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.