Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ozzfest FreeFest, Java Jazz?

My eyes landed at an article on the Jakarta Post today, page 16, titled “Ozzy Osbourne unveils plan for free concert fest”. This was wonderful I thought, enlightening, and there must be some reasons behind it. So I read it through.

Upon reading I learnt that Ozzfest is an annual U.S. summer hard-rock music festival, with an all-day, outdoor performances by hard-rock bands on multiple stages. Ticket prices last year were about $45 to $50, and this year the 12 annual rock festival will kick off July 27 in Los Angeles and play 25 dates. It also said that last year the festival grossed US$19 million. Well, it’s not small money to lose.

There were only two explanations written on the paper, one by Ozzy that seemed like a joke, ”It’s free to come in, but you’re gonna have to pay to get out.”, and the other one by Sharone, his wife and manager, that sounded philosophical, “It’s business as usual, except it’s free. We want to encourage new music and new talent.”
Cool.

Then I Google “ozzy os”, couldn’t find what I was looking. Then “ozzy os free festival”, the results were not specific. Finally after reading the paper again, I hit “ozzfest”. Gotcha, I landed here, and this is the opening paragraph:

""This will change everybody.s impression of the way touring in the summer in America should be."--Sharon Osbourne

Imagine a day of wall-to-wall hard rock.
Imagine the world's greatest headliner sharing a bill with cutting edge new artists.
Imagine if this brass-knuckled beast was hellbent on coming to your town.

Imagine this earth-pounding event...FOR FREE.
"

You can read rest of the inspiring news here. And for those who are still in the dark about Ozzy Ozbourne, known as Prince of Darkness, please visit here.

My question : Will the fans spend less money because the admission tickets are free?
My prediction : No.
My explanation : From a positive angle, the fans know how to show their gratitude in order to keep it as “freefest”.

The traditional fans will have extra money to spend on T-Shirts, CDs, and other merchandising sold in the festival, provided that the prices will not be unreasonably marked up.

As more people will come to enjoy the festival, it will certainly create more awareness to both performers and organizers, as well as more business for merchandisers.

I am not a fan of hard-rock music, even though I enjoyed some of the songs from the old bands. But I wouldn’t mind giving it a try if it’s a freefest, and I will spend my money to things related to performers that I consider good ones.

What about Java Jazz? Well, the reason why I withdrew my support, by taking out the JavaJazz logo from my blog, was it becomes too expensive for common people to be able to enjoy it. In a way it becomes an exclusive festival.

Let’s make a calculation. If I want to go with Dewi and two of my kids, since the other one doesn’t have interest at all to Jazz, for Multi Pass (3-Days) tickets I will spend Rp. 3 mill (US$331) for early bird prices, or Rp. 3.8 mill ($420) if I missed the date, and I missed it already.

Then if we want to see Sergio Mendez and Chaka Khan, another Rp. 2 mill (for four people) will have to be spent. Plus another Rp. 2 mill for Jamie Cullum for early birds tickets or Rp. 3.2 mill for regular ones.

Hence, in total I would spend no less than 3 + 2 + 2 = 7million ($774), or up to maximum 3.8 + 2 + 3.2 = 9 million ($994). All right, there’s a special package that it will cost us Rp 8 mill. Of course if we don’t want to spend that much money, we can choose to go only for one day show, without seeing any of the special shows, and it will cost us Rp 1.6 mill ($177) or with the special show for Rp 2 mill ($221).

You might say that it would still be a damn lot cheaper rather than to go to the North Sea Jazz Festival or to Dubai Jazz Festival. Still the steep ticket prices especially for Jamie Cullum, for even middle economy Jakartans, have bothered me, in a way that it prevented me from buying the tickets, even with early bird prices. Any opinion, anyone?