Of Course Amazon Is Putting on a Music Festival

Intersect — featuring Foo Fighters, Kacey Musgraves, Beck and Anderson .Paak alongside a “post-apocalyptic dodgeball stadium” — is not as random a venture as it seems


Amy X. Wang
Kacey MusgravesAustin City Limits Music Festival, Weekend 2, Day 3, Texas, USA - 13 Oct 2019

While Spotify grapples with podcasts and Apple explores bundling albums with other entertainment, Amazon continues to barrel into the music business from entirely other directions. Weeks after throwing a somewhat absurdist concert for Prime Day and debuting high-resolution music streaming, Jeff Bezos’ conglomerate will put on an all-out music festival featuring Kacey Musgraves, Beck, Foo Fighters, Anderson .Paak, Leon Bridges, Chvrches, Brandi Carlisle, and Jamie xx in the Las Vegas desert.

On Wednesday, Amazon Web Services — the tech giant’s cloud computing subsidiary — announced the full lineup for Intersect, its music and technology festival taking place on December 6th and 7th in Las Vegas. Musgraves and Co. will join acts like Snail Mail, Japanese Breakfast, and JPEGMAFIA for the two-day concert, which also boasts a video arcade, 1 million square feet of games and activities, a “post-apocalyptic dodgeball stadium,” a “mega-sized ball pit with over 200,000 balls” and a light show involving “500 Intel drones programmed and flown by a female-led team in a tribute to women’s contributions to advancements in technology,” according to a press release. Intersect, which is presented by AWS and produced by Production Club on the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, will also feature “next-generation visual artists” and a six-story video tower called the “Monolith.”

Intersect’s ambitions are curiously demure: The festival has booked headliners to rival that of Coachella and lined up enough tech projects to bill itself as a mini-SXSW, but Amazon sees the event as just an add-on to its regular conference programming. “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,” said AWS’s vice president of worldwide marketing Ariel Kelman. But the festival’s total randomness in every way, from its aesthetics to its genre-less lineup to its unusual December timing, does cohere with Amazon’s broader attitude of entering new industries with a series of disjoined, diversified strategies.

Tickets are on sale now, starting at $169. The festival’s official poster, which presumably depicts the “Monolith” and other visual installations against a desert backdrop, is below.

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