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The Most Popular Genres for Music Festivals in 2021.

Andy Robertson

Anyone that attends a music festival is sure to find the genre of music that suits their specific tastes. In reality event goers are spoilt for choice when festivals are running as normal but what are the most popular genres for the mega festivals that run over multiple days around the world.

By far the largest festivals are those with a mix of genres spread over multiple stages with the largest and most well-known being Glastonbury (540k visitors), Coachella (750k visitors) and Lollapalooza (430k visitors). The music festival with the largest attendance that focuses on a single genre is the Rock in Rio festival (700k visitors) that showcases primarily rock and indie bands.

A quick look at the percentage of music festivals worldwide by genre reveals the following spread (only includes 10k+ visitors). 

  • EDM (Electronic) 318 (38%)
  • Rock & Indie = 237 (28%)
  • Hip Hop = 72 (9%)
  • Pop = 65 (8%)
  • Folk = 58 (7%)
  • Metal = 42 (5%)
  • Country = 33 (4%)
  • Jazz = 17 (1%) 

 When looking at country by country there is certainly a leaning by genre to each region perhaps reflecting the differing musical tastes by culture. The Electronic genre is prevalent mostly in Europe and the United States with the most well-known festivals being:   

  • Electric Daisy (LA USA) 410k visitors
  • Ultra Festival (Miami USA) 160K visitors
  • Amsterdam Dance (Netherlands) 400k visitors
  • Tomorrowland (Belgium) 400k visitors
  • Mysteryland (Netherlands) 100k visitors
  • Creamfields (UK) 80k visitors
  • Parookaville (Germany) 80k visitors   

Although the second most popular genre is rock this has been on the slide in popularity for years having been eclipsed by the electronic genre. In addition, the Hip Hop genre seems to be less appealing as a festival destination, despite claiming to be the world’s most popular genre by revenue generated, perhaps this genre doesn’t translate to a good multi day festival format. The only notable Hip Hop festivals still running are: 

  •  Austin City Limits (USA) 400k visitors
  • Outside Lands (San Francisco USA) 200k
  • North by Northwest (Canada) 200k visitors
  • Sziget Festival (Hungary) 565k visitors
  • Parklife (UK) 80k visitors
  • Lowlands (Netherlands) 55k visitors 

This data only covers the mega festivals with in excess of 50,000 visitors that are still active in 2021. Other genres that are on the move in recent years are folk and jazz festivals which in some countries, especially Australia, are enjoying a boom in popularity. Also on the rise over the last five years are some of the Electronic sub genres like PSY Trance with 16 mega festivals and Hard Style (Techno) with 13 festivals.

Irrespective of the event goer's genre taste it looks like everyone will be well catered for in the future and the growth in the size and variety of all the various genres bodes well for the music festival sector once a sense of normality is resumed. 

For any music festival organisers planning their 2021 live events using a software management platform like
Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing.

Data from Music Festival Wizard
Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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