Amazon primed to enter music festival scene with Intersect


Joel C. Bautista | The Ticker

Farah Javed, Managing Editor

On Dec. 6 and 7, Inc., will be holding its first music festival, Intersect, in Las Vegas. It is presented by Amazon Web Services, a sect of the company dedicated to technology.

Since 2012, Amazon has hosted a private celebration, and “Intersect was born out of the massive after-party for AWS’s annual re:Invent conference.” This year, Amazon has decided to make the event open to the public.

Amazon has begun expanding into the music scene.

Most notably, on July 16 Amazon streamed a huge concert for Prime Day with actress Jane Lynch hosting. Although famous stars performed, the much-anticipated event found itself with lackluster reviews.

One journalist hated the experience so much, he said, “As Alexa launches into an original rap about Jane Lynch, I can feel my soul scream to be delivered back into the ethereal mush of the pre-born realm, to begin again brand new.”

The event was widely recognized by many as a giant cringey advertisement for the company. Evidently, this did not deter Amazon in the slightest.

Lasting two days, Intersect will include an array of artists across all genres from indie to rap like Kacey Musgraves, Snail Mail, H.E.R., Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Japanese Breakfast and JPEGMAFIA.

On top of this eclectic assortment of guests, Amazon will also feature an enormous video game arcade, a dodgeball stadium described as post-apocalyptic, a ball pit with over 200,000 balls and it will showcase a light show programmed by a female-led team with 500 Intel drones.

The event is sponsored by Coca-Cola and Intel, with the former providing food and drinks along with world famous caterers like Wolfgang Puck.

Amazon’s sudden decision to host a festival has prompted people to ask what the purpose or ulterior motive for it is.

According to an Amazon press release from Oct. 16, the company simply aims to provide an entertaining experience for its fans.

The Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at AWS, Ariel Kelman, explained that “Music has been an uncanny unifier of people over the years. We’ve built a pretty amazing and unusual live music experience at our annual AWS conference that attendees have loved; and with Intersect, we’re excited to extend this unique event into a two-day, public music festival.”

The public, however, will have to pay a steep price to attend. General Admission tickets are $99 for one day and $169 for both days.

A VIP two-day pass is $249 and a VIP+ pass is $849. The Intersect website does not entail what the difference between VIP and VIP+ is or what each pass entails.

In fact, there are no photos of what the festival may look like on the website.

Instead, there are photos from past Amazon conferences that were not open to the public.

Though Amazon describes the event as a fun musical experience set to be bigger than Coachella, the event has not received much positive press.

Performers announced to perform weren’t made aware that Amazon was hosting the event or even knew they were hired by the company. American DJ, The Black Madonna, who was set to perform furiously tweeted, “This issue is not just ideological for me, it is a moral and ethical transgression against my work, my faith and most importantly the people I stand with.”

She went on to discuss how she was not asked to perform, and that AWS has business dealings and ties with ICE, which she does not support.

With backlash from performers and high prices, curious viewers will have to wait until Dec. 6 to see if the festival is a success.