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HOW UK FESTIVAL GENRES HAVE CHANGED

How have UK festival genres have changed due to diverse acts? We reveal all with this analysis of over 164 UK festival lineups

It’s a known fact that Grime and Glastonbury have a bit of a chequered history whilst rock fans at Reading & Leeds were outraged when headliners like Skepta and Kendrick Lamar were announced in recent years.

This raises the questions; have UK festival line-ups diversified or diluted over time? How have they evolved to move away from their core genre? And when did the shift begin?

THE RESULTS

  • Rock artists at Reading and Leeds have almost halved since the 80s
  • Glastonbury started out with 58.15% of artists in the Rock category in the 70s, which has now dwindled to a mere 17.21%
  • Hip-Hop, RnB, Grime and Reggae now account for more than 10% of headline acts in the last decade at Glastonbury
  • Between 2005-2007 Indie accounted for 35.1% of artists at Wireless, which decreased to just 2.57% between 2014-2016, and 0% the last couple of years
  • Hip-Hop quickly became the focus at Wireless, growing from 4.84% in the first two years, which now stands at 49.43% of all acts
  • Download has remained the most true to its roots with a constant 25% of Metal acts gracing the stage

Blu have analysed 164 line-ups from eight of the most popular UK festivals across their two main stages. We’ve picked out 2 of our favourites for a closer look.

Use the following key to see how things have changed over the past few decades:

GLASTONBURY

The dominance of Rock has been cut dramatically, with Indie music taking the larger share. However, even this has reduced in from 2000’s to the 2010’s.

LEEDS/READING

Check out the stats in a cool interactive tool here: https://www.blu.com/en/GB/feature/the-evolution-of-festival-genres/

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