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The perfect festival: does seeing what you want get you what you want?

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

Attending a music festival is a right of passage for many young people in the UK today. The hedonistic combination of music, friends, drink and self-indulgence has become increasingly popular recently in line with growing trends for experience seeking and gathering lasting memories. Music festivals do not come without their challenges however: there are the classic arguments amongst friends about what bands to see and where to eat as well as the standard complications the British weather might throw at the festival goer. That’s why 8 friends set about using statistics and data to engineer the perfect festival weekend.

They listened to all 116 bands that would be performing at the 2000 Trees Festival in Cheltenham and individually scored each performer out of 10. Their analysis included splitting the group into pairs with similar music tastes and preferences, arranging time to stock up supplies between the best acts and using the standard deviation between band scores to show which acts divided the group and therefore would be most likely to cause arguments. Thus, the statistically perfect festival weekend was born. Or was it?

Post festival analysis revealed that their research and analysis had come in handy for discovering new acts, but the weekend was so well planned the pleasure gained from the randomness and spontaneity of the usual music festival was virtually non-existent.

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