Millennials are getting a bad rap at the moment. Published opinion seems to agree that the whole lot of them are selfie-obsessed, entitled, online addicted, and avocado toast munching Instagramaniacs.
You don’t need a degree in sociology to understand that those are crude oversimplifications and that painting a whole generation with one brush is scientifically unsound. Having said that, when we first had our own closer look at the successors to the “Generation X”, we did notice one thing above all else that most of them had in common:
Millennials would rather spend money on experiences than on physical goods. Status symbols of old – fancy cars, expensive shoes, you name it – have been replaced with photos on Facebook showing off the fun they had at that latest secret gig, the abandoned beach in Thailand or the unforgettable hipster pop-up dinner in Shoreditch.
This phenomenon was so surprising that people coined a term for it: the Experience Economy. And it partly explains the explosion of the number and variety of festivals we see today – which in itself is not all good news and worthy of a separate article. Suffice to say that events and experiences play a very important role in the life of Millennials and that they’re quite happy to pay for the privilege.
So roughly two years after our initial study, we decided to once again have a closer look at Millennials. This time, we wanted to challenge associations of Millennials as phone addicts who prefer the digital to the real world. We spoke to 1,023 Millennials (men and women aged 21-37) who have been to at least one festival, gig or concert, nightclub, rave, immersive experience, event or talk/class in the last year (62% of Millennials met these criteria). Fieldwork took place between 31st July and 4th August 2017. In addition to the quantitative research, we spoke to three experts to lend qualitative insights to our findings:
- Dr Ben Fincham, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at The University of Sussex and author of The Sociology of Fun
- Jools Butterfield, Head of Operations for Lovebox & Citadel Festivals (Mama Group: Wilderness, Lovebox Festival, Citadel Festival, Hammersmith Apollo, The Forum)
- Nichi Hodgson, consultant for dating app Inner Circle, author of The Curious History of Dating, journalist for The Guardian, Vice, The Telegraph and more
Alternatively, come grab a hardcopy at these upcoming events:
Festival & Outdoor Show, Sandown Park Racecourse– B64
International Festival Forum, Proud Camden – Desert Orchard
Showman’s Show – Eventbrite Trade Stand
Connect17 Ireland – Eventbrite Trade Stand