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Music Festival Venues: More Options on Land and Sea

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Music festival venues are extending beyond land and sand and into the water itself, thus expanding opportunities in recent years. Not only are music festival venues setting sail on cruise lines, but another hot spot for concert pop ups are hidden deep in the mountains, in innovative and remote places.

What is a Music Festival Cruise Venue?

cruise music festivalLike other music festival venues, these music festival-centered cruises have artist lineups and set times with multiple stages. The only difference with them is the combination of visiting exotic places as part of the festival cruise. Performances take place on the actual ship during the duration of the cruise. Many performances may also take place when making stops on private islands to host concerts and change up the venues. These excursions truly allow for patrons to escape into the music. They provide lasting memories and photo opportunities for the fans and host alike.

Big Name Music Festival Venues to Look Out For and How They’re Changing the Industry

One cruise that’s changing the game promotes personal interaction with the artists. The Country Music Cruise taking place on a Holland American cruise as a music festival venue prides itself on more than just producing concerts. While on the cruise, not only will they be able to run into their favorite performing artists, but also get to know them on a new level. These interactions occur in the dining rooms or even poolside.

While music festival cruises promote new experiences for concert goers, they also expand the market to new audiences. Norwegian Cruise Line has embarked on themed cruises with eleven music focused experiences.

  • Groove Cruise Miami
  • The Rock Boat XXIII
  • Outlaw Country Cruise 8
  • Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite Cruise
  • Emo’s Not Dead Cruise
  • Cayamo: A Journey Through Song 16th Edition
  • Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea IX
  • AfroCruise
  • The Last Resort Cruise
  • On the Blue Cruise
  • Utopia Carnival Cruise & Festival

The cruises not only act as floating concerts, but also include stops on private islands; making the experience of live music glamorous. These experiences provoke new emotions; new personal tourist locations and are quite relaxing as they take people away from their daily stresses back home. Typical cruise festival goers gain a new approach to attending festivals as the convenience and ease goes beyond what a location-based weekend festival can. With a renowned company like Norwegian, their target audience members gain a new attraction. By drawing patrons that already enjoy and trust a cruise line, broader audiences for music festivals can be reached. Further, these create new performance opportunities for artists, agents and the organizers.


Music Festival Venues In The Mountains

mountain music festivalSki season has found new meaning for those that enjoy the mountains, with the association of music festivals to add to the excitement. Snowsport music festivals have taken place internationally, but now, are blowing up in the US. Festivals like Rise and Snowbombing, are completely redefining après ski, (the activities one does after hitting the slopes), for Americans and international travelers alike. During these festivals attendees are skiing or snowboarding from one stage to the next. They tend to use these venues as breaks to enjoy food, drink, and music; some sets even occur on gondola rides going up to the top.

mountain music festival venueWhile typical festivals occur in the summer, and during the summer break/vacation time, these winter music festivals allow for live music festival consumption all year round. Even existing festivals are seeing the hype of these new experiences, by relocating to mountains venues. Palm Tree Festival and Tomorrowland are just two examples that have each incorporated winter festivals into their preexisting lineup. Some festivals, like Winter Wonder Grass, even move around the US every few years, expanding their accessibility and reaching new audiences.



Potential Problems With Such Music Festival Venues

There are of course risks that come with these extraordinary venues; particularly, and significantly, unpredictable weather. Moreover, out at sea, waters can become choppy, and storms are common in the summer season off the coast of Florida.

With most of these events being party centered outdoors, this could make the music festival cruise experience a bad one. A cruise setting may also attract older audiences who would be more sensitive to rocky conditions.

Temperatures also play a role in the comfort and safety factors that come along with attending any music festival. Cruises tend to be cooler than land-based summer venues. Of course, they may still occur when concerts are on deck in the sun by the pool or oceanside on an island stop.

During ski season festivals, low temperatures and abundant snow become a hazard as well.  These winter music festivals also ask festival goers to partake in a potentially dangerous sport. Accessibility in attending these types of festivals is another potential issue, as many people may not be able to perform snow sports, due to either a disability, injury, or just a lack of experience.

Festivals taking place on cruises or in winter sports venues can be not only physically demanding but they may also pose emotional and financial burdens.


Music Festivals in Non-Traditional Settings Are Expensive

Attendance is not cheap. For example, booking the Groove Cruise can cost upwards of

$10,000. Travel logistics also become a problem in the winter season with delayed or canceled flights where you may end up missing all or part of the festival.

Given the costs involved, these non-traditional music festival venues are geared to those that have the discretionary income to attend them. Music festival attendees are looking for the “experience” of the festival and these approaches to venues offers new experiences for those who can afford them.


More Casual Music Festival Settings

While the large festival scheme hasn’t hit boating-themed festivals yet, concerts for boating enthusiasts have been on the rise. Enjoying concerts from the water doesn’t have to mean booking a week-long excursion. Another amazing aspect of these music festival venues, is the diversity of music with different artists performing.

Big music festivals and those high-end festivals taking place on cruises or in the mountains, are usually genre centered or themed. Boating-themed concerts offer smaller scale shows, allowing for more casual observers to be exposed to the music as they either stumble upon the concert or it coordinates with their boat or rafting day.

Such events also offers more exposure to local artists on the smaller scale as well as allowing locals in a community to still enjoy concerts are little or no costs. With their growing popularity, I wouldn’t be surprised if their popularity continues to increase. Some other easy ways to enjoy boating-themed events include;

  • Aquapalooza
  • Humphrey’s By the Bay (San Diego)
  • Jones Beach Theater (New York)
  • Marina Del Ray (Los Angeles)

Places like the Gorge Amphitheater, in Washington state, have been a favorite music festival venue for music lovers as it is surrounded by the Columbia River. Not only does this venue allow free access to the music of artists, but it can be an escape from the stress of daily living.

Another up and coming music festival venue is the Miami Marine Stadium. A once beloved venue for concerts and fun, the stadium has been abandoned for the last 32 years. Its most famous concert event was Jimmy Buffett. Thousands would view the concerts from the water on boats,, floats, kayaks and canoes. This last year, the City of Miami has taken on a restoration project of the Miami Marine Stadium, in an effort to bring it back to life; just like in its heyday.

Now boats can pull right up to the stage and enjoy music from the comfort of their own space. Recently, The Country Bay Music Festival debuted this year and has been renewed for its second year. With a whole weekend of big names and popular country headliners, this was one of the biggest festivals of its kind. Not only does this open new doors for the way we consume live music, but it also highlights the beauty of music as an art form.


By creating new and unique atmospheres to host music festivals, new audiences are not only being targeted and given a new opportunity to celebrate and enjoy live music. These creative locations create new experiences while enjoying music

Whether it is on land or at sea, mountains or valleys, winter or summer, the modern world is taking a new spin on ways to enjoy their favorite bands and music festivals. Listening, and watching all kinds of live music has now become an entirely fresh experience at different music festival venues and a whole new way to connect with others from all over the world.

Related Posts:

Creative Concert Venue Options for Events

Producing Music Festivals: How to Choose the Right Venue



About the author

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Louie Sonugan is a gifted web developer responsible for development and optimization of TSE’s Internet presence. His youth belies his incredible talents in helping TSE reach across the globe via the Internet.
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