Music Festival Deathwatch 2010

Throwing a major music festival — especially during times like these — is a risky proposition. With high-profile ventures like All Points West tanking after only two years, we’re always worrying that our favorite event or tour won’t be back for another summer. So, now that most of the year’s biggest festivals have come and gone, we’re taking a look at how a handful of standbys fared in 2010 to predict whether we should start saving cash for 2011 tickets or get to work planning their funeral. Spoiler alert: In most cases, the prospects are less bleak than you’d expect.

Despite the continued economic gloom and doom, this spring’s Coachella festival fared better than ever. In fact, at 75,000 people a day, the sellout crowd surpassed 2009’s audience by a daily average of 15,000. In fact, as of July, it was the year’s top-grossing festival, at $21.7 million.

Photo by Natasha Blank. Read our Coachella coverage here.
Will Coachella be back in 2011? Absolutely. In fact, you can already mark your calendars, because the folks at Coachella have announced the dates for next year: April 15-17.

Rock the Bells
Hip-hop heads may be nervous about the future of Chang Weisberg’s beloved traveling festival, after it was chopped to only four dates this year. Luckily, by halving the number of cities this year’s line-up — which features Snoop Dogg, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, and “very special guest” Lauryn Hill — it looks like Weisberg may have prevented a collapse. The LA Times reports that “ticket sales have already exceeded expectations with more than 20,000 tickets pre-sold in each of the major markets Rock the Bells will reach.” And the tour doesn’t even kick off until Saturday!
Nas at Rock the Bells 2009. Image via WonderWyze on Flickr
Will Rock the Bells be back in 2011? It sure looks like it! We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Electric Daisy Carnival
Tragedy struck this year’s Electric Daisy Carnival, to the horror of electronic music fans around the world who have flocked to the now multi-city festival for a decade. At June’s Los Angeles date, 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez died of an apparent drug overdose. Now, the city has banned minor from attending any raves currently scheduled for 2010 and put a moratorium on any of the festival’s 2011 events until Electric Daisy overhauls its safety plan.

Electric Daisy 2010. Image via Caesar Sebastian on Flickr
Will Electric Daisy be back in 2011? While the LA event did draw a crowd of over 180,000 and featured talent including Moby, Basement Jaxx, and, it’s clear that many things will need to change if the festival is to return next year.