Inside Music Curation: Festival Experiences

It's festival season! Join our Curation team to talk what makes a great music festival experience as they recount their most memorable festival moments.


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The music curation team here at Feed Media Group (FMG) is experienced at selecting music for businesses. While technology and analytics play a critical role throughout the curation process, our music curators' expertise, inquisitiveness, and ability to put the world around us into perspective make our music stations so effective.

Staying connected to pop culture trends and understanding the broader context of songs in society is key to creating a great music station. It's this connection, context, and care that most distinguishes our stations from those the best algorithms of major streaming platforms might generate.

Join us as we explore topics surrounding the curation of music for businesses and brands. From use cases to user experience, we will dive into genre, audience, data and trends. Live on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn, the first Wednesday of the month at 1pm Pacific. 














hello and welcome to inside music curation where the team at feed Media Group we're a B2B music streaming platform and we get together here on the first Wednesday of the month to talk all things around music curation from genres to curating for different use cases and business types and today we want to dive in to festivals it's May it's Spring Festival season is upon us um and so I've got some of the feed Media Group curators here with me today to talk about some of our favorite or most interesting Festival experiences and uh just generally chat does anyone want to kick it off and and talk about um festivals overall or or a great Festival experience that you want to get started on I'll get started um I think uh yeah I festivals I think have a a purpose and a place in sort of like the larger music ecosystem um I do find myself more attracted to seeing more shows like full shows from Individual artists um but the festival experience I think is yeah I've become more and more a part of of just like the culture in general um and I will say I got to have my sort of like good Festival like ultimate life experience and going to see Beyonce at Coachella um I didn't have you know had I've had tons of friends who've gone to Coachella you know hadn't had a specific draw um until until that came about and it was sort of easier to plan because she had to cancel it the year before did her pregnancy and so it's like okay you knew she was on for the next year sign up be in pre-sale waiting that uh online queue watch the little like guy walk across the screen for like over an hour um like I remember where I was like waiting to to get these tickets um and and yeah and I this is also sort of like weird life circumstances but um I'd been out of the country and was like coming back for a couple weeks to uh go to a friend's wedding and then go to Coachella and so it like felt like its own pilgrimage in that respect even though I live in California like I was coming from abroad to like make sure I was back in time to see Beyonce at Coachella and uh yeah after the fact I you know told everyone like whatever you did because it was a rough flight experience coming back but like whatever you had to do to get yourself to Coachella was 100 worth it um and like that night after the show like even uh which is cool like every you know people can watch and you I can relive parts of it through the Homecoming movie on Netflix too which is cool but um the yeah like I remember I don't think I fell asleep until like three or four in the morning like not from just like being out but just because like I was still just so Wired from that energy so to be able to create something like that is pretty special and that really is like the essence of the festival right it's the experience it's sharing that experience with thousands of people um and coming together in a way that you wouldn't otherwise do it and I mean as far as you know Beyonce you know what would it be like to get a ticket to see her at a at a different type of venue yeah yeah to get a different like a good game amount what I did for like a single weekend and got to stand you know decently close enough all the other you know parts of the festival as well yeah yeah exactly that's really great I am because I'm a fossil um I went to the first six coachella's um and now you would have to helicopter me in and land that helicopter right behind the main stage with a full artist pass for me to get anywhere near it I had fun when I was younger uh it was great you know those first few coachella's were awesome um because it was so new you know it was less of a scene yeah there were no influencers back in back in my day um but yeah those first ones were pretty awesome when did Coachella start I think the first one was 1999. yeah yeah Coachella then and now I I yeah I see a future blog Post Brewing in our future um awesome headlines that we're talking about um how influencers were faking going to Coachella oh my gosh that like like it's even too expensive for them who well yeah let's talk about about cost for a minute because I I'm I'm in about the same boat as you Mike like I'm at the stage where a festival does not sound like a great experience for me but when I was younger you know it was great I think I went to Bonnaroo in 2000 six something like that you know and I think I paid a hundred hundred I'm I'm guessing that I paid 150 bucks to get into that show and