Mike Haliechuk isn’t just a member of Toronto punk outfit Fucked Up. He’s also a scribe for the city’s The Grid publication, in which he has recently reflected on the value, or lack thereof, of festivals like South by Southwest, the relatively new North by Northwest, and Canadian Music Fest.
He argues that the Internet has pretty much killed the idea of an artist becoming a breakthrough success thanks to a festival performance:
“[T]he notion of a music festival where bands are made to jump through the hoops of showcasing their talents for “the industry” is as antiquated as the idea that this is really how the music industry works anymore.”
It’s an interesting thought, to say the least, and one I personally can’t argue against. As he says later in the piece:
“The Weeknd and Purity Ring (both Canadian acts who broke out in 2011) illustrate [that] bands can court labels and fans before they even play a show—the importance of the showcase has given way to Soundcloud pages and traded MP3s.”