Headliners Sell the Tickets, Up & Comers Move the Needle

In the 2016 Year End Festival Demand Report, we discovered that, overall, attendees do not go to music festivals to discover new music. They go to experience the bands they already know and love. However, with every general consensus, there are always outliers — bands and artists that fall outside the norm — and we began to wonder who those outliers were. In order to break past the habit of only going to see familiar acts, an artist would need to generate a bit of buzz to draw in a new audience — some kind of “word of mouth” appeal.

To kickstart this edition of the Festival Demand Report (and to satisfy our own curious minds) we began by asking “What if we were to look at how people behaved before and after they got on-site? What if word of mouth could have influenced attendee behavior?” To answer this, we looked at the core functionality of our apps — scheduling. Scheduling is one of the clearest ways to measure an artist’s overall popularity at a festival. By looking at what a user added to their schedule after arriving on-site, versus what they had added to their schedule beforehand, we would be able to see which artists saw a jump in their popularity after the festival began and garnered the coveted “word of mouth” endorsement.

We narrowed down the data to include only users who had created a My Schedule prior to the festival beginning, therefore excluding users who hadn’t downloaded the app until arriving on-site. Using the data from this segment, we calculated the number of schedule adds each artist gained before the festival began. We then compared it to the number that artist obtained by the time their performance ended, resulting in an On-Site Increase in Popularity for each artist. To look at the artists who were truly above average, we excluded artists whose popularity didn’t match the overall rise in scheduling that occurs after a festival begins.

To look at this by artist, rather than by festival, we calculated the average of each artist’s On-Site Increase in Popularity across every festival that they performed at, filtering out artists who had performed at only one festival. From this list, we determined the Top 20 Artists whose popularity increased the most on-site at festivals.

Top 10 Artists with the Most Buzz On-Site

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