Festival Attendees: More Loyal to Their Friends Than to the Music

Will your friend take your suggestion on a band to go see at a festival vs what they had already planned? Why yes they will, and it depends on the genre of festival and artist. Just a few weeks ago, we put out a report focusing on the artists whose popularity rose on-site due to word-of-mouth buzz. In this edition of the Festival Demand Report, we now want to take a look at the bigger picture — what does this data look like on a genre specific level for both artists and festivals? What type of festival attendees are swayed the most by popular opinion on-site?

As a recap from our Q2 2017 Festival Demand Report, we look at which shows an attendee added to their schedule before arriving on-site at a festival, versus what they added after the festival began, to establish an On-Site Increase in Popularity for each artist. Using data only from attendees who had created a personal schedule in the app prior to the start of the festival, we calculated the number of schedule-adds each artist gained before the festival began and compared it to the final number that artist obtained by the time their performance ended. Each artist was assigned an Artist Genre and a Festival Genre, which allowed us to generate the aggregated Average On-Site Increase in Popularity by both Artist and Festival Genre. This also allowed us to determine at which genre of festival word-of-mouth holds the strongest influence on attendee behavior.

To start, we looked at how attendees behaved on-site at genre-specific festivals. Turns out the attendees at Pop/Hip-Hop and Rock festivals are much more likely to be swayed by on-site chatter. The Average On-Site Increase in Popularity for an Artist playing at a Pop/Hip-Hop Festival was 23%, and an artist playing a Rock Festival would see an average increase of 22%. Conversely, EDM, Country and Jam Band focused festivals experience a much lower rise in scheduling on-site, with Jam Band festivals coming in the lowest at 8%.

Average On-Site Increase in Popularity by Festival Genre Breakdown

In addition, we also looked at the Average On-Site Increase in Popularity based on the genre of each specific artist, rather than the festival as a whole. Unsurprisingly, the Artist Genres align very closely with their Festival Genre counterparts, as the majority of a festival’s lineup is comprised of artists from that same genre. The only exception is with Hip-Hop/R&B; Artists from this genre see an average 14% On-Site Increase in Popularity, while Pop/Hip-Hop Festivals have an average 23% rise. This is due to the fact that Hip-Hop/R&B Artists can be found playing a wide range of Festival genres, whereas Pop Artists play almost exclusively at Pop/Hip-Hop Festivals. As with Festival Genres, Pop attendees once again seem to react the most to on-site buzz.

To see this more clearly, we blended together the Artist Genre averages with the Festival Genres’. This shows the Average On-Site Increase in Popularity for a certain Artist Genre playing at a certain Festival Genre. For example, an EDM Artist performing a set at a Pop/Hip-Hop Festival will see an Average On-site Increase in Popularity of 27%.

The higher the Average On-Site Increase in Popularity, the more likely attendees are to change their schedule based on what they hear from others on-site. Looking at the genres as a whole, each has an average increase above zero — no matter the genre, festival attendees will be affected by other attendees on-site to some extent.

(Note — in cases of blank values, no Artists from that genre played a Festival of that genre. For instance, only Country Artists performed at Country Festivals.)

On-Site Increase in Popularity — Artist Genre by Festival Genre

Overall, one genre of attendees sticks out as highly influenceable — Pop/Hip-Hop Festival attendees. These attendees are made up of a close-to-even split between male and female, with most fans falling in the age range of 25–34. Now, this may not come as a shock — fans of Pop music are known for jumping on the bandwagon of popular artists. What is more surprising is that not only do Pop and Hip-Hop/R&B Artists see high levels of on-site growth at these festivals, but so do Artists from every other genre. In fact, Pop/Hip-Hop is the only genre of festival where the Artists who see the highest Average On-Site Increase in Popularity are not from the same genre as the Festival. So while Pop/Hip-Hop festival attendees are the most influenceable, it looks like they might also be the most experimental.

Want to read more? Click below to access the rest of this Festival Demand Report.

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