Music Always Survives

The summer of 2020 will always be remembered. Unfortunately not because of legendary live gigs. Nor because of countless shared beers in front of main and other stages or fleeting romances in tiny tents at crowded festival campsites.

The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has literally put the whole music festival scene on pause. Whether cancelled or postponed, it’s a ‘pause’ that in most cases will last a whole year.

Although the ‘festival season’ might be coming to an end in big parts of the world, the worries and uncertainties for festival organizers (and everyone else working in this industry) are far from over. Festivals that were lucky to escape the very beginning of the pandemic now also risk having to cancel their upcoming editions. The typical festival season in Australia and more southern countries in Asia, Africa and South America stretches from October to February.

Music Always Survives is an awareness and support platform. Just like music unites people, we literally unite all cancelled/postponed festivals into an (unfortunately) expanding patchwork of beautiful festival posters. It provides a different view on the global impact the coronavirus is having on this entire industry. At the same time this visual overview is our way of honoring all the artwork that was made. Made for festival editions that have never taken place or never will.

When we launched this platform (at the end of August) it featured 300 music festivals from 58 different countries. From here onwards we leave it up to all other festivals to complete this overview by uploading the original posters of their cancelled or postponed editions. Our platform is open to every festival, from the biggest and best-known to the smallest and more local ones.

In addition to being a collection of ‘unfortunate events’, Music Always Survives especially hopes to spread a sense of positivity and optimism. This platform allows festival enthusiasts to share newly announced dates, as a sign of support, stating that they’ll be there for the next edition. An act of support that is in line with the festvials’ own positive attitude, focusing on brighter days ahead and a better festival season.

So let’s look forward to a summer in which we can enjoy live music with our friends, without having to count how many exactly. A summer of sharing drinks without having to be afraid of actually sharing that drink. And of course a festival summer in which we can cheer and shout at amazing headliners and new discoveries without masks keeping our voices down. Hopefully that summer will be the summer of 2021.

In the meantime go scroll, click, share, support.

Share you’ll be there (next year)!

The idea for this website was born at the beginning of June on a late evening run. On the side wall of a house there was a poster for an indoor Belgian festival. It should have taken place on the 22nd and 23rd of March, but of course it never did. So more than 2 months later the poster was still up there, probably due to a lack of posters from other advertisers in full lockdown. In fact, today the poster is still there, but looking slightly less fresh.

It immediately made us realise that posters for hundreds of other festivals and other events have been made in vain. Several thousands of posters worldwide (if not tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands…?). What would the result be if we brought them all together, online, in a striking way? Wouldn’t that be a pretty cool tribute? As well as a visually interesting alternative to the long lists we have been seeing in newspapers and on blogs for several months.

It’s that kind of idea that takes shape within half an hour, but then gets classified the next day because there’s no time to actually develop it. Well, ‘thanks’ to the corona crisis, we had a little more time on our hands than usual.

One week later we had a nice overview of 50 festivals on our screen. What would happen if you clicked on a poster? Would you just see a larger version of it? Surely you could do more with this. While looking for the first festival posters for a test version, we visited countless festival websites and social media pages. It struck us that so many festivals were already communicating the dates for their next editions. Which of course makes sense if you want to reassure people with a ticket, hoping that not everyone will ask for a refund. Therefore we decided to mention the new dates on our website as well.

But real support comes from the festival fans themselves. And that’s why we’ve made these dates shareable.

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