This article kind of goes hand in hand with the comments I made regarding the top selling hard rock albums of 2017. For the last 50 years, there have been rock based music festivals all over the world. Look at phenomenon like Wacken, Download or Hellfest. Some of these festivals are drawing 50,000 to 80,000 people and up. But they’re headlined by bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Linkin Park, Scorpions and Slayer. Not every band is the Rolling Stones, and I can’t imagine the majority of the ones listed hear lasting till they’re well into their 70s. Aerosmith is supposedly breaking up, Kiss, and Scorpions have gone on faux farewell tours, while Metallica has discussed not touring as much. How long can these festivals stay at these levels as these bands begin to retire, or much like Slayer, or now Linkin Park, have some of their main contributors pass away, or leave.
I’ve heard arguments that there is no way that these festivals can continue to exist at these levels, as bands like Trivium, Machine Head, and Five Finger Death Punch will not be able to sustain the same crowds. But I would also like to argue that they can. Sure, there are people that go strictly for the bands, but there are many others that go regardless of who is playing. They want to get lost in a festival environment, and to them they’re going to have a good time regardless of who will be there. You also have to look at all of the cruises that are now taking place, sure the attendance isn’t the same, it is a much smaller scale, but outside of Kiss that does their own Kruise, no other huge bands are a part of this at the moment, and they seem to do well. And people are pay a lot more, thousands of dollars to be exact, to go on them in comparison to a festival, which costs nowhere near that.
There is another thing to look at too, I don’t see a lot of these bands totally retiring, they can play five festivals, and take a good chunk of change home, with minimal travel, and not having to really worry about backlines, lighting, etc. that normally goes into their own world tour. I think to say all of these bands will retire in the next ten years is premature. Some will, but you’ll have others that may keep their horns in the air till the day they die.
What do you guys think? Will huge festivals be gone in the next decade due to bands retiring? Or can they carry on?