The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


EU festivals rank as fastest growing worldwide

New research examines daily capacity growth among festivals, showing Mad Cool as fastest-growing newbie and Glastonbury with strongest increase in attendees overall

By Anna Grace on 30 Jul 2019

Research examines fastest-growing festivals

Mad Cool festival has increased capacity by 35,000 in three years

image © Mad Cool

European festivals including Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), Glastonbury Festival, Boomtown and Mad Cool are among the fastest-growing events in recent years, according to new research by StubHub.

The research shows the capacity increases of 50 festivals worldwide, ranking the fastest-growing in terms of percentage growth. Out of the music festivals examined, leading electronic festival and business conference ADE came out as the most rapidly growing event overall.

The multi-venue festival, which this year takes place from 16 to 20 October, has grown to more than 230 times its original size, from just 300 in 1995 to 70,000 in latest editions. Last year, ADE welcomed a record-breaking 400,000 visitors across five days.

Increasing capacity from 1,500 to 135,000 (210,000 including all staff), Glastonbury Festival has the strongest growth of any participating event in terms of raw numbers. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival also showed impressive growth, up to 60,000 capacity from its original 350 in 1970.

Adding more than 11,000 fans per year, Madrid’s Mad Cool festival has expanded rapidly in its four years of activity

Adding more than 11,000 fans per year, Madrid’s Mad Cool festival has expanded rapidly in its four years of activity. The festival, which this year was headlined by Bon Iver and the Cure, has increased capacity by almost 80% since its inaugural edition, from 45,000 to 80,000.

Founded in 2009, the UK’s Boomtown Fair has undergone the biggest growth of the past decade. The event, which started out with just one stage and 1,000 guests, has increased capacity by 65,000 people in its lifetime.

India’s Magnetic Fields festival, founded in 2013, recorded the second fastest growth of the decade, expanding 500% to a capacity of 3,000.

European festivals made up 13 of the top 20 fastest growing events on the list. US festival South by Southwest, Electric Daisy Carnival (Las Vegas) and Ultra Music Festival in Miami also showed strong growth.

Lake of Stars festival in Malawi – the only African festival to appear in the research –also makes it into the top 20, although remaining relatively small. The boutique festival now accommodates 5,000 attendees, up from 700 in its first year.

A full list of results can be found here.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.