The Music Festival Explosion and How Fashion Is Cashing In
April 8, 2015 - fall Denim
“The ensembles adored by Coachella attendees are roughly accurate replicas of what their relatives wore during Woodstock (in some cases—do a math—this could indeed be their grandparents),” Lynn Yaeger wrote for Vogue this time final year. “These facsimiles are donned yet irony.”
Editor inboxes are pressed with pitches for “Coachella essentials” and “festival must-haves,” a unchanging march of a aforementioned border and denim. Everyone wants in: Victoria’s Secret Pink has racerback bra for “your many stylish festival season,” while Burton Snowboards is aiming to position a “brand new camping collection” for festivals, with an charity that includes a $600 “after celebration tent.”
Claire’s has Katy Perry’s Forever Festival collection during a prepared and Net-a-Porter has a Coachella Cool hub, where an $11,190 Saint Laurent crocheted minidress is available. How did what one wears to see bands outdoors—often for mixed days, infrequently with a camping component, roughly never with indoor plumbing—become a bona fide conform season? The answer starts with a blast of festivals themselves.
Over a final decade, song festivals have, underneath no capricious terms, blown up. In a US, a rush kicks off in Mar with South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. The heat pitch, as distant as both hype and sell are concerned, comes a month after with Coachella, a splashy two-weekend eventuality in Indio, California that’s famous for conform brand-sponsored parties (Lacoste and HM are biggies), dried continue that indeed calls for unequivocally small wardrobe (last year’s demeanour was “underbutt”), and a cost of entry, travel, and camp that tends to weed out a normals and concede for a high thoroughness of wealthy, good looking people (that includes celebrities—lots of celebrities).
The calendar ticks on to consolidate Washington’s Sasquatch in late May, New York’s Governors Ball in early June, Tennessee’s Bonnaroo in mid-June, Chicago’s Lollapalooza in late July, and San Francisco’s Outside Lands in early August. And these are only a biggest in a consistent 48—there are dozens of other festivals opposite a country, and even some-more around a world.
Coachella began as a single-day eventuality in 1999 with Beck and Rage Against a Machine among a headliners (this was also a same year as a disastrous Woodstock reboot). By 2012, it had grown to ring dual three-day weekends. Last year, a eventuality saw a third uninterrupted all-time record for sum sheet sales, offered 579,000 for a sum of $78.3 million. AC/DC, Jack White, and Drake are on 2015’s catch-all bill, and it’s sincerely protected to contend this will be a mega-festival’s biggest year yet.
Bonnaroo, another early ur-festival, was co-founded in 2002 by Jonathan Mayers, whose association Superfly also puts on Outside Lands. “It was us, Coachella, Austin City Limits—this new call of large-scale song festivals that coincided with Napster entrance out, a recover of a iPod, and people and artists enchanting with a internet to connect,” he explains.
While a complicated song festival competence have gotten a jumpstart interjection to a connectedness of a internet, Mayers credits a growth, quite in a final 5 years, to a enterprise to shun shade saturation. “People are seeking these authentic practice of entrance together in a earthy clarity that can’t be replicated,” he says. “Meeting new people, carrying your mind blown, anticipation, discovery. Festivals consolidate that.”
Festivals have also grown to engage a lot some-more than only bands on stages. Lollapalooza offers a farmers’ marketplace and a dedicated kids’ area, Bonnaroo has comedy performers and a 40-foot H2O slide, and Coachella has a possess boutique, as good as an event-specific app for renting VIP dining during a festival. “It’s about a whole presentation,” Mayers explains. “From a venue and a atmosphere to a bands and a method they’re presented in. It’s about visible design, what we eat, what we drink.”
Despite Mayers’s shade superfluity theory, amicable media—Instagram in particular—has played a outrageous purpose in a arise of festivals. “People are constantly documenting not only what’s on stage, yet also what their friends are doing,” says Noisey character editor Kim Taylor Bennett, who’s been covering a song industry for scarcely a decade and a half. “They’re not as endangered with a knowledge as most as they are with what they’re going to devise after on amicable media.”
As she puts it, “Coachella is roughly as large a thing as what after-party we get into.” Half a million tickets sole doesn’t interpret to half a million people examination sets for days on end.
“People are going to pool parties that are in a center of a day to have giveaway drink and get photographed and afterwards finish adult on a character blogs,” Bennett continues. “It’s ideal for brands given there are all of these unequivocally prohibited people in one place. They can precedence those people’s cold and widespread a word about whatever it is that they’re promoting. It isn’t unequivocally about hardcore song fans going to see bands, it’s about people going to get fucked adult and celebration with their friends and, oh, if Arcade Fire is on, that’s cool.”
If you’re going to parties and removing photographed—or only going to sets and photographing yourself—you’re going to need some delicately crafted looks, right? This is where a oft-maligned festival character comes into play.
“People unequivocally consider about what they’re going to wear now,” posits Vanessa Spence, pattern executive of British e-tailer ASOS. “The outlook on festival as a deteriorate has changed. People wish to dress adult and devise their outfits.” Bennett agrees: “People now consider when they pack, ‘How will this photograph?'”
