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Ticketbis: Reading headliners ‘in the wrong spot’

Based on online popularity – including social media followers and streams – the secondary ticketer wants to shuffle this weekend's Reading and Leeds line-ups

By Jon Chapple on 25 Aug 2016

Banners, Sloss Music & Arts Festival, Reading 2016

Underrated: Banners at Sloss Music & Arts Festival

image © Banners

Ten of Reading and Leeds Festivals’ 18 headliners, and 149 of their 186 total acts, are in the wrong position on the bill when taking into account online popularity, new research suggests.

Secondary ticketing outlet Ticketbis, recently acquired by StubHub, has taken it upon itself to help “beleaguered” festival bookers in an age when “looking at chart positions or record sales […] are totally worthless”, by devising a metric for judging the popularity using Facebook fans, Instagram followers, Twitter followers, Last.fm scrobbles, Spotify followers and volume of online searches to give a picture of the internet buzz around an artist.

It has applied this formula to the line-up for this weekend’s festivals, finding that 18 acts should be at least four places higher up the bill, 11 at least four places lower and 10 stage headliners in the wrong spot. Dethroned headliners include Red Hot Chili Peppers, who lose out to Imagine Dragons; Foals, who are replaced by Disclosure; and Biffy Clyro, who fall prey to Fall Out Boy.

“The internet has definitely made it really difficult to get a grasp on just who anyone is and what they’re worth anymore, which makes festival bookers’ jobs all the more difficult”

Explaining Ticketbis’s logic for the exercise, Lesanti says: “Booking a festival isn’t an easy job: Coordinating the schedules of hundreds of bands over loads of different stages, working around egos, flights and tour stops and, of course, making sure the biggest bands play at the top of the bill, to the biggest crowds.

“The internet has definitely made it really difficult to get a grasp on just who anyone is and what they’re worth anymore, which must make the festival booker’s job all the more difficult. We decided to help beleaguered bookers by figuring out a metric of our own for judging popularity in the internet age.”

See Ticketbis’s revamped Reading/Leeds line-up (the real one can be viewed here) below:

Reading and Leeds 2016 line-up by online popularity, Ticketbis


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