The originator and mack daddy of them all was, of course, Woodstock. I'm okay with that one, the Woodstock people were innovators. Plus, they came up with many new procedures for administering hallucinogenic drugs that are still bellwethers in the field of recreational pharmaceuticals.
But since then, we've seen a ridiculous littany of other "fests" that run the concept further into the ground than Bin Laden when he hears helicopters. Lollapalooza, Lilith Fair, Y'allapalooza (the country version) and a myriad of other "fests" make me feel like releasing moles onto the "festival-seating" lawns of every ampitheater I can find.
It's just an excuse to charge a goddamn fortune to see a concert. Pair up two or more artists and it's okay to charge $150 a ticket, $12 to park and NINE dollars for a beer because just LOOK at how many people are on that stage. Don't worry that you end up having time for only medleys of their big hits, and it takes two hours to change the stage for each act.
If we're going to continue this irritating trend of festivalizing concerts, let me suggest some artist combos that would make sense.
James Blunt/John Mayer/Art Garfunkel (for retro effect) in "Spineless-Wuss Fest."
Alanis Morissette/Sarah McLachlan/Jewel in "Bitter-Sad-Suspected-Lesbian Fest." (which is really just a ripoff of Lilith Fair)
Elton John/Boy George/George Michael/Lance Bass in "Obvious Fest."
Dixie Chicks/Barbra Streisand in "Please-Shut-The-Fuck-Up-and-Sing Fest."
Journey/Pure Prairie League/Firefall/Atlanta Rhythm Section in "Only-One-Original-Member-Left-In-The-Band-But-We-Still-Pretend-We're-Worth-Paying-To-See Fest."
When I start seeing a little realism in these shows, maybe I start going. Until then, I'll put my Lollapa-ipod on shuffle. It's cheaper.