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US festival fans are boozy Hispanic millennials

Festivalgoing Americans are primarily a "young, diverse and music-loving group that also enjoys a good party", reveals a new report by Nielsen

By IQ on 17 May 2016

Bonnaroo 2015, Who's Headed to This Summer's Major Music Festivals?, Nielsen

Bonnaroo in Tennessee looms large in Americans' collective imaginations


image © Instagram.com/bonnaroo

American festivalgoers are more likely to be drink craft beer, be Hispanic and be born between the early 1980s and late ’90s than the average music listener.

Those are some of the findings from market research firm Nielsen, which recently released Who’s Headed to This Summer’s Major Music Festivals?, its latest report into the make-up and behaviour of attendees to the US’s largest festivals.

Nielsen found that nearly half (45%) of US festivalgoers are millennials – that is, those born roughly between 1981 and 1997 – and that attendees are 51% more likely to be Hispanic (with origins in Latin America) and 11% more likely to be “Asian” (Oriental, or south/south-east Asian) compared to music listeners as a whole – something it says isn’t surprising given that “this generation is [more] multicultural [than] any previous generation”.

Americans’ awareness of music festivals as whole has increased in recent years, with Lollapalooza, Coachella and the iHeartRadio Music Festival the most well known. Over half (52%) of the US general public has heard of Lollapalooza, with 36% recognising Coachella – up from 22% in 2013 – and 21% Bonnaroo.

Americans’ awareness of music festivals as whole has increased in recent years, with Lollapalooza, Coachella and the iHeartRadio Music Festival the most well known

While the musical line-up is festivalgoers’ single most important consideration when deciding which events to attend, there is also a strong regional element at play. “For example,” says Nielsen, “Coachella – held in California – largely attracts attendees from the western parts of the US.” Price is also key.

Festival fans aged 21 and over are larger consumers of almost every type of alcohol than the average music listener. US festivalgoers are 38% more likely to drink craft beer than the average music listener, and also count domestically produced wine, vodka, tequila and rum among their tipples of choice.

And around half of American festival attendees share their experiences digitally with friends via photos and text – so those who can’t attend, “and suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), can be part of the experience too”.

American festivalgoers, then, concludes Nielsen, are “a large, young, diverse and music-loving group that also enjoys a good party”. Sounds about right.

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