“The needle has slowly shifted away from ‘music,’ towards ‘party.'”

There’s an interesting post on EDM.com about Outkast’s disappointing performance at the Coachella festival. The short version: people don’t have patience for stuff they can’t get into immediately.

The bar for energy and excitement has been set too high, and the mainstream interest at attending music festivals, driven by the proliferation of EDM mega-fests, has brought in a wide swath of people who simply aren’t what readers of a site like this would consider music fans.

I don’t think this is exclusive to electronic music, or to festivals. You’ll see it at all kinds of gigs, where people are paying top dollar for a performance they’ll only pay occasional attention to. It’s as relevant to stadium rockers as it is to rappers, and while the culprit may be EDM’s high-energy shows in this particular case there’s a wider trend of people going to gigs and only knowing, and only wanting to hear, three or four hits.

It’s a new era for live music, and acts that aren’t going to be bringing the requisite amount of energy to please a crowd filled with thousands of casual fans need to consider their audiences more carefully now than ever before.

It’s also something we punters need to consider before we splash out ridiculous sums of money on concert tickets. Unless you’re going to be right down the front with the superfans – something which, given my fear of crowds and my love of lager, isn’t going to happen – the bigger the gig, the more likely you’ll spend it listening to the people around you.