Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article
Earlierthis summer, the Firefly Music Festival drew crowds of tens of thousands of people to Dover, Delaware. Headliners of the insanely popular annual event included some of the biggest names in music – the Foo Fighters, Outkast and Jack Johnson, to name a few. In addition to a killer lineup, the festival focused on experience areas like an on-site brewery, a "Hammock Hangout," and a TOMS tent where concert-goers could design their own pair of shoes.
The festival has grown so quickly, pre-sale tickets for the 2015 show have already sold out.
While the first Firefly festival welcomed 30,000 people back in 2012, the 2014 event attracted over twice as many (80,000, to be precise). And Firefly doesn’t stand alone. Between Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and the like, outdoor music festivals consistently bring out music lovers in droves. Six years ago, Bonnaroo attendance landed at about 70,000. This year’s numbers? Roughly 90,000 attendees.
For music lovers like Omar Bustamante of New Jersey,the best part of large-scale, outdoor concerts is the unmatched energy of the crowd.
“It was the beginning of summer, and the fact that it was outdoors was such a relief after such a brutal winter,” said Bustamante, who attended a music festival back in June. “The energy of the crowd was amazing. I had a great place in between two stages, and was able to enjoy multiple music acts from the comfort of my blanket.”
What’s more is that the trend is spreading beyond just music events. December 4 marks the kickoff of the inaugural Apres-Ski Weekend, a four-day destination party taking place in Copper Mountain, Colorado. Perks of attendance include an elevated ski experience and a champagne welcome. The weekend is complete with exclusive themed parties, ski runs, bonfires, party bus transportation and more. Hosted by Red Frog Events(the sameproducerswho put on Firefly), Apres-Ski Weekend plans on bringing the hype and excitement of summer festivals to the winter season.
“Guests of Apres-Ski Weekend will be joining us from across the country for an elevated weekend with like-minded people," said Jordan Diehl, a Red Frog Events spokesperson."We've seen great success in our events for fun-seekers in the running and music industry, and we are excited to launch this event in the travel and leisure industry.”
According to Diehl, Apres-Ski Weekend represents a way for people to say goodbye to their daily lives for a few days and cut loose on the slopes. It's an upgraded ski trip, with nonstop exclusive events and activities. Diehl added that attendees will be treated to a luxurious experience as soon as they arrive.
"At the airport, they will be greeted with a party bus and complimentary champagne to pop on their way to Copper Mountain Resort," said Diehl. "This event will bring together a social and active group of people from around the United States and set them up to have an epic, long weekend in the mountains."
Some of the nation’s most popular outdoor events take a different approach all together. Take the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, an annual culinary event that attracts foodies from all over the country. Over 10,000 people take part, sharing in the city’s best food and wine.
Red Frog Events also produces the annual American Beer Classic in Chicago to celebrate unique trends in brewing. The spring event unites beer connoisseurs and regular folks alike, all coming together to sample cold ones on Soldier Field.