[Final update: eleven days after we started the campaign, 7107 finally confirms the full line-up. See their tweet here.] I’m not attending the 7107 International Music Festival in Clark this February. Frankly, I can’t afford it. But seeing that the organizers of the event are touting themselves as the “biggest music event of the year” – a claim that’s not exactly unsubstantiated, thanks to a line-up that includes the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Empire of the Sun – then I figured, even if I am just an insignificant blogger with no stake in things, I should at least keep a closer watch over them.
The event’s in less than two months, and yet the festival’s organizers have yet to reveal the entire line-up of performing acts. They revealed the first batch a month ago, and have been teasing names in the weeks since – mostly through Kendrick Lamar song lyrics on their Twitter page – but, so close to the shindig itself, they have not revealed who else is appearing.
Now, this is really no weird thing. Glastonbury, the biggest music festival in the United Kingdom, sells out its tickets within minutes, and their roster of performers only get announced months ago. (The 2014 event, happening this June, began selling tickets in October. It sold out in a little over an hour. Only last month was the first headliner was confirmed: Arcade Fire. And that’s just one band among hundreds that will perform across five days and multiple stages.)
So, yes, there is nothing unusual about 7107 selling tickets before they reveal their line-up. But I can’t help but feel something is up when that line-up isn’t locked in months before the event. Of course artists will back out and negotiations will push through; that is completely understandable. But then again, this is a music festival, an experience the Philippines is only getting used to. Not everybody knows Glastonbury, or Coachella, or Laneway; this is a relatively alien experience to them.
And the tickets are quite expensive. The general admission pass costs P10,000; the VIP pass, P25,000. There is, of course, a processing fee alongside it. If you’re driving to the venue, you have to pay P300 per day.
Oh, and yes, the event is in Clark. If you’re coming from far away – and face it, most of the attendees will come from Manila – you’re not just spending on the tickets. You’re spending on transportation. You’re spending on accommodations. You’re spending on food (unless you’re willing to buy from inevitably overpriced concessionaires on the festival grounds itself). I’d say if you’re buying one VIP ticket, you’ll end up spending at least P30,000, inclusive of everything. Christmas is over and people would be scant, unless they’ve already bought a ticket as a present to themselves.
And I don’t know about you, but not everybody has money to burn. Not everybody has a credit card. Not everybody has parents who are willing to shell that much money in one offing. Not everybody working for a wage will want to splurge that much money – their salary for a month, maybe, definitely, more – on something that they do not have full knowledge of.
Sure, there are promos. Groups of ten can avail of a 10% discount. (I know of at least one person who’s attending because of this.) Over the festive season there was a flash sale, where a quarter of the ticket cost was shaved off. And the astronomical prices – understandable, again, considering the scale of the festival – has not deterred some, surely, rich kids from attending, spazzing over how awesome the event will be, that sort of thing.
I blogged before that I want 7107 to be a success. A lot of things are relying on this, if you think of it. This is not the first outward-looking music festival, definitely; we’ve had Summer Slam for a while now, catering to the metal herd, and last year saw the indie crowd get Wanderland. This is aiming for a broader audience, with acts across genres (judging from the Kendrick Lamar rumors) from here and around the world. If this experiment succeeds, the Philippines will be one step closer to becoming a concert destination, and the country’s musical ecosystem – the record stores, the radio stations, the local scene – will be the healthier for it.
But if the event is to be a success, it should draw in more people to watch. And if more people will watch, these people will have to be convinced that the ticket costs will be worth the entertainment; that they’ll be watching acts they love, with people they want to do it with, in a way that will not feel like a letdown. It’s basic economics.
And so far, the folks organizing 7107 have not delivered on it completely. Some would think this is all hype for nothing. Some would probably think this is a scam. Take note, this is their first attempt at a festival. They are trying to establish themselves as a music force to be reckoned with. But the lack of complete line-up information alone, less than two months before the event, is making me think twice.
Again, I am not going to buy tickets, but only because I’m really not interested. But I know many people who are. And I know even more people who are watching this festival with interest, hoping it would succeed, or maybe fail, considering the hype and the occasionally ridiculous rumors that accompanied it. But, for the sake of us music lovers fully knowing what we’re getting into, I would like to demand that the organizers of the 7107 International Music Festival reveal their entire line-up as soon as possible. Otherwise, people will hesitate to buy, attendance will drop, and this festival will fail, no matter what its official Twitter account insists. [NB]
01/11/14: I’ll admit I spammed the 7107 Twitter account a bit to gain their attention, but it’s fair enough I do that, right? They have blocked me, which either means I am an annoying spammer, or they cannot handle any criticism of their event. To their credit, apparently Kendrick Lamar and Kaskade have been confirmed as part of the festival, but since it’s not on their website, as far as I am concerned, there is no phase two reveal.
01/12/14: One of the 7107 producers, Tina Herrera, tweeted me this: “We’ll release the line-up when it’s good and ready. Thank you for your patience and continued support.” So why has it taken so long? “Because great things take time,” she said. I must note – and I am not being dismissive at all – whey said something like this days before the revealed part of their line-up a couple of months back. At least we got an answer. The campaign continues, however.
01/14/14: Rainy tells me that Tina deleted her tweets to me, which is, honestly, a headscratcher. I mention this not because I’m being a pesky blogger, but because you might think those tweets never happened. They did. I should’ve posted screen caps, though.
01/15/14: Finally, 7107 revealed the rest of their line-up. As rumored, Kendrick Lamar and Kaskade lead the foreign roster, alongside two DJs I don’t know of (inevitably) and a lot of local bands. And there were a lot. I think I saw fifteen local acts on the second phase, including Kjwan and Sponge Cola. Well, at least you have a line-up. (Here’s a tweet from The Pen Lane on the whole thing. Unusually, as I write this – around ten in the evening – it’s not yet on the 7107 website. Nor on their Twitter account. Maybe it’s a leak?) I don’t know if it’s worth all the money you’ll be spending, but you’ll have a more educated choice, at least. So, will you fork?
01/17/14: A few things are clear now. One, the line-up is a leak. Two, the leaked line-up is correct, as the 7107 Twitter account has been retweeting stuff about that leaked line-up, but interestingly, they still haven’t updated their website two days later. [Update: at around eleven in the morning today, 7107 finally confirmed their line-up: see their tweet here.] Three, there has been an overwhelming sense of “that’s it?” and, to some, “can we refund?” – but of course refunds are, as their website adamantly states, not allowed. So I guess the campaign is over, yes? We have the full line-up. People now know what they’ll be spending money for (or what they have already spent for). Our mission here is pretty much done. We’ll take this page off the front page over the weekend. And in case you’re wondering, I have been unblocked from their Twitter page.