that that seemed like a good valuable value and affordable and and you know worth making the trip to see Radiohead and and back in a ton of other people that I wanted to see um but that's not what we're paying for tickets to festivals these days no and you know you're you're taking into account too if you've got to travel I mean you if you've got to include flights and you know if you're not camping um you know you get a fun hotel and ground transport gets pricey you know and the other thing too is that so many of these artists in the spring and summer time when you know Festival season like they might be coming to one that's closer to your city you know in a you know a few weeks later so then you've got to kind of weigh you know do I really need to fly to another city to see these bands that are going to be coming to my own backyard and you know a couple of weeks um so that makes it a little bit I don't know less special Maybe but there's some things that happen in festivals that don't necessarily happen at regular shows right I mean because you have so many bands there there's collaborations that happen um at that same Bonnaroo you know back played um uh creep he was like I don't think radiohead's gonna play this one tonight you know like there's this playfulness that happens in this collaboration that can happen um that doesn't happen when it's a standalone show for sure yeah that was one of the things I like again that the Beyonce was more of like a pilgrimage for Beyonce than for Coachella and yeah similarly like I don't really have a desire to go back and and do it in that sort of scene sense but I did as someone who doesn't you know go see a lot of electronic music or DJs that was a fun environment to see that in because they had artists they could bring in to do the vocal parts and like actually see that live so I I think I enjoyed that part of it more than I would where I wouldn't like pay to see those types of sets in in like a local venue also one I want to hear about you know when a standout Festival experience for you I'm gonna get into that it's actually kind of through this conversation what I've been realizing the last couple days is that I think I'm on the other side of this right I spent most of my youth going to shows every night all the time now with a kid I don't go to all those shows right so for example Sten sent uh I think it was like the Newport Jazz Festival or the Blue Note Festival and I saw that and I saw the name Soul live which is this great like modern jazz band from like the east coast and I was like oh my God I would go see that right uh and I was looking so love has like gotten together right since then but I wasn't able to see it right so it's kind of like a I don't know very it's been a kind of an Awakening of like why I would even go to festivals because I mean before it would be like I would see them you know just uh at a regular show right so that is something to I guess think about in my age but as far as a uh Fest that is memorable to me uh they're a lot they're a lot um the one I'll say right now though is uh this Fest called Oblivion Fest and I was able to see this band Zuzu which is kind of like this like almost like uh New Age 80s style uh goth rock music and this like uh performer named Ron Athey who uh is a a legendary uh Punk Street kid and they did this amazing like performance it was it was part Musical and part like uh like physical performance and honestly we wouldn't have never seen that like at all it had it not been for that uh that fast so really cool uh-oh I think you're um Mike I want to hear more about you know standout moments for you obviously you know they're at the Coachella Beginnings other other fests that you yeah yeah I uh I was I I gave it a little thought uh before this call and yeah I've been to some pretty big ones I mean I think the first I think the first well but then we we mentioned this though is it was it a festival or was it a tour and I believe it was a tour but I went to the I went to the the Monsters of Rock Festival it was it was in 1988 I was absolutely too young to be there um it was a giant stadium in in New Jersey uh and it was awesome I mean I think it was it was Van Halen it was the Scorpions it was uh docking um Metallica played it too and uh yeah I went my parents let me go on a some kids that were in my in my high school I think I was in junior high school my mom let me go on the bus that was rented by the the seniors in high school you know and I got on that bus went to New Jersey from New York and uh rocked out for my first you know Festival Slash tour I guess it was a tour I guess I mean what's the is it is it what what separates is it is a festival just a sort of a one-off and the tour is just sort of traveling traveling because we were talking about like I was like oh I remember you know same thing like trying to talk my parents into letting me go to Oz Fest or you know warp 2 or like where it's it's happening outside it feels like a festival but it's not a one-time thing they're going from you know City to city right it's experience yeah yeah I think that yeah the term Festival is definitely like both like expands and contracts in in interesting ways of like because they'll call a one-day thing a festival with you know a certain number of artists all coming together um and actually remind me even my I think it was like technically my first concert experience was called the all that music and more Festival which was like a summer like more like a tour on like a Warp Tour thing that like traveled around based around the Nickelodeon show all