Music Industry

Published on July 9th, 2019 | by Alan Cross


Interesting: How the genre balance at Glastonbury has evolved over the year

Glastonbury is the world’s best-known music festival, so what happens there is scrutinized by the both the music and festival industry. A British company called iProspect has deconstructed Glastonbury in terms of musical genres over the decades.

Back in the 70s, a little more than 58% of the acts at Glastonbury fell into the Rock category. Today, rock makes up just 17% of the acts.

Well, what about other UK festivals? There are also similar analyses of Reading/Leeds, Download, Isle of Wight and more.

& Leeds

  • Rock artists at Reading and Leeds have almost halved since the 80s
  • Whilst ‘Dance’ acts have increased by 10%
  • Hip Hop, RnB, Grime and Reggae acts now account for one in 10
    artists, of which there were none in 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


  • Dance festival Lovebox kicked off with 43% of artists in the
    ‘dance’ genre in its first two years, which now only accounts for 26%
  • RnB and Soul artists at Lovebox were far and few between at the
    start (>4%) but now account for almost one in five artists (19%)

Isle of

  • Isle of Wight and Download have stayed closest to their roots.
  • At Isle of Wight festival, Rock and Indie have always been large
    fangroups, starting out with 38% and 33% respectively in the first four
    years, with both categories decreasing by less than 10% over the course of
    events – significantly less than the likes of Glastonbury and Reading
    & Leeds.
  • Pop music accounted for just 2.5% of acts between 2002-2006 and now
    accounts for more than 10% – showing the festival has embraced more
    ‘mainstream’ artists


  • Metal music has remained at a constant proportion throughout
    Download’s history, making up one quarter (25%) of acts on the main and
    second stages
  • The coverage of Emo and Death Metal bands has reduced from 12% to
    just 5%, and even reached a low of 3.6% between 2011-2014
  • Newer sub-genres like Rap Rock have grown in popularity over the
    years with presence increasing from a 1.8% to 5.5%


  • Known for it’s dance festival scene, Creamfields is home to some of
    the world’s top DJ’s
  • Techno has decreased significantly since the first event in 2001,
    dropping from a 17% presence to less than 2% in recent years
  • Trance has also reduced as a category but not as much as Techno,
    dropping from 32% down to just 9%
  • Whilst EDM, Electro and Tropical House have all grown in
    attendance. EDM has made the biggest jump from 2% to 28% during the 17
    year period analysed


  • Known for it’s tribute to world music, Boomtown is filled with
    Reggae and Dub artists but in previous years we’ve seen a large drop in
    the number of artists in this category. Between 2009-2010 they accounted
    for 39% of acts but dropped to less than 10% (7.49%) between 2013-2014,
    and has since seen a resurgence making up one fifth of acts in 2017-2018.
  • The number of Trance, House and Dubstep artists has gradually
    increased since the start


  • Wireless kicked off with a 35% proportion of acts in the Indie
    genre category in the first two years, which then halved between 2008-2010
    – the other half taken up by an influx of Hip Hop artists.
  • This shift away from Indie and towards Hip Hop, RnB and Grime
    continued over the years, which resulted in 49% of acts in 2017-2018 being
    Hip Hop and no Indie acts present.
  • Grime acts increased from 3% to 19%
  • RnB saw growth from less than 1% of artists to 7% in recent years

Go here for more.

Tags: ,

About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to Top ↑

  • EntertainmentTO

    Music Tech MeetUp

    EntertainmentTO is the best way to expand your knowledge and network within Toronto’s Entertainment Tech community. Our mission is to inspire and empower those interested in shaping the future of Entertainment, including music, video, sports, and gaming.

    EntertainmentTO is led by Alan Cross, best known nationally and internationally as host of the syndicated radio series The Ongoing History of New Music, The Edge, Q107, and more.

    Join us as we bridge the gap between technology, innovation, and entertainment.

  • Twitter