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Record audience for BBC Glastonbury coverage

A record-high 21m people tuned into BBC Music's coverage of Glastonbury 2017, with Ed Sheeran's set also achieving record viewership for a BBC Glasto programme

By IQ on 27 Jun 2017

Ed Sheeran, Glastonbury 2017, BBC Music, Iwona Pinkowicz

Ed Sheeran attracted an average of 2.9m viewers

image © Iwona Pinkowicz

The BBC’s 21st year covering Glastonbury Festival was also most successful, the corporation announced today, with BBC Music’s television and online coverage of the event reaching a record audience of almost 21 million.

A total of 20.9m people watched the BBC’s Glastonbury TV coverage for at least three minutes – a 12% increase on 2016 – with Ed Sheeran’s closing slot on Sunday night achieving a record high for a Glastonbury programme of 2.9m, replacing previous recordholder ELO, who achieved 2.4m last year.

With 4.1m, Sheeran also broke the record one-minute peak audience figure.

Other strong performers included Barry Gibb’s 6pm ‘Legends’ slot, broadcast on BBC Two, which achieved an average audience of 2.48m; Elbow’s surprise performance on Friday evening, which was seen by 784,000 BBC Four viewers; and Friday and Saturday’s headliners, Radiohead and Foo Fighters, who drew in an average of 811,000 and 1.6m, respectively.

“We’re delighted this year’s Glastonbury Festival has been enjoyed by a record number of people”

“We’re delighted that this year’s Glastonbury Festival has been enjoyed by a record number of people,” says the BBC’s director of radio and music, Bob Shennan.

“BBC Music was able to bring audiences such an incredible range of genres, from grime [to] reggae, rock and pop, [and] memorable sets including Ed Sheeran, who made his Glastonbury debut only six years ago on the BBC Music Introducing Stage, and legendary artists Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Barry Gibb – and all under a shining sun, for a change.”

In keeping with its commitment to impartiality, the BBC did not broadcast Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s appearance at the festival, although it has been criticised by some right-wing press, including the Daily Mail, for allegedly disseminating “left-wing propaganda” online and on radio.


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