Once that music festival lineup is released, a buzz surrounds the event, drawing thousands of music fans to some far-off locale. Music fans pack up, road trip, camp out and spend days and nights partying, dancing and enjoying an alternate reality away from the real world. The amount of work and planning that goes into such an off-the-grid experience would make your head spin, which is why it is so easy for something to go wrong. The most recent in our memory may be the luxury festival in the Bahamas, Fyre, and its slow burnout, but, unfortunately, Ja Rule’s exploration into the music festival world wasn’t the first flop.
Beginning with Woodstock, the godfather of all music festivals, there were bound to be a few mistakes — there just was no social media at the time to put it on blast. In hindsight, a 1960s music festival promoting free love and flower power having a few logistics issues isn’t exactly a surprise, but some took a greater toll than others.
Woodstock was a potential gold mine and music festival organizers John Roberts, Joel Rosenman and Michael Lang knew it. They sought out funding and a space for the festival and promotions to get as many hippies to the field as possible. The only problem was, not many people wanted thousands of hippies on their land partying for three days. Money was thrown around, fake promises and shady deals were made and the talent was chosen.
At first, each band was to be paid $10,000–15,000 flat rate, but things quickly changed when Jimi Hendrix demanded twice that pay and The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and The Who refused to perform until they had money in hand — smart move. Woodstock organizers’ money was wearing thin at this point and, with so much more than expected funneling to the bands, there wasn’t much left over for actual festival planning — despite the fact 500,000 festivalgoers purchased the $18–24 concert ticket. By the time the festival weekend arrived, not much planning beyond signing the talent occurred.
When 500,000 ticketholders arrived there were no gates, fences or any sort of controlled location set up. This was all incredibly problematic, especially considering tickets were still going to be sold at the “gate” the day of each show.
Hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers flooded the scene, parked anywhere and walked (possibly miles) to the open field hosting Woodstock. Imagine that many concertgoers, surrounding townspeople and neighbors in a mosh pit together — no concessions, little to no bathrooms, food, shade or any real security or organization.
Things were not going well. An impromptu medical clinic was set up next to the camp, but more than 5,000 medical issues were reported and even a few deaths — one overdose, one tractor accident and one burst appendix. The festival ended in a muddy, chaotic mess, but the legendary success of that epic Woodstock festival lives on.
Soon after Woodstock wrapped, more music festivals were already in the works. Other disasters include Woodstock 99 (unsurprisingly) at Griffiss Air Force Base.
Located in Rome, N.Y., Woodstock 99 was basically a crime scene with little water supply, poor organization and little to no security. Volunteers left the job early, fires were set, sexual assaults were committed and New York State Troopers eventually raided the entire festival.
Fast forward to Sept. 25–27, 2015, when TomorrowWorld graced Chattahoochee Hills, Ga. Between the rain and last-minute transportation limits placed on the concert, thousands of hopeful attendees were left stranded, paying exorbitant fees attempting to get to or away from the festival. Needless to say, the EDM festival was a fail of epic proportions.
All of this build-up leads us to the year of Fyre and Karoondinha — never heard of them? That’s because concert promoters and lawyers were paid high prices while sponsorships and ticket sales came in quite low. Karoondinha may have lost some people a lot of money, but, at the very least, it wasn’t a Fyre festival catastrophe.
Fyre’s infamous disaster of last year was described as the rich-man’s Hunger Games. With astronomically priced tickets (around $12,000 each), high-end luxury promises and a smattering of rickety tents provided — it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see this one fall apart. For starters, the astronomical ticket sales couldn’t even begin to cover the promises made, which says something for the poor planning of this event from the get go. Musicians pulled out left and right from the time the festival came close, but tickets to the Bahamas were booked so no one really told the festivalgoers.
One thing most of these festivals have in common is the newness of the idea. Even Woodstock 99 was a standalone concept, although positioned as a 30-year anniversary weekend. Every year around festival season time, we see horror stories pop up and reminders of the festivals gone wrong. Between what we know from past failures, constant reporting along the way and clear clues, it’s safe to say none of this is really a shock.
In the long list of music festivals each year, there have been few disasters and most are incredible experiences. You could say we found a rhythm and won’t be fooled again, but who wants to jinx it?
Scandinavia, a region in Northern Europe composed primarily of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and sometimes Finland, is a vast area that poses quite a few problems when it comes to travel. The topography of the region is mountainous and often remote. However, if you plan ahead you’ll find getting around isn’t that big of a deal.
Once business concludes, a world of wonder awaits in many of Italy’s incredible cities.
As airlines start nickel and dime-ing their way into the world’s wallets, travelers have had to get crafty in order to get around newly enacted add-on fees, especially when it comes to in-flight meals. Since this luxury is no longer guaranteed on some flights, particularly on low-cost, long-haul vessels, and because airport food is notoriously overpriced, passengers pack their own food to bring on these long flights. But what types of food are allowed to pass through security and also last multiple hours on a plane in varying temperatures?
ONCE THE FINAL MEETING WRAPS and the last contract is signed and sealed with a handshake, what’s next? Do you catch a flight back home or do you take advantage of the destination? If your next business trip is to Italy, we suggest adding a few more days to explore the country’s most amazing hot spots. Make time for more than a mouthwater- ing Italian meal in these three cities.
I lived in San Francisco during college so coming to visit the city and see all the changes was exciting. The Hotel Zeppelin was built in a once slightly shabby area that has since come alive with new hotels and restaurants for travelers looking for something different. We arrived at noon on a Friday afternoon and were immediately greeted by the hotel staff at the front desk. They were able to accommodate an early check-in, completed in just a few minutes. The lobby is as hip as the hotel name sounds, but it also offered a cozy atmosphere, with a roaring fire and comfy couches and chairs in the lounge area. Unique wall art, statues and lighting remind you of the cool factor.