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Manhappenin' magazine

Manhappenin' magazine

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Music festivals vs. Concerts

designed by BREANNA PALMER

For many years, and many more to come, people have gathered to enjoy music performances. The tradition started thousands of years before any of us were born, and will continue there after, but the form in which we choose is up to personal preference.


Whether it be in a small coffeehouse, jazz lounge or California desert, the two main options for music entertainment haven’t changed in a long time. Let’s take a look into the two options, festivals or concerts, and consider the differences, positives and negatives, of each venue.


Atmosphere and Duration 

A few key differences between concerts and festivals can be observed from the atmosphere the two provide to their audiences. Concerts tend to be more intimate and generally focused on a main act. Festivals, on the other hand,  can include a host of activities for entertainment.


When considering which to put on the itinerary, first determine if you’re looking for just a musical experience, or a bit more. This can help decipher not only which entertainment to choose from, but also helps when narrowing down festival options.


According to, festivals are typically centered around culture or revolve around a theme or concept, such as Oktoberfest. Knowing ahead of time if you want to participate in a theme like Coachella’s desert boho style or the CMA Nashville country themed event can affect your choices.


Concerts, while they do typically focus on one main artist, can feel a lot more structured and organized, with seat arrangements and the event pertaining to one location. Festivals, however, are more relaxed and allow you to operate in a bigger venue with more options in music, food and activities.


Not only is there an atmosphere difference, but duration is another factor of the two to consider. Concerts typically last about two hours and usually end before 12 a.m., while festivals can span over days and tend to go over the two hour limit. This can be seen as either a positive or negative, depending on personal preference.


Some argue that festivals allow you to get your money’s worth due to the extended duration among several days. There are also those who say concerts are a better option, though, because the money you’ll save in general compared to festival expenses.


Prices and location 

Most people, especially students, consider expenses to be the make it or break it point when choosing between festivals and concerts.


In general, according to Vents Magazine and, concert tickets are typically less expensive than a music festival, with a global average hitting around $100 per ticket. Festivals run a bit more expensive, but some will argue that you’ll get more for what you paid for, paying for the experience rather than just a singular artist.


When taking money into account, location and accommodation can play a role in an overall decision. Concerts typically won’t be too far from home, with locations varying, allowing you to save when it comes to travel. Festivals, unlike concerts, are in a set location, meaning if you don’t live close to the venue you’ll have to consider travel plans like flights and hotels which can add additional expenses.


Overall, when thinking of either concert or festivals, taking into account just a few of these factors can help you either save or splurge. At the end of the day, it’s a personal preference with the same goal of creating new memories to remember for a lifetime.


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Breanna Palmer, Team Writer
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