Are Micro Festivals the Next Big Thing?

February 04, 2016 - By: Sarah Hovis

 Long before acts like Pearl Jam and Alabama Shakes played sold-out stadium shows and headlined major music festivals, they
played dive bars and college towns. Even Sir Paul McCarthy had humble beginnings playing “Long Tall Sally in a
talent competition. As the music festival season starts up, so does the competition to deliver more impressive and expensive lineups. For example, when the
SXSW Music Festival kicks off in mid March, it will feature
2,200 acts in over 100 venues. Plus, there’s the
hefty cost of tickets and travel to these music meccas. For music lovers who want to skip the hype, an alternative has emerged: the
micro festival. Typically drawing
3,000 attendees or less, the micro festival crowd is a far cry from the
300,000 bodies at Lollapalooza in 2015. There are no big budgets or swanky VIP areas. Only an emphasis on supporting artists, cultivating community with other attendees, and being present in the moment. A perfect example of a micro festival can be found seven hours away from Austin, Texas (where SXSW takes place) in Marfa; home of the
Marfa Myths Festival. This self described cultural program is curated by Brooklyn-based record label
Mexican Summer and
Ballroom Marfa and features
various artists and musicians who work creatively and collaboratively across music, film, and visual arts contexts.
Ticket prices range between $10 and $25. As Brett Baber, cofounder of
Stradisphere Music Festival puts it, "
You don’t have to travel far from your home to stumble across some of the greatest music never discovered." Tell in the comments if you’re a fan of the micro festival concept. Photo via:
Ballroom Marfa