Earlier this year, we asked Spotify to take a look at the Glastonbury lineup and reorder it, as if the bands were going to appear in order of the number of streams each act had received. What we learned from that was that Glastonbury isn’t interested in simply following trends when it orders it stages – otherwise George Ezra would have been headlining above Kanye West, instead of taking to the Pyramid stage in the middle of Saturday.
We’ve asked them to do the same for this year’s Reading and Leeds festivals, and what we’ve learned is … that whoever programmes the main stage either has an instinctive feel for what’s flying on Spotify, or has made a deliberate attempt to match bands’ billing to their online popularity. This time, there are far fewer surprises on the bill, with everyone’s actual billing falling within a couple of places of their Spotify popularity, and 13 of the 27 bands falling exactly on the bill where Spotify would have placed them.
The biggest surprises both concern headliners, with neither Metallica nor the Libertines having the streams to justify top billing. Metallica would swap places with Royal Blood, playing two slots beneath them, while the Libertines would drop to third, below Kendrick Lamar and Jamie T. Have a look below – the names in bold show how the line-up would look if Spotify had scheduled it, with the ones struck through showing where bands were on the official line-up before being moved.
Mumford & Sons
Alt-J Bastille Bastille Alt-J
All Time Low
Panic! At the Disco
Palma Violets Neck Deep
Neck Deep Palma Violets
Mariachi El Bronx
Metallica Royal Blood
Bring Me the Horizon
Royal Blood Metallica Alexisonfire Pierce the Veil Pierce the Veil Modestep Modestep Alexisonfire
The Libertines Kendrick Lamar Kendrick Lamar Jamie T Jamie T The Libertines
The Gaslight Anthem
Against Me! Lonely the Brave Lonely the Brave Against Me!
Feed the Rhino