The Rage Reunion rolls on: The third-annual Vegoose Festival has announced Rage Against The Machine will co-headline this year’s Halloween weekend in Vegas. The festival’s promoters, Superfly Presents and A.C. Entertainment, have declined to officially name any other acts on the bill until July. Interestingly, Rage will also co-headline the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans that same weekend.
The full lineup is yet to be released, but after today’s Rage-as-headliner announcement, we gotta ask: Has Superfly forsaken the hippie jambands that built their festivals? First Bonnaroo, now Vegoose? Just today a Las Vegas television station listed the other headliners as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Killers, and the Dave Matthews Band, none of which exactly brings the Birkenstocks running (maybe DMB, if this were Vegoose ’95).
Now that the record industry has tanked, both indie and mainstream acts have jumped at the big money that large festivals offer them. Jamband-heavy festivals like Wakarusa and Gathering of the Vibes aren’t huge money makers, while the more varied Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Coachella festivals are swimming in dough — Bonnaroo made $17 million fucking dollars this year with a less noodle-y lineup.
Perhaps the problem stems from the fact that the “festival season” has expanded from three sun-drenched months to the entire year. Both Vegoose and New Orleans’ Voodoo Music Experience take place in October, a month that used to feature bands touring colleges, theaters and arenas by themselves. We are smack dab in the middle of the traditional touring season, and many music fans don’t have enough disposable income to see concerts and begin paying for a late October trip to Las Vegas.
Since Bonnaroo began in 2002, live music fans have seen festivals added in nearly every month of the year. Pick any month and you can name a big festivals that has a hold on the month: There are simply too many festivals, and we wouldn’t be surprised if some of them tank as we move forward. With so many festivals and only a finite number of acts, these festies are running out of creative lineup ideas. There’s only so much Franti and Keller a traveling audience can take.
Hey, we’ll always have Langerado.