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Jack White, Festival Pro, Calls Festivals ‘a Necessary Evil’

Jack White playing a damn festival / Photo by Getty Images

Lollapalooza. Austin City Limits. Outside Lands. Sasquatch. Hangout. Firefly. Voodoo. Those are just a handful of the gazillion-plus festival gigs Jack White has taken this year, and he still has more to go. In an interview ahead of the iTunes Festival in London this weekend, though, the former White Stripes frontman acknowledged to the BBC that festivals aren’t his ideal setting.

White reportedly characterized fests as “a necessary evil in the business,” once again comparing them to parties. “I don’t get excited about festivals — they’re not my favorite place to play,” he’s quoted as saying. He cited as fests’ pluses the “exposure to people who never come and see you,” along with all the money such events offer, but maintained that “they’re not my first choice to perform music.”

It could be the Blunderbuss maestro just doesn’t ask for enough booze-and-sun time on his festival rider. “Everyone’s drinking and lazing in the sun and walking arond and that’s a fun thing for them but it’s not interesting for me,” White told the BBC. “I’m not trying to be negative, it’s just never been too exciting for me.”

To be clear, this is hardly the first time White has made his distaste for festivals known. Just a few months ago, in an interview posted on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, White said, “Festivals have never been my favorite place to play,” adding that, “It’s not a good environment for any kind of performance.”

Before fans make like the former Creed faithful and ask for their money back, however, they should know that he was only making a relative comparison. He explained to Maron that prefers club shows, which he considers more music-focused and less like a party. Aw, Jack, does this mean you don’t want to party with us?