Back in the day, music fans came to rock festivals to see their favorite bands and maybe enjoy a roll in the mud.
But at this past weekend's Governors Ball in New York, a good many attendees seemed to have a different experience in mind - one that involved chair massages, concert "concierges" and air-conditioned restrooms, MarketWatch reported.
The three-day festival, which drew roughly 135,000 revelers for a lineup that included Outkast, The Strokes, Jack White and Vampire Weekend, has increasingly taken to emphasizing the VIP side of rock 'n' roll life. Which is to say that patrons with extra cash - a one-day VIP ticket ran $215, or almost double the cost of a general-admission one - could buy into a more amenity-laden experience and a guarantee of shorter waits and better sightlines.
The Governors Ball isn't alone in promoting the idea of rocking out in style and comfort, however. If anything, it's part of a broader trend. Festivals have grown in size and stature and become an increasingly important part of the North American concert industry, generating a record $5.1 billion in ticket sales in 2013, and the VIP business appears to be growing in tandem with it.
At Coachella, the California festival that grossed a record-breaking $67 million in 2013, patrons can spend as much as $6,500 for a weekend admission package that includes a private safari-style tent. Chicago's Lollapalooza offers a relatively bargain-priced $3,600 "platinum" pass - no tents are included, but pass-holders do get gourmet catered fare, plenty of premium booze, a merchandise gift bag, "mini" spa treatments and golf-cart transportation.