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?


  • 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:


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.


Check out the stats in a cool interactive tool here: