What the numbers have to say about the impact of playing Governors Ball.
Over the past few years Governors Ball music festival has vastly expanded, in the number of days, acts and attendees. This past weekend saw three days of festival fun sprawled across Randall’s Island. But what kind of impact did performing have for the artists? And how does it compare to previous years?
The size of the acts that are invited to perform varies from household names like Kings of Leon with more than 11 million Facebook page likes and Kanye West, who has more than 9.5 million followers on Twitter, to up-and-comers such as ON AN ON, who hit the Next Big Sound chart this January, and Bear Mountain, who only count about 3,300 Facebook page likes in total.
Polica and Kings of Leon were two of the acts that saw the highest increase in attention in the week surrounding the festival, compared to the week before. Polica saw more than 470% increase in the number of Twitter mentions, and Kings of Leon, whose headliner set was moved from Friday to Saturday due to heavy rain, saw close to a 315% increase. Bottom of the list are Divine Fits and Cold War Kids, who saw more than a 50% drop in mentions.
It is perhaps not surprising that the acts that saw the biggest boost in new Facebook page likes were some of the smallest in the line up, namely Swear and Shake and Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics, at 305% and 140% respectively. Kendrick Lamar attracted the highest number of new page likes at close to 80,000, a 28% jump from the week before.
Kendrick Lamar saw a big bump in new Facebook page likes around his set at Governors ball.
This year 60 acts took to the four stages set up for Governor’s Ball, more than twice the number that played last year, and 5 times the number of acts that participated in 2011. Electronic producer Pretty Lights, who performed the inaugural year as well as this weekend, saw a 39% increase in Wikipedia views the first time around, compared to a 22% increase this year. However, he saw a 14% decrease in the number of new Facebook page likes in 2011, and a 24% increase now.
Comparing the impact on Wikipedia pageviews the week of Governors Ball from this year to last year it looks as though there is a slight bump in the amount of attention the festival brings to the bands that perform. The average increase was close to 9% this year, as opposed to only about 3% in 2012.
So it’s looking good for the Manhattan music festival and if management intends to maintain the current trend and keep making Governors Ball bigger and better, one can only wonder what is next. Campsites? A full week of festivities? More mud? Who knows?
Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, The New York Times Local East Village, Hypebot and more.