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Garrett_Salas

Timing of lineup

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Hey relative newbie here,

Probably been discussed before (apologies!) but wondered if there was a specific reason glasto announced the line-up so late on? I've been going for a few years and one of the frustrations is that - outside of those that announce themselves - you get so little time to check out the bands on the lineup. Most festivals seem to announce around this current time and you get to spend ~6 months giving acts a proper listen before deciding to see them. For glasto it can seem like a big rush to try and listen to bands you don't really know, don't get me wrong - one of my favourite things is discovering a new act by just sticking round a stage but there are also times I've missed bands I turn out to really enjoy later on.

I understand the possibility that there simply is no line-up yet, which begs the question why they seem to do it so much later than others?

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because Michael Eavis is the root of all evil

 

he come across as all nicey nicey will do anything for anyone, but deep down his heart is black.

 

(there will be a reason for this, most likely something to do with bigger bands not wanting to damage tickets sales for their tours, but I prefer mine)

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With so many different stages and each one having individual bookers I imagine it takes time to get everything in line. Then you have acts holding out for more money, not wanting to announce early to protect sales, waiting to see if a better offer comes along...

Plus the Eavii enjoy making us wait.

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28 minutes ago, Garrett_Salas said:

Hey relative newbie here,

Probably been discussed before (apologies!) but wondered if there was a specific reason glasto announced the line-up so late on? I've been going for a few years and one of the frustrations is that - outside of those that announce themselves - you get so little time to check out the bands on the lineup. Most festivals seem to announce around this current time and you get to spend ~6 months giving acts a proper listen before deciding to see them. For glasto it can seem like a big rush to try and listen to bands you don't really know, don't get me wrong - one of my favourite things is discovering a new act by just sticking round a stage but there are also times I've missed bands I turn out to really enjoy later on.

I understand the possibility that there simply is no line-up yet, which begs the question why they seem to do it so much later than others?

I think the answer is just because they can.   Other festivals scramble to get their line ups out to maximise the sales of their tickets but Glastonbury doesn't need to do this when it's already sold out in October.

Apparently, in the past line up was only revealed when you arrived at the farm!

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Because Glasto don't pay a lot, so they have to wait for a lot of bands to see if they can get better offers elsewhere. When they haven't, they sign up to Glasto, and Glasto know and shortly after you know.

This is why every years pronouncement of "We've got next years headliners booked!" is always bollocks. 

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If you're looking for more time to get familiar with the acts in advance of the festival why not follow @Brave Sir Robin Spotify playlist;

 

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9 minutes ago, UEF said:

This is why every years pronouncement of "We've got next years headliners booked!" is always bollocks. 

no, that's just Michael. :P 

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As I see it, there are a few reasons and they've managed to create something of a virtuous cycle:

  1. They do it "because they can" - I think it's been a point of pride for Michael to be able to sell out the festival in it's own right.  As for why they don't announce soon after selling out, it makes a bigger impact to drop a loads of names at once, but IMHO it's more to do with the bands...
  2. For the bands, not being announced until later give them more opportunity to sell out their own gigs more easily, without the hundred odd thousand Glastonbury goers deciding not to bother because they'll "see them at Glasto".  It also increases the bargaining position of those acts with the other festivals - you can be a name that Latitude can stick on a poster to help them sell, because you're not advertised as playing Glastonbury. 
  3. Because the festival is so popular, for bands this increases their prestige.  For young/smaller bands particularly, "playing Glasto" is quite a big thing; and the headliners (inc Legend) can get a not insignificant boost in profile from playing and being on the telly.
  4. Given those two advantages, the festival gets away with paying a relative pittance compared to the other "commercial" festival, which means that when you look at the range and quality of the performances, Glastonbury is incredibly good value for money and those savings give the festival a competitive advantage.
  5. This commercial efficiency means that Glastonbury is simply a better festival.  So good in fact, that it can sell out the festival without having to advertise it's lineup before the tickets go on sale, and once the tickets are sold, they can announce the lineup whenever they like. 
  6. See step 1

 

Michael once said that part of the festival's success was "getting in early" - I think he's well aware of how the cool factor+late lineup release allows him to get away with paying bands less, which means that the festival punches above it's weight for the price, which increases the cool factor and allows the lineup to be released late, which means... You get the idea :)  

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pretty much what I'd have said Stu, tho you missed out mention of Glasto paying less primarily because of the good causes that benefit from the money that isn't going to bands ... which factors-in amongst all those other bits.

PS: bands are still getting a decent wedge, just not as much as they might do (particularly towards the top of the bill).

 

Edited by eFestivals

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3 minutes ago, eFestivals said:

pretty much what I'd have said Stu, tho you missed out mention of Glasto paying less primarily because of the good causes that benefit from the money that isn't going to bands ... which factors-in amongst all those other bits.

PS: bands are still getting a decent wedge, just not as much as they might do (particularly towards the top of the bill).

 

Yeah I did think of that, it's certainly an extra factor that allows them to pay less, but I left it out because it's unclear from a commercial standpoint whether the savings from their image as a charitable entity is offset by the amount they actually have to pay out.  The key factor here is that Michael is willing to not take out millions from the enterprise every year - he could arguably have either ploughed that money back into the festival directly to get a similar result on paper as it relates to purchasing power. 

I prefer the way he's chosen to go though, because the charity has an intangible effect on the atmosphere of the festival - especially since (I believe in part if not largely down to Emily) they pulled back on the more overt/visible commercialism  in the noughties. 

