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Summer Concert Season and Beyond: 7 Storylines, Trends to Watch

From Gaga’s comeback to bountiful legal weed, what to expect in live music right now

summer tours, tour dates, lady gaga, travis scott, cage the elephant, phish, bonnaroo, panorama festival

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Last year was the most profitable in live-music history, with $7.3 billion in tickets sold, twice as much as a decade earlier. This year, expect that number to get even bigger. To fend off competition, festivals and artists are incorporating innovations from virtual reality to marijuana vendors. Recruiting millennials is key: Bonnaroo recently rebounded from a dismal 2016 after doubling down on EDM and hip-hop, moving even further away from its jam-band roots. Here’s more of what to expect.

Lady Gaga Gaga: Stadium Monster

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Gaga: Stadium Monster

Lady Gaga once said she wanted to be like Iron Maiden, able to tour huge venues without a big hit. Her Joanne tour suggests she’s already there, selling out multinight runs in arenas and stadiums. Credit her Super Bowl performance – and the fanatical devotion of her Little Monsters. 

Tech Tries Moving in on Festivals

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Tech Tries Moving in on Festivals

If you go to a fest, expect to see funny goggles. New York’s Panorama is hyping a 360-degree “virtual-reality dome,” and L.A.’s FYF is giving out 3D glasses to wear for Flying Lotus’ set. Some are skeptical of the VR phenomenon. “People don’t like wearing [goggles] for more than 15 minutes,” says LeRoy Bennett, production designer for Beyoncé and others. “I don’t see it as the next big thing.” 

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