Expect the Unexpected

Photo by R.D. Capasso — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

What makes for a good night out? A good trip? A good life? A good festival? When you can expect the unexpected.

With all of the coverage and reminiscences of Woodstock, it might have been easy to overlook what made it such a good festival: no-one knew exactly what to expect.

There were so many factors that were unexpected: the line-up, the weather, the enormous crowd. While it is easy to look back without questioning the universal love-in of the times, the vibe of the festival was unexpected as well. Imagine bringing 500,000 people to a field of chaos today and see if they can accomplish what the Woodstock crowd did: creating a genuine community. This, too, was unexpected — especially in the face of all the obstacles of the line-up, the weather, and the large crowd.

We know from our trend watching that the festival business continues to thrive and grow, even in tough economic times. Clearly, audiences and fans live for live performances.

What makes live performance so attractive is that each one is unlike any other. So, too, for the festival experience.

The fun challenge for maintaining festival growth will be to absorb the lessons of Woodstock and everyone’s best dates: Expect the unexpected.

- Bill Reichblum

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