For most of a country, winter coats and boots are still in revolution when festivals start in mid-March, so if brands wish to seize a selling opportunity, they have no choice yet to batch between-season offerings (shorts, dresses, linen-blends) fit for festivals.
ASOS has a particularly general patron bottom and aims to batch some kind of festival charity scarcely year-round, with a bulk of product rolling in weekly between Feb and August. They tailor any smoothness to a quirks of a unison schedule. For example, they pull rainwear in their festival shop to coincide with a notoriously soppy and murky UK festivals; for a US and Australian festivals, where bad continue isn’t a concern, they concentration on summery pieces.
Then there’s Forever 21, that starts rolling out festival merchandise in Mar privately for SXSW. Most of a pieces sell in early spring, yet clamp boss of merchandising Linda Chang records that, “You’ll see some-more festival this tumble as well, given boho is such a large trend.” Shopbop centers a festival heart page around Coachella, in terms of timing (early April) and aesthetic. “From an editorial position, we like to give it a some-more fun, glossy indicate of view, compared to, say, a soppy disaster like Glastonbury,” explains conform executive Elle Strauss.
Free People is a code that looks festival-friendly no matter a deteriorate interjection to a independent aesthetic. However, it does put adult a dedicated festival shop on a site in late March, strategically adding pieces by August. In fact, a group keeps a large calendar filled with all of a festival dates. “We didn’t wish to only go, ‘Okay, it’s Coachella, done,'” explains artistic merchandising executive Sophie Brierley. “Bonnaroo, Lollapolooza, afterwards going out to a European festivals—the Spanish festivals are amazing. There’s unequivocally a lady who wants to transport that circuit. We felt like we should batch product to keep her interest.”
When Free People initial began selling privately to festival-goers a few years ago, it sent out an email newsletter alerting business that if they were going to Coachella, a code had festival-appropriate options they competence like.
“Then it grew into a lookbook, afterwards it was on a home page, and in a final year we’ve suspicion about all of these additional products she could take with her,” Brierly says of a lifestyle and home offerings that have now filtered into Free People’s festival shop. “It’s an shun from your normal life. If that means holding a tent, because wouldn’t we wish to take a pleasing Free People tent with you?”
Spence also reports a solid expansion in a festival business over a 7 years she’s worked during ASOS. “It’s roughly like a new twentysomething’s holiday destination,” she says. “They save adult to go to festivals. It’s a large trend and with a customer, one that’s unequivocally important. In a UK, we’ve got one of a large festivals entrance up, Glastonbury, and Kanye West is going to headline. It shows only how mainstream and permitted those festivals are.”
Mainstream is a word Bennett uses to report festivals too, privately a formulaic, vaguely independent character adored by attendees. “Everybody’s wearing fringe, everybody’s got flowers in their hair, wearing Ray-Bans and high-waisted shorts with their asses unresolved out a bottom,” she says. “Everybody looks a same. It’s only a mass of general festival-bots. That’s what mainstream is—everyone wearing slight variations of what everybody else is wearing.”
Savvy retailers are penetrating on pulling a festival demeanour forward, notwithstanding ever so slightly. “Every year we wish to have a opposite vibe,” says Brierley. Bohemian is a Free People constant, she explains, and “there are a classics, a loyal festival looks, like flower crowns,” that she says they won’t abandon, notwithstanding them feeling a bit stale. This year, they’re banking on a toughened-up look, pairing maxi dresses with sneakers and selected rope tees with chokers.
“Last deteriorate we did a somewhat some-more glam spin,” says Spence, observant that a ASOS shopper has an ardour for embellished dresses for dusk parties during festival season. “This year we’re doing some-more of a ’70s feel.” Shopbop has “seen a outrageous arise in a energy of fringe,” Strauss notes, a trend Forever 21 will be latching on to as well. “Fringe is unequivocally going to be outrageous for us,” Chang says, “and we have loads of it.”
Festival as a conform deteriorate has engaging parallels with resort, also famous as cruise, that hits stores in late Dec and consists of warm-weather garments for rich people jetting off to a tropics post-holidays. (This judgment has been a antiquated idea for some time: A 1989 New York Times article remarkable that “significant numbers of women do not go on midwinter cruises; resorts can be for skiing as good as for sunning.”)
Similarly, we see desert-climate garments in stores opposite a county as early as February, directed during a pre-planning Millennial looking brazen to a festival trip. These shoppers wish to container a container for another self, a vacation self, someone who’s easy-going like jean shorts during a concert, yet voluptuous like a crocheted tip during an afternoon pool party.
“When we consider behind to when we initial started going to festivals, we was thinking, ‘How unsentimental can we be?'” Bennett recalls, citing boots to strengthen toes in late-’90s mosh pits and hoodies for chillier evenings during a UK’s Reading Festival. That epoch is over. As for a dressed-up girls peacocking for street character photographers during today’s brand-sponsored parties, she muses, “Is that unequivocally going to be an outfit we can pretty get out of to pee in a Porta Potty?”