Music festivals are the talk of the town right now since there have been some major ones already like Coachella, South by South West, and Ultra Music Festival. While others are fast approaching like the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas. As they become more and more popular, and more music festivals are being created, there has been more of an emphasis on displaying artwork and sculptures. This is something I am personally excited to see. Music and artwork so well together. I particularly love it when I go to an art gallery, and the artists incorporate music sounds and tracks into their art pieces.
So, as the appreciation for music festival rises, so does the opportunity to present more visual art that adds to the whole experience of the festival. Coachella has started to incorporate sculptures that set the aesthetic stage. Other festivals use light to create a form of artwork like the Day for Night festival founded by Omar Afra. His focus is on manipulating light and incorporating music to add a new element to music festivals unlike any other.
Most musicians use a form of visual elements to their concerts as it is more engaging for the audience. Now, more and more musicians are collaborating with artists to make their visuals more artistic and to tell more of a story. The art is what makes the festival so visually engaging and add an element that most people do not realize or acknowledge. All art adds to the music festival experience. It is also a great way to promote local artists and is an excellent opportunity for some striking, innovative, boundary-pushing artwork.
As more visual art is used in festivals, the process of getting artwork displayed or to make artwork for festivals is getting more competitive. A festival environment has different needs compared to other venues that display artwork. Artists need to consider structures that can support the number of people at a festival while also offering shade and enduring weather conditions, as most festivals are outside in different climates.
A sad reality about festival artwork though is that it is not built to last. The artwork shown at festivals will most likely be touched and endure lots of traffic. It is not meant for long term gallery displays. So, festival artwork is truly a once in a lifetime experience, much like a concert. It is also about respecting the artist’s work as they put a lot of time and effort into these pieces that are typically made with little to no time.
There are other forms of art at music festivals also. A lot of festivals feature small businesses that make handmade jewelry and clothing and other forms of artwork like wooden cravings. I always make it a priority to buy something from these businesses as I still love the pieces, the quality of the pieces, and the beautiful people you meet will shopping at these businesses. In my experience, the people at these small little tents are the owners and makers, and you get to see a little into their artwork and what inspires them.
Some artwork at festivals is put into the hands of the festival goers. The artist provides the canvas and the tools and then allows the fans to make that piece into something unique and extraordinary. So, even though art seems to be a second thought to festivals, it truly is more at the forefront than people realize.
I implore y’ all to attend some music festivals this summer. They are a truly exceptional experience, and I hope that this will make more people think about the artwork featured at these festivals. I challenge people to see all the ways that art is incorporated into music festivals.