JTI Recharge Research

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Canadian Music festivals-negative experiences

While we were unable to find information regarding negative music festival experiences that are specific to Canadians ages 19-29-years, we found that in 2016, 11% of the Canadian population bought admission to music festivals and 14% of Canadian millennials bought admission to music festivals. Therefore, in comparison to the general Canadian population who attend music festivals, millennials attend in greater numbers. Based on this information, we can assume that millennials account for a good portion of music festival-goers in Canada. Therefore, the findings regarding the challenges/obstacles/negatives to music festival experiences for festival-goers, in general, may also be applied to the challenges faced by Canadian millennials who attend music festivals.

We were able to find sufficient information regarding the negative music festival experiences of the general population of festival-goers and applied these findings to the requested demographic.

Below you'll find an outline of our research methodology to better understand why the information you've requested is publicly unavailable, as well as a deep dive into our findings.


After an extensive search, we found no available information that broke music festival-goers into age demographics, specifically into the requested 19-29 year age bracket. After searching through reputable organizations such as Eventbrite, as well as publicly available information from paywall sites such as Statista, the breakdown of festival-goers into a country of origin was also unavailable. As such, we have provided you with the following data, which is more generalized and not specific to Canada, nor the target demographic. However, there is also no indication that these findings are not applicable.


1. A negative for many festival-goers is that they are unable to get close enough to the band/stage. Since most music festivals attract crowds in the tens of thousands, squeezing through to get closer to the band is almost impossible for most.

2. Getting separated from your group is another negative for many festival-goers, especially at festivals where there is limited or no cell coverage.

3. The fights that break-out, which usually end up injuring innocent bystanders.

4. Friends who take it too far. Many festival-goers dislike being, "the designated mum or dad" for the better part of a music festival.

5. For Canadians attending festivals outside of Canada (or foreign visitors to Canadian festivals), they may experience stress and anxiety due to culture shock.

6. Schedules are usually quite intense, and this can lead goers to miss one concert because another is playing simultaneously.

7. Security, or lack thereof, is another distraction from a positive music festival experience. A number of festival-goers are usually under the influence of one substance or another, this creates an unsafe environment for many and goers tend to be more mindful of their safety and their possessions.

8. The drug scene that usually comes along with such festivals can be a negative experience for many. More effort, such as prevention, needs to be made to keep goers safe.

9. Millennials want to share their experiences at music festivals with others, especially via social media. The lack of adequate phone charging stations affects their ability to share this experience.

10. Many festival-goers complain about the number of toilets and the state of the toilets. There are always long queues and the toilets are generally extremely dirty.


Despite the limited information regarding Canadian festival-goers who fit in the target demographic of 19-29-year-olds, we were able to compile a list of ten challenges/obstacles/negatives to music festival experiences that may negatively affect the intended demographics' experience at such events.
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Canadian Music festivals-positive experiences

Features that lend themselves to a positive experience at a music festival include unique food experiences, high quality facilities (bathrooms), easy transportation and social responsibility.

Canada's Festival Experience

Canada features many music festivals each year, among them FieldTrip, Osheaga, and PopMontreal. Each of these offers a unique musical line-up and distinct experience, but what makes for a positive experience beyond the music and setting? In order to understand what would be considered an added value to a music festival experience, we need to understand the needs and interests of the target demographic.


The target demographic for this request falls within the Millennial generation category which in turn is a subset of the range identified by Eventbrite as the statistical age of festival-goers, with 32 as the average age. Information on the needs and interests of the Millennial generation are widely available and helps narrow down information from industry reports on this target audience. Some general interests of this generation include, importance of social media, experiences over objects, and the fact that about half of them are already parents.

Festival Experiences

The outdoor festival experience tends to be packed with activities, walking from one stage to another, weathering the elements and sharing a space with thousands of other attendees. There are certain details that make these experiences positive and memorable, among some of the most mentioned are: accessible and clean facilities, rest and reload areas and varied food options. Below we will explore each of these by looking at what festival attendees valued and potential ways to incorporate these into an overall experience.

Family Programming

On the older end of the spectrum are Millennial parents. According to Eventbrite, over half of Millennials are now parents and over two-thirds report attending daytime weekend events than they previously did. Field Trip music festival is tapping into this demographic by offering day camp programming and free admission to kids under 12. Some ways to create a positive experience for this group include creating activities that are family-friendly or offering services and facilities for millennial parents would be a big plus. PopMontreal was among those who also offered extra-curricular activities for the family, including kid-specific programming.

Facilities - access and cleanliness

Hillside festival was commended for its overall cleanliness and inclusiveness with handicap designated seating and gender-inclusive bathrooms. At Osheaga, access to multiple washrooms although its cleanliness, lack of hand washing stations and restocking of basic toiletries could have been better.

Food Vendors

Walk-around beer and fruit service at Osheaga meant avoiding lines to get a drink or food and a wide variety of food vendor options available. PopMontreal provides a unique variety of local food options on site from a BBQ Festival to late-night lounge meals. The spectrum and variety of Interstellar Rodeo's food trucks was noteworthy, offering from basic hot-dogs to braised lamb dishes as well as a variety of price points.

Rest & Reload Areas

Hillside festival offered a "sacred-fire circle" where people come to unwind, rest and meditate. Osheaga has open grassy areas to sit, places to cool off with mist and fountains, hammocks to relax, phone recharge booths and water fountains to refill water for free.

Social-Media Worthy

Millennials consider social media content as one of the important factors of a festival experience, 40-60% of them according to Eventbrite, as a result, festivals find unique ways to incorporate social-media-worthy opportunities into the space. Osheaga featured photo booths and extensive visual artists' work. The local graffiti artists wall at Interstellar Rodeo proved to be the perfect backdrop for social media content as well as encouraging festival attendees to contribute to the communal artistic piece.

Unique Experiences

Interstellar Rodeo had a sommelier who paired wine with the headlining artists and traveling through the crowd offering wine tastings. PopMontreal offered Feminist Live Reads, gallery installations, films and visual art extensions of the live music performances.


There are a variety of factors that contribute to a positive festival experience, however, there seems to be a general consistency to the details that add value to the experience for the specific target audience. Some of the most cited included variety of vendors and on-demand services, access and cleanliness of restroom facilities, water fountains and rest areas as well as family and kid-friendly programming.