasingly are the sort of lifeblood of how fans, artists, DJs, musicians get started… playing the right festivals can very much trigger opening you up to a wider audience.”
The industry is a precarious boom-or-bust environment, with huge budgets, fine margins between success and failure, and the potential to slingshot artists to international acclaim (or ruin their reputations). ‘Under a Strobe Lit Sky’ explores this world and examines the impact festivals can have on the music scene.