Amazingly this year’s Glastonbury Festival did not sell out over the weekend.. This is a slight change from previous years where the tickets were all but gone within a few hours. I guess that means all my friends will have tickets, but unfortunately I’m at a wedding that weekend so I won’t be there. Ah well.
As to why there are still tickets left, well a number of reasons are being suggested. The ticket pre-registration process was the same as last year, so it is doubtful that that was the reason for the slow down. Most likely culprit is the current line-up which is seen as pretty crap, generally because Jay-Z is the biggest touted headliner and most hardcore Glasto folk are more indie/rock/dance than rap – not that I’d mind seeing him perform as I’m sure it’ll be a good show. Another reason is the explosion of alternative festivals in Britain now, each aiming to be a new Glastonbury. Perhaps we are seeing a social network effect in real life, with big social networks becoming less common and focused, niche networks sprouting up to directly support the needs of smaller groups of people. Would you rather go to a festival that just plays music you like with all you friends, or to a large, expensive, crowded festival that tries to be all things to all people?
Speaking of cash rich stratas of society – last night at an interesting panel discussion about niche social networks I had the unpleasant experience of hearing someone talk about ‘A Small World‘, the private online community for those rich enough to aspire to own their own jet. Their goal is, to quote “Aggregate the world’s most interesting people with the world’s most interesting information”. Wow. I think they meant ‘arrogant’ instead of ‘interesting’, but I guess if your life’s interests are the latest Hermes purse and how to spend daddy’s money they knock yourselves out in finding new ways to do that. No really – knock yourselves out. Hard. Of course to the high rolling brands that this affluent clique want, this website is a godsend – so advertising and marketing dollars flood in there.
Now obviously this site didn’t create this strata of people, they just cater to them, but what’s fascinating is that this site, along with daily gossip columns, makes these people much more visible than before. Strangely, most people don’t like what they stand for – in fact in the presentation last night a noticeable coldness swept over most of the audience, full of those folks thrilled with the current ‘democritization of content creation’. I wonder how long before the proletariat will rise up and overthrow them? Or at least create an amusing video mashup on youTube that everyone watches… I can see it now, ‘A Small World: The Real Life’ – it’s the next Bold and the Beautiful.