Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Osheaga 2012 Review: Some Ideas for Next Year

Last Osheaga post, I swear!

Today the focus is on ways Osheaga could be improved. Now, I know what you’re thinking, what gives me the authority to offer suggestions on how a major music festival should be run? Well, I currently work in the music industry in a position that touches on ticketing, touring and VIP packages. I’ve also toured with a major pop star and I’ve attended dozens and dozens of shows, including large festivals. Plus I've spent countless hours planning my own dream music festival.

1. Sell fewer tickets: According to the numbers I heard, Saturday sold 2,000 fewer tickets than Friday and, while you think that number wouldn’t make a big difference when Friday’s crowd was 40,000 strong, it really did.

If I was running things, I would push the number of available tickets down even further, to 37,000 or even 36,000. Making 4,000 fewer tickets available would greatly reduce congestion and lineups as well as go a long way in solving the number one, non-weather complaint I heard from concert-goers : That there were too many people.

2. Offer a proper VIP package: While some kind of VIP package was offered, it wasn’t very VIP-y (from what I could see, Virgin Mobile users got better seats than any VIP). It should be revamped to include some kind of express access to the stages, exclusive seating/viewing platforms (likely not the existing stands), air-conditioned lounges with their own bar, food vendors and bathrooms and some kind of special laminate.
While such a package would be pricey, I saw plenty of olds who looked like they would be willing to pay for a chance to sit down somewhere cool.

3. More buzz bands: (Yeah, I used the term “buzz bands.”) While Osheaga 2012 had a strong lineup when it came to established acts, I found it largely lacking when it came to fresh, up-and-coming acts. Where was Blondfire, Tanlines, Purity Ring or even better, some band I only started hearing about in June? I get that booking these types of acts for a summer festival is very tricky due to timing/touring issues but it can be done.

4. Better food choices: A festival-goer cannot live on poutine alone. While Dagwood Sandwiches and the taco truck did offer an alternative to the usual pizza/poutine/hot dog offerings, more choice was needed. Does Montreal have a strong food truck scene? If so, some of those trucks should be recruited to feed next year's attendees.
Hose guy was great but more fans would
have been better

5. More misting fans:  There were a couple mid-sized misting fans over by the dance stage but that was it. These amazing devices really should have been located throughout the festival area, allowing more people to experience their cooling powers.

6. Better lightning in the “forest” part: To reach the back half of the festival, as well as the dance tent, you had to walk along heavily treed paths that come night time, were downright danger due to a lack of artificial lights. Tree roots, as well as actual trees, were everywhere and I saw them take out more than a couple people.

So that's it for my Osheaga 2012 wrap-up. Will I attend next year? I don't know but if the lineup is amazing I will certainly seriously consider it.

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