Dunk Your Favorite Artist? Festivals to Test 'Experimental' Fan Experiences
Initiatives expected to triple summer festival revenues
Posted: April 01, 2016, 12:00 AM | Category:General Artist Tags: TobyMac Source: From Fictitious Reports
Amid declining attendance and revenues, a number of summer Christian music festivals are rolling out new features aimed at giving these gatherings a much-needed shot in the arm.
At a recent meeting of the Christian Festivals Association, organizers of the U.S.'s biggest summer events passed a non-binding resolution that will bring a number of new attractions--including the much-requested Christian Artist Dunk Tank--to Christian music fans from coast to coast.
Other proposed attractions include an America's Got Talent-style three-strikes rule, where three lucky fans have the ability to buzz in if an artist isn't performing up to their standards. Three strikes, and the performer is escorted from the stage and festival grounds.
There's also the "Faithful Firehose," a dedicated event-within-an-event that finds artists running in an open field while fans target them with high-powered water cannons. And finally, fans may receive the "Pastoral Pedicure"--a spa treatment from the festivals' renowned speakers--and sign up to be "Guitar Tech for a Day."
"Over the past few years, the message from fans has been loud and clear: 'We don't just want to hear the artists; we want to be among them,'" said Christian Festivals Association President Rich Malloy. "We've heard you, and we're excited to bring the kinds of things you've always wanted but never thought to ask for."
The feature experiences originated from a presentation by Columbus, Ohio-based FanzFirst--a company responsible for some of the fastest-growing events in the U.S., including the critically acclaimed October Scorpion Run in the Dark, One Hot Day in a Gorilla Suit, and the multi-state Waterfall Snorkeling Challenge.
While the pay-to-play experiences stand to triple the annual revenues of the participating festivals, not everyone is happy about the change.
"Wait--we have to do WHAT?" asked TobyMac, an artist already signed on for Creation Festival Northeast. "I'm getting on the phone with my lawyer."
"I didn't sign up for this," added Natalie Grant, who will be at SonShine. "I thought we were here to perform as artists, not as gladiators!"
The festivals assert they have every legal right to introduce the new initiatives.
"Artists signed a contract with a clause that specifically states they are willing and able to participate in any additional revenue-producing ventures that finance the artist's appearance," wrote entertainment attorney Ken White in an email to NRT. "This certainly qualifies, especially as the festivals struggle financially to pay their headliners."