The industry crystal ball: Will 2020 see the end of regional summer festivals?
15.01.2020

The industry crystal ball: Will 2020 see the end of regional summer festivals?

Lost Paradise
Photo: Jordan Munns
Words by Christie Eliezer

And six other music industry predictions for the year.

1. The end of regional summer festivals?

The new era of the fierce mega-bushfire is bad news for regional summer festivals. They will become too expensive to insure, and will have to exchange picturesque camping-friendly locations for highly controlled environments. Promoters will face uncertainty as patrons hold off from buying tickets until the last minute. 

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To our dear Paradisians, . We are still devastated from the cancellation of this year's Lost Paradise festival, but are so grateful for all the messages of love and support we have received. . We have started processing refunds, all customers will receive an update in the next 7 days. It is a manual process, so please be patient and don't worry, all tickets bought through our official ticketing partners will be refunded. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time. . Once you have received your refund, we would love you to consider a donation to our friends at the RFS, who are on the front lines right now. (Link in bio) . We can’t wait to see you in 2020, but we urge you to keep supporting live music this summer and show that we want festivals and live music to stay in NSW. So check out our friends and get to another festival or gig, Here are some epic shows coming up over the NYE period 🎉: – @paulstrangepresents: Space nyd2020 A New Era – @lastdancenye – @fallsfestival – @unknown_records & @yoursandowls: New Year's Day of Dance Loading Dock Party! – This NYE ft. Michael Bibi – @fielddaysyd 📷 by @rubyboland

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2. A greater explosion of talent

Similar to how punk music freed the minds of grandparents on who could make music, the current Minecraft/ TikTok generation grew up shaped to be independently creative. AI tools make the whole writing, recording, distribution and monetisation process so simplistic and quick that anyone can be an artist. What we’ll see is the start of an explosion of varying talent from anywhere in the world that, via AI, will be able to target its audience and hence increase the revenue it can make. 

3. Issues for streaming services

Australian music streaming services will have to contend with the music industry pushing harder for quotas for Australian music – they may have to up their monthly subscription rates. Unlike Netflix, they have yet to address inflation and its inevitable pull. 

4. Albums continue to become less important

Albums will become less important with the growing dominance of streaming (70% of revenue in Australia). But initiatives such as Record Store Day and National Album Day have delayed the CD’s trip to the scrapheap and made vinyl and cassettes become cool again. Vinyl’s renaissance in Australia grows steadily: in 2018, its revenue was up 15.4% to $21.7 million and units up 9.36% to 896,209.

5. TikTok and Triller rivalry heats up

With 750 million users and growing, will TikTok reach the top five of social media channels for popularity? Triller, with 26.5 million monthly average users and 75 million users in total, has already overtaken TikTok in the US and with backing from major record companies, $40 million fresh funding and a 500% month-over-month growth, maybe Triller will climb atop TikTok too.

6. You’re the only one to queer me

What is woke about the growing visibility of queer artists is a greater tendency to portray themselves and their songs with more authenticity, and using their power to influence social changes. Last year, Sam Smith encouraged the use of “them” rather than “she” or “he”. Who’ll do a cultural revamp this year?

7. Tech no prisoners

We’ll become more realistic about the negative impact of technology and social media. Last year, the biz abandoned facial ID technology. A December 2019 Roy Morgan study found Aussies believe social media has negative shade on mental health of the young (86%) and divides the community (75%). Over 70% want the government to set up a regulator to ensure digital platforms act for the common good.