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Are Music Genres Becoming Divisive.

Andy Robertson

Music has always been a powerful force used to unite people for various common causes throughout history. The music festival sector has always thrived on presenting mixed genres to satisfy the wide preferences of audiences. Is the development of genres becoming a divisive force in music tastes and what impact will this have on music festival organisers.


In simpler times when access to music was limited to whatever was aired on TV and Radio stations most people were exposed to a wide variety of genres. Although much of the music that aired was controlled by a small group of record labels and promoters many TV and Radio programme controllers did attempt to cover every genre. The emergence of more live performances by musicians unable to get a record deal combined with the growth in independent record labels certainly helped the industry change for the better. The rise of internet access has now changed the music industry forever.

Ever Multiplying Genres.
Everyone is aware of the primary mainstream music genres which probably include rock, pop, EDM, Jazz, Blues, folk and country for example. Each of these has spawned sub-genres with Beatport showing 32 main EDM genres each of which split into yet more sub-sub genres for example. A similar situation is happening across other mainstream genres too and this growth is driving nightclubs and music festivals to specialise in a handful of genres that appeal to a select audience.

Impact of the Internet.
The ability to stream music online has opened up access to all types of musical genres to a global audience with an amazing variety of choice. With so much to choose from audiences may be becoming more selective in what they listen to with many drilling down to specific genres. This selective process is also driving choices when deciding what venues or festivals to attend as audiences have become used to the ability to select exactly what they want to listen to and exclude music they don’t like.

Music Festival Genres.
More new music festivals launch every year but organisers are now curating specific genres and target audiences and fans that match. This approach can mean that marketing and targeting ticket sales is easier and more cost effective, however, this specialisation will mean smaller events but this in turn may make them more financially successful. Trying to launch a mixed genre music festival is becoming challenging as the audience targeting can be vague and difficult to define.

As music fans become increasingly loyal to a specific genre at the exclusion of all others it may be creating divisions between audiences and others in the music industry. Even the biggest mixed genre festivals have become a selection of sub-genre dedicated zones with the result that they have become multiple mini festivals on a single site. There is no sign that audience’s musical tastes are going change anytime soon and festival organisers are going to have to adapt to proposer in this changing environment.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by
Brett Jordan via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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