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Yungblud addresses BludFest criticisms: “Music should be accessible to everyone”

Yungblud has defended his new festival, BludFest, from people who have questioned the intent behind the event.

The Doncaster artist announced the event with a free show in Camden Market on Monday (March 18), confirming that it will be headed to Milton Keynes Bowl on Sunday 11 August – featuring a headline set from Yungblud alongside a line-up featuring recent collaborator Lil Yachty, as well as Soft Play, Nessa Barrett, The Damned, Lola Young, Jazmin Bean and many more to be announced. Notably, tickets will be priced at £49.50.

Now, in a video posted to his social media, Yungblud responded to the criticisms of a TikTok user named James who questioned how true the artist’s intent was when he announced the ticket price for BludFest and declared, “Fuck the corporate bullshit!”

“Every now and then this narrative rears its head on the internet that kind of depicts that I’ve had everything given to me, I do nothing at all and I’m this completely massive industry plant who had everything given to him,” Yungblud began.

“That is crazy to me because that is not the case. Everything I do, every idea I have, is literally probably run from a kitchen table with these four people,” he continued, moving his phone camera to show four others sitting in the room alongside him. “We just figure out if we can make it happen.”

Yungblud first addressed criticisms over the “overall authenticity” of the idea and how he can be critical of corporations when the festival is being promoted by a large company like AEG.

“Point 1 – you’re saying that me saying ‘Fuck the corporate bullshit’ when my festival’s being promoted by AEG is slightly hypocritical. Fair enough, that is a fair point. But my promoter’s called Lee, he works at AEG, he’s just come over from America and I believe the way you fuck a corporate system is to change it. It’s to change it from the inside out. We can all sit in a pub and be like ‘Fuck this, fuck that,’ but we don’t get anything done.

“Me and Lee have been having brilliant conversations over the past couple of weeks, being like, ‘How do we make a difference here?’ How do we as a big entity, as a ‘successful’ artist, whether people like it or not, make an actual difference to what is going on right now?’

“That led me to say, ‘I want my tickets for seven plus bands on the festival to be £49.50’. At first people were like ‘Holy fucking shit, what?’ It was important to me that you get to see seven bands, that’s like seven quid a band. You get to see bands all day and keep the price low because I know the cost of living crisis is crazy right now and the system that is in place with gigs and festivals doesn’t represent what normal people are going through and that’s a fact. Music should be accessible to everyone, in my opinion. That’s what I believe, that’s what I fight for, and I don’t know what to say. If you believe me, you believe me, if you don’t, you don’t. I can’t do anything about it.

The artist went on to point out that BludFest remains much cheaper than a day ticket for many other major festivals.

“It’s a one day ticket for a sick festival – Reading and Leeds is £115, Wireless is £80, British Summertime is £150 and that’s just the fact of the matter.”

He also denied that he would make “millions and millions” from the festival, which would somehow render the message of the festival “bullshit”. Indeed, when he first brought up the proposed ticket price to his promoter, he responded by saying “the economics don’t work.” As a result, Yungblud says he is “barely breaking even” from the festival.

“What you’ve got to take into account is that I have to pay each artist fairly and that is already a problem – artists don’t get paid enough money. I have to pay them their fee, then I have to bring their crews over, then I have to bring their lighting over and then I have to bring their stage design over et cetera, then I have to look after the food for them, look after the toilets for them and then I have to look after the security for them.

“Then it gets into the crowd. I am not going to hire a cheap security because I love my fanbase and my community more than everything and I’m trying to make [Bludfest] one of the safest spaces, one of the safest festivals that could be out there at the minute. I am putting so much care and time into security, accessibility. Starting a festival is a lot harder than I ever expected it to be.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 18: Yungblud performs live at the announcement of Bludfest 2024 at Camden Stables Market on March 18, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

“To be brutally honest with you, by paying the artist alone, I am barely breaking even. I am just doing this to start an idea and start a new conversation. In five years’ time, with BludFest’s success, I might make some money but I think that’s fair. You’ve gotta work, I’ve gotta work, this is what it is.

“With everything I have in mind with this festival – to be representative, to listen to people and make people feel seen and to make people feel heard and to bring people together in a sense of love and unity.

He concluded: “It’s an interesting point when I read things about me on the internet and it’s part of whatever this is I’m doing, I’m going to get negativity, I’m gonna get hate, a lot of people think I’m full of shit. A lot of people like me. But when someone is spreading misinformation, that is really damaging to something I’ve worked hard on for probably about three months now.”

Yungblud performs live at the announcement of BludFest 2024 at Camden Stables Market on March 18, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Yungblud performs live at the announcement of BludFest 2024 at Camden Stables Market on March 18, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Yungblud also spoke to NME about his decision to keep ticket prices low.

“I am not ignorant that people come and go to fanbases,” he said. “I’ve done it to many artists – but I want Yungblud to be a constant in people’s lives. If you want to turn to it and feel that feeling again, it’s there all the time. I’m going to do this every year and I hope everyone comes from everywhere. That’s why we’ve kept the ticket prices as low as we can.

He continued: “It’s about £50 for 10 or more bands, all in. That is it; we’re not even making money – we’re just doing it for the fucking tunes. I’m excited. It’s all about saying ‘thank for this moment’. I’ve had so many arguments about the price-point but that’s it.”

Asked what it means to be headlining Milton Keynes Bowl in the footsteps of David Bowie, Queen, Green Day and Linkin Park, Yungblud told NME: “Wow! What the fuck? That’s the fucking mad, isn’t it? BludFest is happening! I’m launching my own festival. I had the idea to do it last November. I just had fucking insomnia one night and thought, ‘What’s the next thing we can do that is really a staple and just pushes the boundaries?’”

He added: “This whole thing has been about fucking with people. When press don’t write about us, when labels don’t want us, when festivals don’t take us seriously, when people don’t take my generation seriously, let’s just poke the bear every time and piss everyone off to see if we can get away with it. We’re a community, we’re getting bigger, we’re gonna do it anyway!”

Yungblud, 2024. Credit: Press
Yungblud, 2024. Credit: Press

Check out our full interview with Yungblud here, where he also discussed taking stock of his career so far, how he built his community of fans, his online spat with The 1975 frontman Matty Healy,  and what to expect from his “positive” new concept album inspired by Oasis, The Verve, Bowie, Suede and Madonna.

This week also saw Yungblud play a surprise gig at Camden Market in London to launch BludFest. Tickets are on sale now and available here.

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