‘The festival circuit has peaked’ says rock promoter

Promoter Harvey Goldsmith says lack of big acts to headline music festivals is a 'big, big problem'

Rock promoter Harvey Goldsmith claims that “the festival circuit has peaked.”

Speaking at the Hay Literary Festival on Friday (May 29), the 69-year-old rock promoter and manager who has worked with Led Zeppelin, The Who, Madonna and more, said a lack of big acts to headline was the reason music festivals “are really over.”

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“The festival circuit has peaked,” Goldsmith said. “It really peaked about two years ago. There’s too many of them and there are not enough big acts to headline them. That is a big, big problem in our industry. And we are not producing a new generation of these kind of acts – the likes of the Rolling Stones, Muse, even Arctic Monkeys – that can headline.”

“Freddie Mercury had to be our most powerful stage performer, the best live performer we’ve ever had. At Live Aid he went out and saw that audience and just grabbed it.”

“We’re not producing a new generation of this kind of act,” he continued. “Coldplay is probably the last one to come up and that was 10 years ago. There isn’t much out there that looks like it is forming the next generation of heritage artists.”

“So with no big acts to headline, there are no big shows. Glastonbury has got to the point where it can’t find any more big acts and that’s the pinnacle of the festivals. They are really over.”

Goldsmith went on to predict a growth in festivals that offer more than just music, report The Guardian.

“Music festivals have probably run their course. What is going to happen is a growth in events where it isn’t just music, [but] like this one, with poetry or books or magic shows. There will be lots of small combination festivals that give something plus – not people standing around in a massive great field unable to go to the toilet because they might miss the band.”