If anyone thinks the festival is "too commercial" these days, they obviously didn't start going around the turn of the century when we had the Smirnoff Ice Bar, the Virgin Tent and the Queen's Head, sponsored heavily by Playstation.  Grim days. 

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Few reasons I can see....

1) They don't want to hamper the bands/acts own ticket sales for their gigs. If people have Glasto tickets and band X is on then they wont bother going to band X's solo gig.

2) They don't need to sell tickets the way other festivals do.

3) There are so many stages to book and confirm it just takes that long?

3 shouldn't be much of an issue against just releasing an initial lineup poster of say 20 acts. I do wish they would release the initial poster/lineup before xmas or in the new year... instead of Spring (30th March Last year). 

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20 minutes ago, stuartbert two hats said:

Yeah I did think of that, it's certainly an extra factor that allows them to pay less, but I left it out because it's unclear from a commercial standpoint whether the savings from their image as a charitable entity is offset by the amount they actually have to pay out.  The key factor here is that Michael is willing to not take out millions from the enterprise every year - he could arguably have either ploughed that money back into the festival directly to get a similar result on paper as it relates to purchasing power. 

I prefer the way he's chosen to go though, because the charity has an intangible effect on the atmosphere of the festival - especially since (I believe in part if not largely down to Emily) they pulled back on the more overt/visible commercialism  in the noughties. 

If anyone thinks the festival is "too commercial" these days, they obviously didn't start going around the turn of the century when we had the Smirnoff Ice Bar, the Virgin Tent and the Queen's Head, sponsored heavily by Playstation.  Grim days. 

I'm guessing they needed the sponsorship money back then. Now they really do not need any sponsorship money... I bet some companies would pay an absolute fortune to get in there now too. 

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Has anyone worked out what the going rate for Glasto is? Years ago people used to say 150-250k for the Pyramid top slot but no idea what the scale is now. 

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21 minutes ago, stuartbert two hats said:

Yeah I did think of that, it's certainly an extra factor that allows them to pay less, but I left it out because it's unclear from a commercial standpoint whether the savings from their image as a charitable entity is offset by the amount they actually have to pay out.

I was thinking less about that side of things, and more about how other promoters feel about it as a consequence.

I'd say that ultimately there's a bit of a (no-money) trade-off going on with those other promoters appreciating the good-cause aspect, and alongside the late announcement don't feel the monster its become is stepping on their toes too much.

If Glastonbury was operating as a normal money-making event I reckon those other promoters would be much more commercially hostile towards it, and consequently be more contractually-protective of the acts they're involved with.

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11 minutes ago, Havors said:

I'm guessing they needed the sponsorship money back then. Now they really do not need any sponsorship money... I bet some companies would pay an absolute fortune to get in there now too. 

I think it had more to do with people queuing up to throw huge amounts of money at the festival, as was the norm with all the big festivals back then (and much less now).

While they did allow some horrible sponsorship in, I know from conversations I had that Glastonbury placed very strong restrictions on them, making them far-less visible as those sponsorship things than those sponsors wanted to be.

Even then it was decided as too much, which is why it stopped again.

Edited by eFestivals

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7 minutes ago, UEF said:

Has anyone worked out what the going rate for Glasto is? Years ago people used to say 150-250k for the Pyramid top slot but no idea what the scale is now. 

It was reported The Stones got £750k.

As far as I remember, the next biggest reported number is £300k for Coldplay, but it's possible others have got more.

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12 minutes ago, eFestivals said:

I was thinking less about that side of things, and more about how other promoters feel about it as a consequence.

I'd say that ultimately there's a bit of a (no-money) trade-off going on with those other promoters appreciating the good-cause aspect, and alongside the late announcement don't feel the monster its become is stepping on their toes too much.

If Glastonbury was operating as a normal money-making event I reckon those other promoters would be much more commercially hostile towards it, and consequently be more contractually-protective of the acts they're involved with.

That's the bit I did totally forget - exclusives. Announcing late doesn't just allow them pay less, but also gives them a wider range of artists to choose from.

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1 hour ago, eFestivals said:

I think it had more to do with people queuing up to throw huge amounts of money at the festival, as was the norm with all the big festivals back then (and much less now).

While they did allow some horrible sponsorship in, I know from conversations I had that Glastonbury placed very strong restrictions on them, making them far-less visible as those sponsorship things than those sponsors wanted to be.

Even then it was decided as too much, which is why it stopped again.

It's just The Guardian and EE these days isn't it? Other than the charities obviously.

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4 minutes ago, Hugh Jass said:

It's just The Guardian and EE these days isn't it? Other than the charities obviously.

I think Pimms still has a bus, but without the branding. 

Is the Rizla stall still in the markets? That always had prominent branding.

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7 minutes ago, eFestivals said:

 

Is the Rizla stall still in the markets? That always had prominent branding.

Not seen it for many a year.

Still waiting for that pop-up Tesco Express.

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38 minutes ago, eFestivals said:

 

Is the Rizla stall still in the markets? That always had prominent branding.

Rizla needs promoting at Glastonbury?

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24 minutes ago, UEF said:

Rizla needs promoting at Glastonbury?

nowadays it does, times have changed a lot. ;)

A few times I've had a load of efestivals lighters printed, and given them away at festivals including Glastonbury. I've not bothered doing them for years now because the last time I did it i got fed up with how much I got "what would I want a lighter for, i don't smoke" - and probably more at Glasto than other fests.

 

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