Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mud and money

Last night's Money Programme - with Myleene Klass stepping into Valerie Singleton's shoes - looked at the business of making money out of music festivals; a timely programme just as the industry moves on from its old "taking candy from a baby" business model. has got a bunch of unseen interviews from the programme, including Melvin Benn talking about a time when he failed (not The Phoenix, funnily enough):

You know, I put Sting in Finsbury park in the late 90s and it died a death. It just didn’t sell. One of the greatest artists in the world, but his audience didn’t want to be in Finsbury Park. It’s not just about getting the right artist, it’s about getting the right artist in the right place. Put him in a stadium, put him in Hyde Park, it’ll be great, but put him in the wrong park or the wrong environment it wouldn’t work really.

It must be really dispiriting for Sting to know that his fans' devotion is such that they won't take a twenty minute tube journey to see him.

There's also some early anecdotes from research into the motivation for people to go and spend time at festivals, which throws the fuss about Jay-Z as a headliner into some interesting relief:
It wasn’t just people’s life landscapes that seemed to be providing motivations for attending festivals though, and the chance to bond with friends – or to build ‘social capital’, as Bourdieu’s terms it – was another big pull, as was the chance for some to boast about the festival to others afterwards. It wasn’t just tales about seeing the ‘big names’ that these punters were keen to impress others with, though. What was perhaps more important to many of them was to see something fresh and new. The opera festival goers wanted to be able to add another different opera to their compendium, the indie-pop fans wanted to be the first to see the next big star, and the folkies were keen to discover that previously unknown acoustic singer-songwriter playing in a corner of a field to an ever-expanding impromptu audience.

This would suggest that Eavis would be better off worrying about the downcard and throw any old bod onto the top of the bill. Oh, hang about: Kings Of Leon. He already has, hasn't he?

The programme itself is on the iPlayer until next Friday teatime.