In the age of wireless earbuds, portable speakers, and Spotify, music festivals sound like a far less exclusive experience. On the surface, they seem like they should be dying out, as they are becoming increasingly expensive, highly restrictive in terms of alcohol, and come with the same tent-in-a-field amenities they used to offer decades ago. But the music festival scene seems to only expand further; with a festival for any genre you can imagine, the live experience of it seems to keep its appeal. Spoiled for choice, festival goers must choose their next festival carefully due to the aforementioned expensiveness. Festival organisers are trying to make that choice as simple as possible, and one such method is to have a charity be part of the experience.
Modern consumers seek moral justification for choosing one product over another. Fulfilling the direct utilitarian needs isn’t sufficient anymore. Nowadays, a purchase is a lifestyle choice according to which you will be judged. A music festival is a feel-good product, and the more reasons to feel good a customer has, the better. Especially given that it is certain to go up on social media as a piece of their online persona. Charities help people justify both spending money and the specific choice of festival to their friends and family. If a friend suggests that the artist line-up for a certain festival leaves a lot to be desired, instead of admitting to them that the band considered awful by most people is your secret guilty pleasure, you can simply reply: “I agree, but I really like the cause their raising money for”. This makes it seem almost like you are willing to sacrifice your fun time for the greater good, regardless of whether that’s true. Win-win for organisers, artists, consumers and charities.
Least Awkward Way to Give
Another reason why charity festivals are brilliant is to do with charities in general. Charities are delicate and often personal matters. Largest among them survive on regular monthly or yearly donations – those are not the ones people sign up to on a whim. Research is done, discussions are had, alternative options are weighed. There is a process involved and that process is itself a hindrance. And charities that gather money on the street are just plain awkward. You feel guilty just for looking at the person questioning you and surveying your reactions to see if you are an even remotely moral person. With a festival, however, you get to have your cake and eat it. You tick the charity box in your ego, without having to justify it, because ultimately it was the organiser’s decision. And the process of giving is seamless and fun.
Local Community Impact
Not all charities are created equal, and human nature is such that we’re more willing to help our own community than a crisis-struck people on the other side of the planet. Festival-goers who do their diligence is researching the charities in question for a given festival are likely to be happy to hear that the local community is a priority, thus increasing the chances of purchasing a ticket. The impact of the festival is far easier to follow-up on, which makes giving that much more emotionally rewarding.