Summer is upon us, and that means one thing – it’s festival season. With hundreds of music festivals taking place throughout the UK every year, we thought we’d take a look at some of the best acoustic music festival posters we’ve seen so far in 2014 and compare them to the decades of posters that have come before.
Glastonbury – The Acoustic Stage
Glasto is just about the biggest and most famous music festival taking place annually in the UK, and its organisers know it. That’s probably why Glastonbury’s poster design is usually relatively low-key, and 2014’s poster is no different. Featuring a prismatic border and a pyramid vaguely reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s famous 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon, the only stand-out design inclusion of the poster is a quote from William Blake’s poem, The Tyger. This adds a little romance to the poster without taking up valuable band-name space – and of course, the rest of the poster is needed for the gargantuan list of bands and artists which can be seen at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. The Acoustic Stage featured artists including Dexys, Gabrielle Aplin, Hudson Taylor, Alison Moyet and Nick Lowe.
This shows a stark contrast when we look at the first ever Glasto poster from 1970, which features a short list of featured bands including The Kinks and a drawing of the venue – a farm in Somerset. Printed on red paper and using only black ink, this poster might have been basic but it was designed to stand out.
The Acoustic Festival of Britain 2014
The Acoustic Festival of Britain may be one of Britain’s biggest acoustic music festivals, but posters have never been its strong point. Previous posters, like this one from 2013 have eschewed fancy design and graphics in favour of a simple DIY look. The 2014 festival seems only to offer this online line-up. While this might deter some festival-goers, most will likely be attracted enough by the line-up alone, which featured Fairport Convention, Seth Lakeman, Matt Cardle and The Animals.
National Folk Festival, Canberra
In stark contrast to most UK festivals, Australia’s National Folk Festival poster doesn’t even feature a detailed line-up at all! Instead, it simply features a bold and attractive image of performers and dancers, and leaves pride of place for all the important information that people will need to find out more – the website, date, etc. The festival featured acts including Woody Mann and John Bennett, and certainly wasn’t lacking in big names to draw in the crowds.
With the rise in popularity of small, independent music festivals across the country, we’re seeing more and more home-grown DIY events, particularly in the folk genre. With companies like Instantprint offering cheap poster printing services and outdoor space in fields and campgrounds being easy to find and rent, there’s nothing stopping music fans from organising their own festivals in every corner of the UK.