It’s That Time Again…

Analytics, Numerical Data

Festival season is upon us one more and with Glastonbury kicking it all off this past weekend – take a look here at our latest blog post on the success of breaking bands at Glasto – it’s off to a cracking start.

Loud music and frolicking in a large field are all very well, but how does playing a festival affect a band or artists’ wider popularity with the masses? Does it generate a wider awareness of their brand, does it gain them any more fans? Does it have any effect at all many a mud soaked artist may ponder. One obvious hypothesis is that the boost might be bigger for a lesser-known band as opposed to an act who already boasts a large following. However, luckily for you there’s no need to speculate when the numbers are so readily available from us and our dinky little app.

Below we’ve profiled a few of our top festival picks of the summer. Taking a moment to discuss some choice acts and their Musicmetric stats we’re also having a look at how playing a festival might impact on signs of the all important online success or otherwise, which gets right to the heart of how the Musicmetric app delivers valuable insight into the relationship of the online and offline world.

Wireless Festival

1-3 July, Hyde Park, London
More info…

Steadily increasing in size, we come to one of London’s own festivals, although this one is anything but “boutique”: the 65,000-capacity Hyde Park-dwelling Live Nation behemoth that is Wireless Festival celebrates its 7th birthday this year.

Grace Jones, Pulp, Metronomy and The Horrors will be among this year’s headliners at the 3 day festival. Pulp’s suprise slot at Glasto last weekend has already had critics frothing in their wake so we were very keen to take a gander at how their comeback has been building up online.

One unique thing about Musicmetric is its ability to track torrent downloads via peer to peer networks. This can be an invaluable source of data, showing the reality of who is, in fact, listening to what music, regardless of legality. Let’s look at the numbers of people refreshing themselves with the hits so they can join the crowd and sing along and check out bit torrent downloads of Pulp’s classic album “Different Class”:

There has been a steady stream of downloading going on, ranging from 10 down to 0 downloads a day over about a two month period. If say that this averages at 5 or so downloads every day, and you figure that this is an album that came out 16 years ago, the implications could be enormous as far as continued exposure for a band that have just reformed. Viewed in the light of lost revenue perhaps more sobering, but how many T Shirts does that indicate they can probably shift? No matter what your objectives are the data is an invaluable indicator of their longevity.

At the time of writing, Friday tickets for Wireless had sold out, but you can still get tickets for Saturday and Sunday by following this link.

The Shoreditch 1234 Festival

July 9th, Shoreditch Park
More info…

The Shoreditch 1234 Festival, now in its 4th year, is the capital’s own 10,000 capacity boutique festival held in Shoreditch Park each year, celebrating cutting edge music and culture. Conceived by long time promoter and music aficionado Sean McClusky and partnered with the likes of Rough Trade, Vice, and Artrocker, it has quickly become one of the local highlights of many a Londoner’s summer gig calender, and one of the best places to catch some of the brightest up-and-coming acts to emerge on the music scene in the UK and beyond.

If we look at the data chart for number of fans added on Twitter and Facebook, we can see that The Raveonettes are holding fairly steady at just under 200 fans added per day on Facebook, with much less activity on Twitter. Obviously this says their Facebook fanbase is much stronger (with over 90,000 total fans), which is most likely due to the fact that, though they have over 10,000 Twitter followers, Twitter has a much smaller total user-base than Facebook does. These are important things to keep in mind when looking at the charts and comparing the numbers relative to each other.

The rest of the excellent festival lineup includes Fair Ohs, Stay+ (formerly Christian AIDS), Black Lips, The Proper Ornaments, and Dam Mantle among many, many others. Full lineup at the1234shoreditch.com.

Tip: Get discounted Shoreditch 1234 tickets here before they sell out.

Latitude Festival

14-17 July, Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk
More info…

From the folks who bring you the Reading and Leeds Festivals, the much loved (and a bit more laid back) 35,000-capacity Latitude Festival returns to Suffolk for its 6th year this summer. According to the BBC, festival organizers Festival Republic told BBC Suffolk that it had signed up to host the festival at the site for a further 15 year, so they’re obviously planning to stick around. Latitude is the only festival where seeing pink and blue sheep isn’t simply the effect of ingesting certain questionable substances.

Suede, the Cribs, Cocknbullkid, Wanda Jackson, and Dry the River are among the performing musical ranks, while other elements of the fest include theatre, art, comedy, cabaret, poetry, politics, dance and literary angles.

Looking at East London lads Dry the River, who are a relatively new band to the festival scene, it will be interesting to see the effect that playing Latitude will have on their numbers. For a smaller act, a festival spot can act as a real boost to a band’s fanbase. It’s a no-brainer, really; a one stop shop for exposure to masses of people who might not otherwise hear your material, and a chance to play alongside scores of other, more established acts who’s fans’ musical interests might just cross over if you’re lucky.

Tickets for Latitude can be found here.

End of the Road Festival

2-4 September, Larmer Tree Gardens, North Dorset
More info…

One of the last festivals of the season is the aptly named End of the Road Festival. If you’re a fan of roaming peacocks, papier-mâché and beards, then this one is probably already on your radar. If not, listen up. Started in 2006 by two friends, End of the Road is an independent festival focusing on alternative and alt folk music. It takes place in idyllic surrounding of the rolling Dorset hills, and offers up one of the most relaxed festival experiences you’ll find on this fair isle.

Headliners for 2011 include Joanna Newsom, The Fall, Lykke Li, Mogwai and Wild Beasts.

Take a look at Musicmetric’s Combined Sentiment stats for Mogwai, shown below:

We can see from looking at the chart, that the majority of what people are saying about Mogwai online in blogs and other articles is positive or very positive. A great festival performance, or even a newsworthy event happening during the set, if executed correctly or, in the case of fate, if the rock gods smile upon a band, can push this rating in the right direction, obviously bolstering a band’s image and generating good PR and boosting popularity. On the other hand, a sub par performance can really damage an act’s reputation. This is reflected in the act’s sentiment scores, and reflects the general opinion of those journalists and bloggers who can help make or break a band’s career.

Keep your eyes peeled for a follow up post where we’ll recap some festival highlights and take another look at the stats to see what effects festival exposure has had on the bands’ numbers. See you out in the field!

Alex Jones

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