Are concert goers now tending to focus on festival events at expense of regular gigs?

imageI don't expect much response here as things are rather quiet but I'll have a go anyway.

On Friday, I attended a rather poorly attended although musically excellent gig featuring Altan at The Queens Hall. They used to be able to attract large crowds at The Festival Theatre and Usher Hall but they didn't even sell out the centre aisles this time.

However, many festivals especially Celtic Connections and more recently Trad Fest seem to attract good crowds for most of their shows. For various reasons, I didn't get to very much of the latter but I believe it did very well.

"One off" concerts and more regular events seem to be faring a little less well than festivals for some reason or other. Obviously, festivals get more in the way of funding and publicity but are people now saving themselves for these instead of supporting the music on a more regular basis?

I'm all in favour of smaller towns and communities organising events and promoting music but in places such as Edinburgh where there has always been a healthy presence of traditional music etc, could introducing more festivals be actually doing more harm than good? It would be a shame if artists felt that it was only viable to visit at certain times of the year.


  • It's an interesting thought. There is so much choice in Edinburgh and I wonder if that's why the likes of Altan are pulling in the crowds?
  • Well we have just had Tradfest, with its plethora of events, often several good gigs competing with each other for our purses and BTMs on the same night. Mary Black's concert in the same venue was very full, but maybe because she had announced it was her final tour. I am a big fan of Altan, but had seen them comparatively recently (I have a sort of "2 year rule" for seeing the same band again) - but I also realised that they are part of the line-up at - yes, a festival - I'm going to later this year. On their night in Edinburgh, I had a choice of 3 other things to go to on the same night, so went to the one nearest home! Yes, we are spoiled for choice here, and that pretty well applies all year round.
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