Vegoose: Rage Against The Slot Machine

The Rage Reunion rolls on: The third-annual Vegoose Festival has announced Rage Against The Machine will co-headline this year’s Halloween weekend in Vegas. The festival’s promoters, Superfly Presents and A.C. Entertainment, have declined to officially name any other acts on the bill until July. Interestingly, Rage will also co-headline the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans that same weekend.

The full lineup is yet to be released, but after today’s Rage-as-headliner announcement, we gotta ask: Has Superfly forsaken the hippie jambands that built their festivals? First Bonnaroo, now Vegoose? Just today a Las Vegas television station listed the other headliners as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Killers, and the Dave Matthews Band, none of which exactly brings the Birkenstocks running (maybe DMB, if this were Vegoose ’95).

Now that the record industry has tanked, both indie and mainstream acts have jumped at the big money that large festivals offer them. Jamband-heavy festivals like Wakarusa and Gathering of the Vibes aren’t huge money makers, while the more varied Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Coachella festivals are swimming in dough — Bonnaroo made $17 million fucking dollars this year with a less noodle-y lineup.

Perhaps the problem stems from the fact that the “festival season” has expanded from three sun-drenched months to the entire year. Both Vegoose and New Orleans’ Voodoo Music Experience take place in October, a month that used to feature bands touring colleges, theaters and arenas by themselves. We are smack dab in the middle of the traditional touring season, and many music fans don’t have enough disposable income to see concerts and begin paying for a late October trip to Las Vegas.

Since Bonnaroo began in 2002, live music fans have seen festivals added in nearly every month of the year. Pick any month and you can name a big festivals that has a hold on the month: There are simply too many festivals, and we wouldn’t be surprised if some of them tank as we move forward. With so many festivals and only a finite number of acts, these festies are running out of creative lineup ideas. There’s only so much Franti and Keller a traveling audience can take.

Hey, we’ll always have Langerado.

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0 Responses

  1. What I don’t get is that ticket prices really haven’t changed that much since the first Bonnaroo, have they? So why is Superfly spurning our hippie money? I mean, 75,000 people is 75,000 people, right? It’s not like they tried to book a Bonnaroo one year with Phil and Panic headlining and only 40,000 showed up. I guess $250 is somehow worth more coming from crying 16 year old girls and pasty dudes who look like Wormser. So what that leaves is the theory that sponsors (AT&T, etc.) shell out more for festivals that book The White Stripes rather than Umphrey’s McGee, which, I gotta say, makes sense. But something tells me it also has something to do with Superfly’s egos and them wanting to say, “Dude! We totally booked The Police!” Whatever. I live in NYC, so 100% of bands that played Bonnaroo will be coming thru here in the next year. Some of them are even playing free during the summer.

  2. Tom Petty said last year was his last year of touring for awhile and I can’t imagine the Killers playing unless they are supporting a new album. Rage Against the Machine has already committed to playing the Voodoo Music Experience that same weekend in New orleans

  3. It’s all about the VIP and corporate $$$. I think those packages are far more profitable than one wook’s ticket–or even a whole clown car of wooks. And to attract the real high rollers you need the high profile nostalgia acts and whichever indy sounds like Led-Zeppelin flavor of the month

  4. What I don’t get is that even if they’re pulling in more sponsor $ by booking The Police, they’re also shelling out more to book The Police. Obviously, the sponsors want non-hippies there because hippies don’t have any money.

    I have fond memories of Bonnaroo 04 and 05, but I might have to find another festi to attend in ’07. Anyone hear of this “Langerado”?

  5. I agree with Oliver that it is about the corporate $$$ and how many sponsors they can sign up. The VIP treatment does pull in quite a bit of money also as the Jazzfest this year sold out both weekends at $600 buck a pop and I am told it was about 1000 VIP’s per weekend. But Jazzfest is a non-profit gig as it run by the Jazz and Heritage Foundation but somebody is making some bucks off it.

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