ROSTR x IQ MAG PRESENT

Who Booked Europe's Summer Festivals?

We partnered with IQ Magazine to analyze the lineups of 50 of Europe's top music festivals in 2023.

We dig into the booking agencies that booked the artists, the genres dominating the lineups, how old festival headliners are and some crazy stats for just how male-dominated headline slots are…

The Agencies

The agencies ranked by how many slots they booked. Top to bottom, left to right

Wasserman have been dominating lineups we’ve been tracking recently. Partly thanks to having the largest roster of any agency we're tracking (2.5K artists). Followed by CAA (2.1K), UTA (1.8K), WME (1.5K)

Agency Share of Headliners

Headliners by the agency that booked them, grouped by gender or solo/bands

  • 4 majors - Wass, CAA, WME & UTA booked 60% of all headliners

  • Wasserman booked the most artists

  • CAA booked the most headliners

  • Outside of the majors, very few agencies booked a female headliner. 

Most Booked Artists

The artists who made the most appearances across the 50 festivals

  • 4.7K different artists appeared across the 50 lineups

  • Nothing But Thieves (Wass) & Nova Twins (K2) appear on the most lineups (11 each)

  • 146 different artists headlined at least 1 lineup

  • Billie Eilish (Wass), Arctic Monkeys (13 Artists) & ROSALÍA (UTA) headlined the most lineups (6)

  • Just ~800 artists appear on more than 1 lineup (~18%)

Genre - All Artists

How all artists on all 50 lineups break-down by genre

Genre - Headliners

How headlining artists break-down by genre

  • Rock/Indie acts account for the majority of artists across all lineups.

  • Dance/EDM is the second largest genre, followed by Pop and then HipHop.

Headliner Age

Age of headliners across all 50 festivals

AVERAGE AGE

43

MEDIAN AGE

40

Headliner Longevity

Headliners broken down by how long they’ve been active

  • While headliners aged 20-40 account for nearly ½ of all headliners booked, the median age of headlining acts is Gen X musicians.

  • 53% of headliners have been active for less than 20 years… but that means 47% have been active longer than 20 years.

Editor's note: this chart is a real glass half full / empty scenario. On the one hand, more than half of the artists headlining stages are relatively early (under 2 decades into their career) - a decent pipeline. But on the other hand, a full quarter of the headliners have been active for more than 30 years. With 5% being active more than 50(!) years.

Editor's real opinion: this looks ok but we're not sure it is. We don't know what the median age of an attendee at these festivals is but we'd guess it starts with a 3. That would mean that 1 in 4 headliners across 50 festivals started their career before the majority of the crowd were born. Just under half started their career while most of the crowd were under 10. And this isn't just the monster festivals… this is across 50 diverse festivals in 20+ countries.

Gender Balance of Lineups

All artists, all 50 festivals

Gender Balance of Headliners

Gender of headliners, solo vs individuals in bands

69%

69%

31%

31%

31%

94%

94%

6%

6%

90%

90%

Out of every human (solo or band member) who played on a stage during a headline slot... 90% of them were men.

  • Across all 50 festivals, 64% of the artists booked were men. 35% were women. 1% non-binary.

  • Amongst headliners 90% of all headliners were men.

  • For solo acts, 69% of headliners were men.

  • For groups/bands, 94% of all individuals who headlined were men.

Editor's note: we analyzed all of the groups/bands that headlined any of the 50 festivals. Out of those bands there were 320 individual band members. Out of those, just 20 were women. That means that 94% of all the humans who played in a band during a headline slot were men. Pretty wild. Overall, when combine with solo acts, that means that 90% of all headliners across 50 European festivals this year were men. Ninety. Percent.

About

This analysis was originally published as a collaboration with IQ Magazine for the September edition of their magazine.

The report combines IQ's expert insight on the European live business with ROSTR's unique data on artists and relationships across the music industry.

The report is based on analysis of the artist lineups from the following 50 festivals across Europe in 2023:

BST Hyde Park, Balaton Sound, Bilbao BBK Live, Colours of Ostrava, Down The Rabbit Hole, Download, EXIT Festival, Electric Castle, Electric Love Festival, Electric Picnic, Firenze Rocks, Flow Festval, Frequency Austria, Glastonbury Festival, Hellfest, Hurricane/Southside Festival, I-DAYS, Isle of Wight Festival, Les Eurockéennes, Lollapalooza Berlin, Lollapalooza Paris, Lowlands, Mad Cool, NOS Alive, NorthSide, Nova Rock, Open Air St Gallen, Open'er Festival, Paleo Festival Nyon, Pinkpop, Pohoda, Primavera Sound Barcelona/Madrid, Primavera Sound Portugal, Pukkelpop, Reading & Leeds Festivals, Rock Werchter, Rock am Ring, Rock en Seine, Rock for People, Rolling Loud Portugal, Roskilde Festival, Ruisrock, Superbloom, Sweden Rock Festival, Sziget Festival, Tomorrowland, Victorious Festival, Wacken Open Air, Way Out West, Øyafestivalen