Maddie Aldridge takes a stab at answering a question as old as Woodstock, are American festivals any match to their British cousins?
It’s hard to know where to start when comparing American festivals with British ones because, on the most part, there is no comparison. One of the main differences between American and British festivals is of course the weather. Despite festivals such as Glastonbury guarantying to be a mud bath every year, punters will forever return in high spirits ready to do it all over again. This is a world away from the scorching American deserts that host festivals such as SXSW and Burning Man Festival. While the British have no choice but to brave the inevitable downpour just as Lionel Richie is taking to the Pyramid Stage it’s doubtful whether the Americans would be happy with anything less than perfect sunshine.
This difference in attitudes is something that can make or break a festival. Whilst American festivals such as Coachella pride themselves on their celebrity magnet status, British festival goers have a habit of thrusting unknown faces into the spotlight with twitter accounts such as ‘Spotted at Reading’ going viral for the bank holiday weekend. In a typically British fashion, festival goers are infamous for embracing the situation, whether that be a flooded field or four days old portaloos, and making the best out of the weekend.
One thing, however, the Americans can rival the British on is the festival line up! With festivals such as SXSW ‘not limited by genre or region’ they attract the widest range of talent to perform to some of the largest festival crowds in the world. Although Glastonbury boasts some of the biggest names in music, so does Coachella but without the mud.
Although it may seem like American festivals reign supreme, nothing beats a muddy weekend away in the British countryside. It’s 2016 yet we still insist on shouting ‘Alan’ and ‘Steve’ at any opportunity and that is something that cannot be found at any American festival.