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Everybody knows that the line-up at any music festival is extremely important, but surprisingly for some it doesn’t even matter. Our State of Play research reveals that festivals are about far more than who is performing across the weekend.
Beyoncé headlining Glastonbury, Slipknot at Download, Stormzy topping the bill at Wireless or Pendulum Trinity at Creamfields? Sure, that’s cool… but with more fans than ever attending festivals each year, the results show people are driven by much more than the music acts alone, with factors such as location, community vibe, and food & drink selection proving equally important.
Fans of rap, grime and hip-hop genres ranked higher on the ‘need-to-know more’ of the line-up before booking, over pop and rock fans who were more interested in the headliners. For some, discovering new music is key, as half our participants admit enjoying a previously unheard act at a festival.
Additional influences range from food and drink choices – gone are cheap burgers and beer in favour of clean eating and water. More than three quarters of fans said they’d prefer hot weather, with Londoners being the most accepting of differing climates. Clean toilets are now also less of a priority than in 2012, but that’s most likely because standards have dramatically improved in the last few years.
Given that only a small amount book before the line-up is announced, there’s still a huge percentage who either wait for the acts to be confirmed or choose festivals based on other factors, but for all adventure sits at the heart of the festival experience.
Header photo by Jen O’Neill/Latitude