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The one place millennials will feel a slumping loonie the most

March 31st, 2015 by

It's hot, it's dirty and it's really, really loud


They can survive on ramen noodles and walking everywhere while the loonie tries to regain its footing - but here's something a few millennials won't be so willing to give up: The summer music festival.

Okay, yes, that's probably way stereotypical - and okay, yes, we mean every word of it. Alright, fine - it isn't only millennials we'll be seeing line up for their favourite bands at festivals across the country. In fact, most of us can likely admit to having the odd fantasy (or memory) of dancing barefoot in flower headpieces and linen sundresses, accompanied by soulful acoustic guitar.

Time to take a pin prick to that dream bubble (sorry) - festival programmers are saying those fantasies-turned-realities are about to balloon in price thanks to a weakened Canadian dollar.

As Laurent Saulnier, programmer for the Montreal International Jazz Fest, explained to the Montreal Gazette, a slumping loonie means that, although festivals will still have to be paying the usual rates to their festival performers in US currency, they'll also still be expected to charge the usual fees to their Canadian fans. In short: Not gonna happen. 

Strength in green numbers

It's for this reason Chanel is in the midst of giving its entire pricing structure a second look over; and why Versace isn't far behind. American companies that have expanded overseas are feeling the hit of a strengthened greenback against foreign currencies while companies like H&M, which report in foreign currencies but make a chunk of their transaction sales in the US, are reporting stronger-than-expected profits.

And now, "investors are taking a cautious approach as they await earnings data that will indicate how much the stronger US dollar is hurting the bottom lines at American multinational companies," reported a recent Times Colonist article.

But if millennials aren't feeling the hit of changing exchange rates over at Chanel, Versace, and big American multinational chains as investors are - they'll feel it here.

Music to our ears

There are 28 major music festivals taking place in Canada this year, according to Indie88. Last year, music festival buzz blew up by 34 percent compared to the season prior, with millennials dominating 75 percent of the online talk, according to a study by EventBrite and social media research company Mashwork. One in four of those conversations were by means a live stream, literally giving non-festival-goers a peek through the gates. As a result, 70 percent of people have said they're more likely to attend a festival in the future after being given the virtual experience.

Last year, Coachella, America's largest music festival, pulled in more than $78 million over two weekends with a record breaking half a million attendees. Meanwhile, the UK has a seen a drop in festival goers as a result of increasing prices. In 2013, the Daily Mail reported the average cost of a music festival ticket had soared to £423.01 ($784.43 CAD) and 60 percent of 18 to 24 year olds were vowing to never attend one because of costs

Something's got to give

Ultimately, Montreal's festival programmers don't want to "pass on the entire cost of the exchange-rate situation to the ticket buyers," but there "will be a price increase, for sure," Saulnier added. This may suggest hurting the bottom line is, seemingly, unavoidable - for both the programmers and the festival goers.

The flower headpieces had better be worth it. 


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