that um featuring uh artists such as uh Bewitched um and other uh 90s pop icons um I forget who else is on there I believe Nick Cannon hosted it I think he was associated with all that at that point so like yeah that was a a first concert thing as well that was like a single day but that was like the terminology for it I went to a single day Fest uh and it was funny it was called uh desert days and there was this band that everyone was talking about I had never heard of them they're from Australia they're called King gizzard and the lizard Wizards right very dense name very dense imagination to think of what that would that style would be right but I heard everyone talking about it and I'm mostly one of those guys is like if I hear Too Many people talking about I'm like ah it's probably not all that good right and so we get to the end of the night and uh you know I'm there I'm gonna want to see what happens with this King gizzard and the lizard Wizards and they legit blew my mind away it was like my hair was standing up I was like yes it was one of the greatest performances I've ever seen now here's the funny thing Iggy Pop played right afterwards I've seen Iggy Pop at fyfs at different places loved him I could not see that set after the king gizzard set it was so good uh and that also like in it you know it's funny because King gizzard at that time they were just an international band right they weren't really like as popular to be touring a bunch of like U.S like uh you know Festival like markets uh and now they are um which is interesting uh but yeah that's just one of them that I thought of oh I had a lot to do with their performance I mean they they probably blew lots of people's minds and then the you know the festival promoters are like we're taking these guys everywhere because that was awesome right yeah oh yeah big time here for more uh one or two Day festivals oh yeah may get less of a marathon for as a as you get older for sure also yeah when we talked last year we had um Dawson Ludwig on inside Music Creation last year where we were talking about the art of the festival and we really were talking about curating music festivals and how do you what goes into deciding who's on you know how did how did King gizzard and and you know Iggy Pop end up on this bill like and it it's changed a lot you know I mean there are some very Niche festivals and one you were referring to the um the Blue Note jazz festival that's coming up in Napa there's a lot of folks on there that are not Jazz yeah similar you know Claire I think had mentioned we have hardly strictly Bluegrass in in San Francisco which is this free Festival it's amazing and it's just like it says it's hardly strictly just Bluegrass you can hear a little bit of everything there um so it's always interesting to see like who brings these bills together and and and being able to have that music discovery going for the people that you know you want to see stumbling upon new artists any other you know folks that you guys have stumbled upon at these festivals and come home as a new fan I wouldn't I wouldn't say a new fan for this story in particular but um developed a new understanding I guess um I was in Mexico City and uh went to a festival that they were having and it was a two day like a Friday and Saturday um Headliners were uh Gwen Stefani and Backstreet Boys uh so the the 90s Festival Revival Trend continuing but uh what was cool about how they set it up was they would have DJ's booked to play after the headliner so it was like a natural like after party that was happening on a different stage still within the festival um and so the first night uh was Diplo and so we went to go see him and all of a sudden he brought out someone who he was kind of pretending was Justin Bieber for like one of the songs he had with Justin Bieber but was clearly not his like he had a hood up a hat on like he was definitely hiding his face and come to realize it's Oliver tree and to to both like not really fully understand Oliver Tree in general um and sort of like why hey he's on this bill in general or like how he's popular even as like someone in the music industry I was like I don't know if I like get him but like okay you know um and so that was just sort of like a bizarre experience of like okay like he's kind of weird he's not really singing anything but it's like pretending he's Justin Bieber and maybe this is just fun I think maybe for me it was uh seeing a couple of Acts at a few of those early coachella's or sort of confirmation that um these big electronic artists music translated live you know because I had I was always a you know a big fan I A buddy of mine and I we we had um one of the first electronic music radio shows on Commercial radio in the in the mid to late 90s and so we were playing a lot of music from The Chemical Brothers and underworld and Prodigy and so to be able to see the underworld and Prodigy both at Coachella and do that recorded stuff live I'm like oh yeah this is this this is as good live it might actually be better uh you know so that was kind of a I don't know I was glad I was glad that I was like okay this isn't just Studio magic this is pull this off live you know yeah yeah that's really cool especially in like the direction that Festival is lean now yeah or like all electronic festivals too yeah uh so I'm lucky uh I was able to play a Fest in Australia last year um and I got to play with legitimately one of my favorite metal bands of all time uh Catatonia which is like a Swedish metal band uh it was amazing to see that band do what they do live uh and by