Concerts vs Festivals: Which Is Better?

For most of us, seeing our musical heroes performing live is something we’d really like to spend more time doing, but we only really have a limited budget for such activities. This leads to decisions being made based on what price is justifiable to see your favourite acts live. Often you may be presented with two options: concerts and major music festivals. But which is better? Let’s weigh up how they fare on a few different points.

Seeing your favourite artist

If you only have or two favourite acts and you really want to see them perform, you’ll get the best experience seeing them in their own concert as a rule. They’ll be able to put on a more spectacular show most of the time, and you’ll usually get the full experience with a longer set list and a perhaps more manageable audience size.

Experiencing different performances

Of course, you will get to see a great many more different artists performing if you go to a music festival, where you could be seeing anything from a handful of acts to maybe bits and pieces of twenty or thirty performances. This can be a lot more fun if you have a short attention span and you’re open to many different styles of performance.

Discovering new music

As a result, it’s pretty clear that you’ll discover a lot of acts you hadn’t really heard of or paid attention to before when you attend a music festival. Some you might never want to hear again, but you’re bound to discover a few great ones. You might get one or two support acts at a concert, and in fairness they should be hand-picked by your chosen artist as something you’re likely to enjoy, but don’t be surprised if they’re not to your taste.

Getting trapped in the crowd

A pitfall of either concerts or music festivals is getting stuck waiting in a huge crowd and being unable to leave for fear or losing your place and your view of the stage. At a concert this may be only for a few hours at least, but on the other hand there’s nowhere to escape to. At a festival you’re free to come and go as you please, usually wandering between stages, but if you really want to be at the front for a late night headliner you could find yourself spending an entire day at the front of the crowd.

Relaxing and having fun

We’re usually planning to have a great time when we go to a music event, and a festival will usually cater more towards this goal. You’ll probably find a greater range of food, drink and other entertainment to keep you going between performances, although it might be a long and exhausting day. A concert can typically take just a few hours, even if you do have to queue for a long time beforehand, so it should be less tiring but there might not be much else to do other than waiting for your act to come on stage.

Highlights of Download Festival 2016

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Earlier this summer, Download 2016 was a huge success – as it always is every year, despite the weather being less than favourable. It threw it down with rain for much of the weekend, but that didn’t stop metal and rock fans having a great time throughout the festival at Donnington Park. It may seem a world away from Jersey, but we know many fans are regular visitors to both!

Starting on Friday June 10th, one of the main performers originally slated to appear on the main stage was Motörhead. Sadly, frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilminster passed away at the end of last year, prompting the festival’s organisers to christen the main stage “The Lemmy Stage” and a moving tribute film to be premiered during Motörhead’s original slot.

The band’s iconic legacy was brought to the Lemmy Stage by the rest of the Friday’s performers, though, particularly by bands like Killswitch Engage who paid tribute to Lemmy during their electrifying set. Later, Rammstein headlined the first night on the Lemmy stage and put on a spectacular show for the crowd including flamethrowers, pirates and, of course, a relentless heavy metal soundtrack (except for an impressive acoustic moment in the encore). At the same time, All Time Low headlined the Encore Stage with a slightly more radio-friendly but equally entertaining set.

Highlights from Saturday at Download included NOFX, who headlined the Encore Stage on the second night of the festival. Celebrating over thirty years as a band, they delivered an entertaining and authentically punk rock set, even if it wasn’t really meant to be taken seriously. Simultaneously back on the main stage, Ozzy Osbourne led Black Sabbath in one of the final concerts of their 2016 tour, which they have said will be their last. Although the ageing pioneers of hard rock didn’t deliver their most energetic set to date, this was a farewell to fans that felt very much like classic Download.

On the last day of the festival, Nightwish played in the penultimate slot on the Lemmy Stage and entertained the weary crowd with 11 haunting numbers. They left the stage before the final headliners, Iron Maiden, came out (after some delay) to deliver an amazing performance complete with ruined Mayan temple staging. Overall it did feel like many of the headliners this year were there to pull in the biggest crowds, but the real fresh talent stole the show further down the bill. Perhaps next year we’ll see some of the younger metal rockers taking more of the top slots?

Festival Fashion Trends for 2016

How do you strike a balance between practical and fashionable? This question is always tricky to answer, and when it comes to music festival fashion, it’s almost impossible. You never really know what weather or conditions you’re going to have to endure for hours on end, but you need to try and make yourself as comfortable as possible for the duration while still looking stylish – after all, you’re likely to be seen by thousands of people. Luckily we have a few suggestions for getting that balance right.

Layers

Lightweight layers are a great solution for unpredictable weather, especially for festivals like Jersey Live which is a little after the peak of summer – you never know when it might turn colder. The beauty of having a few thin layers is you can adapt your outfit easily to control your temperature – if you’re lucky enough for the sun to come out, just tie one round your waist. A scarf can keep your warm or be used to wrap your hair up safely if it doesn’t stand up to the weather (or lack of showering).

Festival clothing

Waterproofs

Never rely on sunny weather at a festival. If you don’t take a jacket of any kind in fear of the heat in the crowds, you’re pretty much guaranteed to suffer through a cold, wet weekend. Invest in a practical mac that can fold up to fit in your bag when you don’t need it. This minimises the hassle of carrying round an extra layer, and maximises your defences against the British weather.Continue Reading