The Festival Ripple Effect

festival ripple effect

Music festival season is over for the year, leaving rich memories for those who braved the traveling, crowds, and, in some cases, the elements.

The festival scene has exploded over the past few years, and the biggest ones play a large role in the music ecosystem. As such, we figured the data would show a headliner’s great performance at a festival translating into a boost in plays, because nearly everybody at those big festivals watches the headliners. These festivals are such a big deal that news spreading from them means they attract lots of attention, even from far off lands.

So, which artists and festivals spread the biggest listening waves during festival season 2014?

Out of every headliner at all 14 festivals, Pharrell Williams’ Future Music set in Australia preceded the biggest boost worldwide, especially in Australia, as one would expect — but also in The Netherlands.

Top 10 headliners by play increase

  1. Pharrell Williams, Future Music Festival
  2. deadmau5, Future Music Festival
  3. James Blake, Laneway Festival
  4. The Offspring, Ruisrock
  5. M.I.A., Hove Festival
  6. Stevie Wonder, Roskilde
  7. Phoenix, Ruisrock and Future Music Festival
  8. Outkast, Coachella and Way Out West
  9. Arctic Monkeys, Roskilde and Les Vieilles Charrues
  10. Imagine Dragons, Hove Festival

You can listen to them here:


To measure the global influence of each festival, and the effect on each festival on its headliners’ plays, researchers calculated the percentage change in streams for each headliner across all markets, from the two weeks before to the two weeks after each headliner’s performance.

The following global mix of festivals were included in the data pull:

  • BBK Live, ES
  • Coachella, US
  • Future Music, AU
  • Glastonbury UK
  • Hong Kong Dome, HK
  • Hove, NO
  • Laneway, AU
  • Les Vielles Charrues, FR
  • Malasimbo, PH
  • Rainforest World Music Festival, MY
  • Rock Am Ring, DE
  • Roskilde, DK
  • Way Out West, SE

See also: The Bonnaroo Bump

(Top image courtesy of Flickr/draxil)