that I mean like we were set there were a lot of setbacks due to you know being one of the first like fests after the whole kovid uh you know lockdown or the health scare uh the worldwide health Healthcare uh so they had similar issues like us missing luggage missing instruments missing everything actually they they didn't get any other instruments the day of show uh and uh to see those guys take that amount of like you know hardship and make such a memorable show for everybody was just it was chilling to see right and the cool thing about these fests right people don't realize how much organization it takes like how much time and energy is spent to not only you know curate the list of bands and how what setlist what times are going to play but then you know what food's gonna be there what Art's gonna be there what DJs are going to be there and then having to you know do everything as far as like you know amplify and coordinate and sell and it's an incredible Endeavor uh and uh you know what's great about whether the United States is right now is that we're continuously getting more festivals right a lot of countries are losing festivals so it's it's uh it is something to be said about you know our our current Trend here in the states with festivals foreign yeah definitely no no small feet to put on a festival and it was a rough couple of years you know there are festivals that didn't make it out the other end um you know it was great to see last year people coming out that weren't able to play the year before it was a it was a tough year but I think you know now more than ever people are ready to get out and and experience music and and see things and it's great I mean you have your bonaroos and your coachella's and then you have you know the local the local festivals the hardly strictly is the the things that are happening in your area and it's it's just so fun to see see all these different bands come together and continue to have that that space you know I think that there's like a camaraderie around music festivals um you know feeling like it's a place to go and explore um and and learn about new bands so I've got a you know kind of the final final question to take us out here what's you know bucket list Festival if there's either a festival that you you know would go to no matter who was playing it um or if there's an artist that would get you out to to a Coachella or you know one of the larger festivals um any any bucket list any anything on the horizon for you guys wish list I think I'm going to uh because I'm I'm I live in Los Angeles now I'm going to be moving to Nashville next month but I think I'm going to fly back in October to go to the Power Trip um Festival on the Coachella uh Fairgrounds and it's it's Guns and Roses it's Metallica it's it's I really want to see Iron Maiden um tool is playing um and that's that's worth me getting on a plane and you know securing some lodging and going to hang out with a bunch of old people like me reliving my my metal youth you know yeah Claire what's on your list um I'm you there's definitely one one um I would go to I think I'm actually gonna go a venue route so it doesn't have to be exactly a festival but I've been to Red Rocks but I've not been to the Gorge in Washington and and yeah that's sort of on my like venue bucket list um where you know find finding the right marriage of uh of artist and to that venue would I think be really fun yeah there's some great festivals happening up in the Northwest too you've got Bumbershoot and some other ones going on Juan what's on your list so check this out right so there's this amazing band called botch and I thought my theory for years was that they were going to reunite for Riot Fest or something like that right no they reunite for a show right and so here I go I'm like dude I'm going to that show I get to that show what happens a week later they're like we're gonna be playing everywhere and I'm like ah said um honestly Led Zeppelin I think that's going to be mine uh I I have never seen Led Zeppelin live uh obviously it's down a member but I'll take what I can get uh yeah it would be Led Zeppelin I am actually I saw Robert Plant at hardly strictly and that was great and that was a good experience I love hardly strictly when I lived in the city that was definitely worth taking the day off on Friday before it got too crazy and um that's the pro tip for sure and just like sit back and chill like I saw a great set from low Mimi this year but like they had the best like chill afternoon hang out in the sun on the grass set um so good stuff there I would love to go to the Newport Folk Festival like regardless of who's playing I think that that is one of the festivals where you get those those like All-Star collaborations and things those magical moments that only happen there so that's that's definitely on my bucket list oh it's a good one Jazz Fest in New Orleans also what's happening right now isn't it like I think so yeah it's usually the like first or second weekend in May well thank you guys for sharing your experiences and uh yeah I mean festivals they come in every shape and size there's there's the good there's the things that you put up with because you you want the good parts and um it'll be really exciting to see how these festivals continue to evolve how the lineups continue to evolve um so get out there see some shows and uh thanks for spending time with us again we're the team at feed Media Group we curate and help businesses integrate music into digital experiences if you want to learn more check us out at thank you guys thank you