Beardy wrote:To go off on a slight tangent, and actually make a vaguely serious point, does anyone else feel that the 'festival culture' we have now is actually detrimental to bands doing proper headline tours? Bands seem content to just do a few festivals or the odd glorified all dayer rather than tour 'properly' slumming it on the 'toilet circuit' and building their fanbase, fans are content to see a bunch of bands playing shortened sets in the same place rather than travelling a bit (even walking to the other side of town sometimes) to see a full headline show...
It's mixed really, for small bands festival slots are a useful way of elevating themselves beyond the toilet circuit or at least, allow them to headline rather than support on the toilet circuit. It provides a platform in a way a UK tour could not (with press coverage and the festival hype machine giving them otherwise rare or limited exposure).
For big bands, yes. Your Maiden's and Metallica's can pick up a big pay check that'll keep them turning over for awhile since they don't need to constantly tour day in day out for financial purposes unlike small bands.
For medium sized bands like Mastodon, yes. Allows them to maximize their time in hitting as many locations globally as possible. Why play 10 UK dates to a combined audience of say, 30,000 when you can do a one off show to say 60,000 then go and do the same in another country the next day; wheres the incentive to extensively tour?
I think if anything, it's the casual music fan that gets the short end of the stick. Rather than possibly throw £30 on occasion on a band you kinda like is affordable for most, now if bands only do fests you've gotta shell out normally at least £100 and take time off work. If your a big fan of the band (or bands that are there) then it's a good deal, but if you've only got a slight interest then no, you won't see them. Case in point, every year Reading seems to chuck out 5/6 bands I would like to see but no way am I paying £200 (they always spread 'em out over the whole weekend) so I end up missing out.