Music Thursdays: Three Reasons Why Music Festivals Fail In Alabama


Geek Alabama Music Thursdays

BayFest 2015 in Mobile has been called off, and this latest music festival to go under is the latest in a string of music festivals in Alabama that have not survived.  From Gadsden Riverfest, Rumble on Noble, City Stages, Montgomery Jubilee, Big Spring Jam, and even the Crawfish Boil in downtown Birmingham, Alabama is becoming well known for a place where music festivals struggle to survive.  And this makes musicians from not in Alabama become scared of visiting this state.

So on this Music Thursdays post, I want to talk about three reasons why music festivals fail to survive in Alabama, let’s go!

Selling Beer and Alcohol

One thing I have noticed is music festivals that have gone under began by not selling alcohol, but soon changed their minds and allowed alcohol inside the festival.  For starters, many people including families do not want people drinking alcohol inside the music festival.  And everytime a music festival allows alcohol or a beer garden, people complain on social media!  So want to survive in Alabama, never allow alcohol!  Even though I don’t have a problem with it, many others do!  Music festivals should be a safe and family friendly event!

The Ticket Prices

Many music festivals in Alabama begin as a free event.  But soon, many music festivals will charge an admission price.  Yeah, it starts out small, but soon grows to a point where many people in Alabama can’t afford to pay for a ticket, or find the ticket price too high for acts people don’t want to listen too.  Face it, people don’t want to pay an arm and an leg to attend a music festival.  So music festivals, a small admission price might be okay, but don’t keep raising the prices, or you will fail!  And along with the high ticket prices, many music festivals limit what you can bring in, and you pay high prices for food and drinks, people in Alabama hates this!  Keep it cheap, or fail!

The Music Lineups

This is the biggest factor to determine if a music festival will survive or fail.  In the beginning of a music festival’s life, the line-ups will feature more local or lesser known acts.  But every music festival wants to blow the doors open and bring in major acts, which demands a high fee to play.  For starters, many people in Alabama wants to hear local and home grown music acts.  And two, which genre is most popular in Alabama?  You guessed it, country!  I do not like country, but many others do.  And you can include all the rock, pop, or hip hop you want.  But if you don’t include country acts, you might as well shut down now!  You must bring in the acts people wants to listen too!

Sure, there are a few exceptions to this rule like the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, mostly because of the ton of corporate sponsors.  But, if you want to run a successful music festival in Alabama, follow these rules above, or you will fail!

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