Every year dozens of music festivals are held all around America throughout virtually every season. With electronic, rap and rock as the forefront genres highlighting these festivals, there is certainly a great diversity in the line-ups, at least musically. Most of the prime headliners are more or less the same group of widely-acclaimed commercial artists that are there to draw in millions of fans. However, the beauty behind these festivals is that they also give a chance for the ‘little guy’ to shine alongside such a star-studded lineup.
[Captured at popular Californian music festival Coachella]
Many festivals the likes of South by South West (Austin TX), Rolling Loud (Miami), Pitchfork (Chicago), Governor’s Ball (New York City) & so on give up and coming, self-promoting artists their 15 minutes of fame, or in this case stage time. Festivals like South by Southwest and Rolling Loud in particular are known to present semi-obscure, underground artists (the gist of which are self-promoters on the internet) a significant boost in every aspect. They’re given a chance to show and prove in a performance in front of legions of people.
[SESHOLLOWATERBOYZ performing at Miami festival Rolling Loud]
Now with this being said, most annual music festivals essentially recycle their lineups – for example, if an artist or group was featured on Coachella last year, this year they’re on Rolling Loud. Every year there’s an A$AP Rocky here with a ScHoolboy Q there, and a Danny Brown up in Toronto while a certain XXXTentacion is in Houston. And while there may be no complaints regarding that mild conundrum for now it does present us with an early symptom related to an ever-growing illness regarding festivals, which is that there isn’t much diversity anymore.
[Rolling Loud’s lineup featured Indonesian rapper Rich Chigga]
In fact, there is a plethora of undiscovered talent artists that are being held back from exploding onto the US music scene due to a racial/language barrier. Not to say that people are objectively racists or against listening to artists from abroad, just that it takes a more determined introduction for them to really grasp their listeners and turn them into fans. For example, you probably wouldn’t listen to a track from the Higher Brothers because they’re not your usual cup of tea (and because you probably don’t understand Chinese), but you would definitely love it if you’re into energetic hip-hop. Ill I takes is a platform to bring their music to your ears live and uncut, per sě a music festival.
[Popular US rappers (Migos, Lil Yachty, Playboy Carti etc.) definitely feel the Higher Brother’s music]
The Higher Brothers are really just one example of many: Take for example the Japanese electronic duo FEMM; this group not only delivers unique musical performances, but also works just as hard on their portrayal and overall presentation. They’ve been widely dubbed as the world’s first ‘mannequin group’, complete with their own musical and visual aesthetics. They’ve even got a whole lore with a back story behind their group that’s presented and developed throughout upon in their videos, Gorillaz style.
[Japanese duo FEMM]