Summer Festivals: It's More Than Just Music
In this article, we focus on summer festivals through an online survey conducted on the questia.ro platform. The research study was active between July 24th and July 29th, 2018 and covered 670 respondents, with a +/- 4% margin of error when reported to the Romanian online population.
Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands
- Stevie Wonder in “Sir Duke”
There’s no denying in the fact that summer is celebrated all around the world. According to Culture Trip, most people celebrate "the summer solstice", also known as midsummer, which is the official start of summer and marks both the longest day and the shortest night of the year.
However, it is hard to imagine a summer without a music festival. Over time, some festivals have gained so much popularity that they became icons for their genre. While some are known for bringing in the most popular performers of the moment, others combine music with arts and performances to create a fully cultural festival.
Many music festivals are boosted by international travelers. As a festival’s popularity grows, more people flock to see what all the buzz is about. Nowadays, people will travel all over the world to attend some of the largest and best music festivals anywhere on the planet.
Some of the most famous music festivals are listed below:
- Coachella, California: is one of the biggest music festivals from the United States and this year it took place between April 13 and April 22. Hundreds of thousands of people attended this festival. The fashion trend for this festival is the flower crowns.
- Tomorrowland, Belgium: is one of the most recognized festivals in the world for EDM (electronic dance music). The festival dates since 2005 and over the years it got bigger and bigger. The most famous electronic music DJs perform on the artfully built stages of Tomorrowland each year.
- Exit, Serbia: is recognized for its mix of music genres as it has electronic, rock, metal, hip hop, rap, raggae and punk music, all in one festival. The festival takes place since the 2000’s at the Petrovaradin Fortress, occupying the grounds of an ancient citadel on the banks of the blue Danube.
- Splendour in the Grass, Australia: this festival has been held in Australia since 2001 and showcases indie rock, hip-hop, electronic and alternative music genres.
- Fuji Rock, Japan: is the biggest outdoor music event in Japan and one the most recognized music festivals in Asia. It started back in the ’97 where it took place at the base of the Mount Fuji, but since ’99 it has been held at the Naeba Ski Resort, a heavenly mountain setting. It showcases rock and electronic music.
- Rock in Rio, Brazil: the festival originated in Rio de Brazil in 1985 but it migrated in other countries, with “Rock in Rio” festivals taking place in Lisbon, Madrid and USA as well.
- Mawazine, Morocco: also known as Rhythms of the World is the largest music event that is hold in Africa.
Romania is also the home of several famous festivals. Black Sea’s Sunwaves Festival is held twice a year on the beaches of Mamaia, in May and August. It is being said that the festival "became the Mecca for techno & electronic music lovers".
The Transylvanian Untold is the most famous music festival in Romania and in 2016 was awarded Europe’s Best Major Festival even though it competed against well-known bigger festivals such as Tomorrowland (Belgium), Szighet (Hungary) or Exit (Serbia). The Cluj festival promises 4 magic, unforgettable nights of fun for the 400K expected participants (40K from abroad).
Bucharest's Summer Well Festival is taking place in one of the most well-preserved aristocratic domains, the Stirbey estate from Buftea. The Stirbey castle is opening its gate for adventurous people who seek alternative rock and pop music. The location is quite romantic, people are chilling on the grass or near the pool, walking by the lake or riding the zip-line across the lake.
Let's not forget about Electric Castle which is a unique festival taking place on the domain of Banffy Castle from Transylvania that combines the music with technology.
I think event organizers realized how much Romanians like to party on the beach so they decided to create a new music festival, Neversea. Neversea is an EDM festival (electronic dance music), the little brother of Untold. It was born in 2017 and even though it was a new, fresh festival, it quickly became the largest music festival ever to be held on a beach in Romania.
Last but not least, the RockStadt Extreme Fest is the most important Romanian rock metal event and takes place in Rasnov, Brasov County.
Let's now see what our respondents are planning to do this summer and wheater it includes partying at a summer festival or not.
Top activities for the respondents this summer include city breaks, visiting the countryside, going out and at the opposite side, staycation. Most of the respondents (69.9%) answered they intend to go on a trip, city break or in a vacation this summer, either in the country or abroad seas, while 38.8% also have plans to visit the Romanian countryside. However, 44% of users prefer to relax and stay home either with their family or by themselves. Almost a quarter of respondents (21.9%) said they plan to attend concerts and music festivals this summer.
Comparing this year’s results to our previous study about (Re)emerging Trends: Music Festivals, fewer people are willing to attend music festivals this summer since over a quarter of respondents (26.1%) said they would go to concerts and festivals last year.
Social media seems to be the most popular source of information regarding summer activities as most of the users (69.3%) discover news about various summer events from Facebook or Twitter. Dedicated website pages are also popular, as 60.3% of respondents check the websites of the events they intend to go to.
The most popular summer festivals in terms of awareness are Untold Festival (with 86% of respondents hearing about it), The Golden Stag Festival (or “Cerbul de Aur” in Romanian, with 77.6% of respondents hearing about it), Summer Well Festival (51.4%), Europa FM Live on the beach (45.1%) and Sunwaves Festival (30.4%).
We then asked the respondents which music festival they are attending this summer. Untold Festival proves to be as popular as last year, with the majority (40.1%) planning to go, while almost a quarter of respondents (24.5%) intends to go to The Golden Stag Festival in Brasov. Summer Well and Europa FM Live on the beach are not as popular as the previous two ones, with only 17.7% of respondents saying they will go to Summer Well and 16.3% to the beach from between Venus and Saturn to attend Europa FM’s Live concert.
However, 15.6% said they don’t plan to attend any music festival this summer. Interestingly, the percentage is lower to the one from the last year (where over a quarter of users said they won’t attend any summer festival), which proves that the audience for these music festivals is growing each year.
We wanted to find out what makes people want to participate in these music festivals. Most of them (68%) said they attend these festivals mainly because they love the atmosphere, the festival vibe and the activities they can do there, while 66% come to these festivals because they like the bands, singers or DJs that are performing.
However, a summer festival is not only about the music and the artists that are performing. Organizers are putting a lot of effort into creating a unique “realm” where participants can have fun and relax: hot air balloons, swings, carousels, relaxation areas with beds and canopies, VR, performances from acrobat artists. You can even get tattoos, do your makeup or change your hairstyle in dedicated outdoor beauty salons. If you’re hungry there are many food trucks in the food courts areas from where you can satisfy your cravings. As for the bars, these are as far as the eye can see. If you’re running out of clothes or snickers, there are also dedicated shops of sponsors or partners of the festival. Basically, all sorts of activities you could think of, you name it.
Most of the users (91%) believe that there should be more summer festivals and music concerts organized in Romania, while 83.3% think that the organizers should include more food trucks and a higher variety of beverages at music concerts/ festivals. Also, many users (81.2%) would like to experience more diverse activities at summer festivals and concerts.
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