Sensory overload: how immersive art took top billing at music festivals

By Janelle Zara

From Coachella and Panorama to more boutique events, immersive artwork is becoming a crucial part of the lineup

With more musicians making repeat rounds on the festival circuit to recoup the losses from shrinking album sales, a singular experience can distinguish one music festival from a growing sea of others. This was abundantly clear to Omar Afra, who has owned and run the Houston music festival Free Press Summer Fest for nine years. “We’re glad that festivals have given a lot of bands social revenue,” he told the Dallas Observer this month. “That said, we don’t want any of those bands that are playing every other festival. We want to create special moments that you wouldn’t otherwise see.”

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