The best and worst festivals to the reasons we refuse to attend – you took our ultimate festival survey and the answers are in.
In August 2016, whilst the UK was in peak festival season, we asked all of our social media followers to weigh in on a variety of festival related questions. We asked which were your favourite festivals to go to, which festivals you weren’t so keen on and whether atmosphere alone was enough reason to make the trek to a muddy field with your wellies and festival essentials. There were some clear winners when it came to picking favourites, and some eye opening reasons for people not going to festivals.
3 Favourite Festivals
We asked our entrants to select 3 of their favourite festivals in the UK. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Glastonbury topped out with 20% of the vote, with the likes of Reading & Leeds festival trailing close behind. T In The Park was a big draw, with the likes of V, Download, Kendal Calling and Liverpool Sound City proving popular, whereas the “Other” category featured Bestival, Sonisphere and Latitude quite heavily.
Best International Festivals
As far as international festivals go, meaning those not based in the UK, there was a clear favourite with Coachella, topping out at nearly 9% of our poll. This was closely followed by Benicassim at 8%, Wacken Open Air with just over 5%, Rock AM ring with 5% and Lollapalooza with 4%.
Please pick the 3 most important deciding factors that contribute to you going to a festival.
As we said before, there are loads of different festivals out there to choose from, yet none of (unless we’re professional musicians) tend to get to all of them in the year. So we tend to decide which ones are the best for us and pick a selection. With that in mind, we asked our entrants what the 3 most important factors were to choosing a festival over another. The most common deciding factors were the headline act/artist, ticket price and the atmosphere. Another big deciding factor was the fact whether or not someone’s friends were attending, showing just how important it is for people to be able to attend with their friends. Distance from home played a large factor, and whether or not alcohol was allowed too.
In your opinion, which festival would you say is the most popular?
There was a clear winner when it came to public perception of the most popular festival, with Glastonbury taking nearly 90% of the vote.
To attend Glastonbury, you have to buy tickets before the line-up is announced. Do you still buy tickets for this festival without knowing who is playing?
The fact you can be registered for tickets for Glastonbury early, without knowing seems to be a deterrent for most people, with nearly 53% stating that they would not choose to risk buying a ticket without knowing who’s playing. Some people decided that they would roll the dice on occasion and spring for ‘glasto’ tickets without ever knowing who was playing – perhaps the atmosphere alone is the reason for attending?
Are there any festivals you would not attend? Please state which festival and why.
We asked our entrants to tell us whether there were any festivals they definitely would not attend. Although a vast majority had nothing negative to say about any festival, opting for N/A, it seems that Glastonbury, V Festival and T In The Park may irk a few festival goers. 15% voted to that they would not attend Glastonbury, stating that the rain and mud would put them off. 7% said that V-Festival was not their ideal place to watch bands stating that they did not like the line-up or the atmosphere. 6% said that they would not attend T In The Park, with many stating that it was too far to travel and the atmosphere was not positive.
How likely are you to attend a festival this year?
We asked our entrants how likely they were to attend a festival this year (2016) with 5 being highly likely and 1 being not at all. Interestingly 35% said they would attend where 23% said that they definitely would not.
Have you already attended a festival this year?
Over 44% of entrants said they had already attended a festival this year, whereas over half said that they had not.
How likely are you to attend a festival again?
Over 50% said that they would attend a festival again at some point where nearly 7% of entrants said that the likelihood of them attending a festival at some point is highly unlikely.
How do you usually find out about festivals?
Finding out information about festivals seems to be fairly straightforward, with entrants stating that they used Social Media predominantly to find out about Festivals, and 22% using Festival websites, whereas nearly 20% would find out which ones to attend through word of mouth. Some common appearances in the “Other” section, where band mailing lists.
If you do use social media, which social media outlets do you most often use to find out about festivals?
Facebook was the clear winner in regards to how people found out about their favourite festivals via social media, showing that the platform still has a huge audience.
Besides ticket price, how much do you usually spend at a festival over a 2-3 day period when camping.
We asked people how much they would usually spend when camping at a festival. Nearly 35% said they would spend up to £200 over a 2-3 day period. 23% said they would spend more than £200, whereas nearly 5% were quite thrifty, spending £20 or less during their stay – we’d love to know how!
What type of setting do you prefer your festival to take place in?
Festivals can take place in a variety of areas, with some being spread out across a variety of different venues, large marquees, but those in open fields and outdoor festivals are still the favourites with 70% stating that they preferred watching acts in a field.
If you had to choose one option, how do you prefer to buy food/drink?
We all know festival food and drink prices can be somewhat more expensive, so we asked our entrants how they preferred to buy stuff. 62% said they would prefer to buy their food and drink beforehand and take it in with them, whereas 38% chose a more convenient option and bought their food and drink once inside.
How many festivals do you attend a year on average?
With the sheer amount of festivals out there to choose from, we can attend as many or as little as we want. It seems there’s a new festival popping up every year, so we asked our entrants how many festivals they usually attend per year. Nearly 56% said they would only attend 1, where 40% said they would attend 2-3 per year. A very small number said they would try and reach more than 4 per year.
How do you normally travel to festivals?
Travelling to and from festivals can sometime be a nightmare for those who want to enjoy a weekend of music thanks to traffic jams and sometimes the logistical impossibilities – seriously, organising a lift can be tough! We asked our attendees how they preferred to get to a festival with a vast majority stating that they would travel by car. Train, car sharing and bus/coach was also a popular option. To those who said fly – we’re jealous.
If you have stayed overnight at a festival, would you usually camp or get a hotel?
Camping isn’t for everyone, yet a huge number of people love nothing more than sleeping in a tent! 68% of people said they would be happy to camp at a festival, where 32% said that they hate mud and want the comfort of a hotel room – totally understandable.
Please pick 3 things that would put you off going to a festival.
We asked people which aspects would put them off going to a festival. Unsurprisingly, acts and artists play a huge part in the decision process, yet price of tickets was also a clear factor. The likes of bad weather, distance, price of food and the ubiquitous mud played a part. Interestingly, the “Other” category included statements that the likes of a “loutish clientele” and “lack of safety” would put them off.
The age range of festival attendees was mixed, with 18-24 yr. olds taking majority, however those aged 40+ were still interested in festivals and actively chose to attend.
Thank you to everyone who took part in our festival survey.
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Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns.
After releasing two albums, a myriad of EPs / singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.
Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.