New year, same old! Tomorrowland announce stage hosts for 2023 – and it’s as bland as a three day old Big Mac…

One phenomenon that Ears To The House documented during 2022 was the McDonald’s festival. In case you’re new here, allow us to briefly explain. When you go to a McDonald’s, you know the menu is going to be almost identical in all of them and you know the food is going to be alright – but nothing exceptional. Which you don’t particularly mind – or at least, we don’t – because a McDonald’s is pretty reasonably priced.

The dance music world seems to have collectively decided at some point that this was the way to go with festivals. Hence why all the big festivals have the same people headlining at them – a great development for those at the highest echelons of the scene, who pretty much have steady work and guaranteed income heading in their direction. Not such good news for the diversity of this scene, one which pays lip service to the idea at the best of times.

But the major difference is in cost. Whereas McDonald’s prices are still sensible, ticket prices for most festivals are going off the scale – comfortably in three figures in many cases, and as far away from the dance music scene’s idyllic roots as you can get. And because the lineups are pretty much the same at them all, when you’ve been to one, you may as well have been to the lot.

So, are things going to change in 2023? Well, Tomorrowland have given us an early indication of what the answer is going to be – namely, a resounding no. The full lineup for this year is due to be announced on Saturday – we might have to make an appearance on our day off for this one – but names already confirmed include Afrojack, Amelie Lens and James Hype. Three names which have graced countless festival lineups already…

Is it too early to confirm this will be another year of McDonald’s style festivals? Possibly – but given Tomorrowland is one of the biggest on the scene, initial signs aren’t exactly filling us with confidence…

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