Who should headline Glastonbury 2017


After the announcement that Radiohead will be Friday’s headline act for Glastonbury 2017, the rumours around who else will take to the prestigious Pyramid stage are spreading like wild fire.

Using Starcount’s signature, data-driven approach, let’s take a look at who the UK Glastonbury audience would go wild for during the weekend.

If we look at our more recent data, we are able to predict who festival organisers can be confident will be a massive hit amongst the crowd.  Shifting our focus to the past 6 months, our data has uncovered an old favourite who's recently started exciting the UK Glastonbury audience again: The Gorillaz. The festival goers who have only become interested in the Gorillaz since April account for a massive 12% of all Glasto-come-Gorillaz fans - 4 times the increase of the festival itself. What’s more, this spike has rocketed The Gorillaz's importance score up 80 ranks.

For the past 8 years, Glastonbury has been heading off-piste to find their headliners, scouring the urban scene to bring some fresh faces to the festival. The first of the controversial musicians, Jay Z, headlined in 2008. The rapper's importance to the Glastonbury audience is less than half of that of Kings of Leon, Friday’s headline act that same year. Given this insight, perhaps Oasis frontman, Noel Gallagher, had a point when he protested against Jay taking the headline slot.

Their next attempt at introducing Hip-Hop to the festival was in 2011, with Beyoncé. While our insight shows that she is twice as important to UK Glastonbury goers as her husband Jay Z, her popularity pales in comparison to established Glasto heavy-weights. Coldplay, for example, who she was pitted against in 2011, are 1.5 times more important to Glasto goers than Bey. In fact, to this day they are the band with the highest penetration into the UK Glastonbury audience, with over a quarter being fans of the band.

If organisers decide to go down the urban route one more time in 2017, the data shows a clear winner: Professor Green. Could he be the one to win over Glastonbury goers from their indie roots? With the same penetration into the Glastonbury audience as 2015's controversial headliner, Kanye West, but a 25% higher importance score, he is their best shot.

Despite Glastonbury’s effort to shake it up, the original indie bands still reign victorious for the Glastonbury Audience. When in doubt, the organisers could never go wrong with the likes of the Arctic Monkeys, and Liam and Noel Gallagher, who penetrate a 5th of the audience each and are still 3 out of 5 of the most important artists for the festival.

Will the organisers play it safe or will they opt for the unexpected? Only time will tell.