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The European festival season is upon us, so let’s first of all start by giving props to the music fans, who put themselves through the trouble of getting their hands on the tickets and finding their way ‘there.
The number of music festivals is massive and we wouldn’t hazard a guess as to how many there are.
Some new initiatives see the light of day every season while other festivals stop running too, so it’s hardly a set number either.

Festival pass

Focusing in on three of the most well-known festivals, Glastonbury has decided to take a break in 2018 and will be back next year. Montreux Jazz Festival is about to present its 52nd version (Or 51st. According to Wikipedia the festival first took place in 1967, but according to the festival’s official site this year will be the 52nd time it’s running.). And the North Sea Jazz Festival is also about to happen, which it has been doing since 1976.

e first Glastonbury festival was up and running in 1970, and for the rendition last year the arrangers announced that 135 000 festival tickets sold out in 50 minutes as they were released in October 2016. These went for £ 238 a piece (approximately $ 320). A hundred plus acts performed during the three day event, which is circa $ 3,20 per act on the ticket price. Of course a punter is only able to see a few of the acts – as music fans – although amazing people – can’t be in more than one place at once. Nevertheless breaking the ticket down like that is a fun enough experiment. Glastonbury offers car park passes to its visitors and a free shuttle bus to and from the nearest train station. And being there is all about camping for the festival crowd. No sponsors are visible on the festival’s website, and a brief presentation of what the festival has been, is and aspires to be is also hard to find on said webpage.

Montreux Jazz Festival runs from June 29th to July 14th. A standing pass for the entire festival sets the visitor back CHF 1490 (approximately the same amount in US dollars). The number of tickets and ticket sales is hard to find, but according to Wikipedia, in a piece of information without a note, the number of visitors rose to 120 000 in 1994. Approximately six to eight acts perform a day, so that is circa 14 dollars per act on the ticket price. The festival recommends trains for travel to and from the event and has a good setup for this option – and refers the punters to the Montreux Riviera website for accommodation. A few test searches for a place to stay during the dates in question still render results. Sponsors are visible on the festival’s site, and for presentation you find the following quote if you click on the ‘Héritage’-option in the menu, where you are directed to the website for the Claude Nobs Foundation:

«  It’s the most important testimonial to the history of music, covering jazz, blues and rock  » These are the words that Quincy Jones pronounced to present the preservation and valorisation project of one of the musical monuments from the 20th century, the Montreux Jazz Festival Archives.

So, a heavy focus on the archival value of this historical festival there.

A stage between curtains behind a green hand, artwork

The North Sea Jazz Festival runs from July 13th to 15th. It’s estimated to get between 65 000 and 75 000 visitors. An ‘All In’-ticket cost € 255 (approximately the same in US dollars) and the tickets are sold out. NSJ is presenting about 130 acts, which is circa $ 1,90 per act on the ticket price (It says 150 acts on the website, and of course they may get there when all is announced – but as of today we counted!). The festival advices people to use public transport and plan ahead, and instead of ‘Accommodation’ in the menu it says ‘Hotels’. A hotel site is a sponsor, but on the hotel page on the festival’s website it also lists two camping sites. There are sponsors present on the website, and a full presentation, so to end this brief but threefold look at a few of the giants, let’s quote some what this lovely festival says about now, then and later:

The first edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival took place in 1976 in the Nederlands Congresgebouw in The Hague. Some numbers in those early days: six venues, three hundred artists and about nine thousand visitors. In this very first festival year internationally renowned jazz legends performed, such as Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz, as well as most Dutch avant-garde artists. /---/
North Sea Jazz is the largest indoor music festival in the world, known globally as the event where the past, present and future of jazz are featured within three days. Next to a firm base of jazz many genres will pass by, such as blues, soul, funk, hip hop, world, pop and much more. Next to enjoying top names from around the world, visitors get the chance to discover new favorite artists.