Ever wondered how underground your festival of choice really is?


With festival season just around the corner, travel goliath, Expedia, have created a new app for all you music heads out there. The Festival Playlister, compiles lineups from festivals past and present and can create a custom Spotify playlist based around the artists that played in a particular year at (almost) any festival.

This is great for those of you that want to relive Bestival '07, but the most interesting feature is that it gives each festival (and each yearly iteration of that festival) a 'mainstream rating'. The app adds together the collective 'popularity' - presumably from plays on Spotify - of all the artists on the festival lineup, takes an average, and what comes out is the rating as a percentage.

As we're total music nerds, we decided to put in all the festivals we could think of and rank them in order from least to most mainstream. Where possible we used 2015, or the next nearest year. We focused on The UK & Ireland, Europe and The Americas, because every single Asian and African festival we put in returned no results. We also decided Croatia should have it's own distinct group, purely due to its huge popularity as a festival destination.

So with out further ado, here is our list of festivals from least to most mainstream along with some of our more interesting findings. If going to the most cutting edge, underground camping trip is something that you take very seriously, then I'm sure the results will no doubt prove invaluable.


Croatia - Average: 39


Surprisingly, bass paradise, Outlook, got the highest mainstream score in Croatia.

Nothing much to report here. Croatia has the lowest mainstream rating on the list with an average of 39%. So I guess it still reigns king of the festival destinations. Outlook and Dimensions first and second most mainstream with 44% and 43% respectively. Stop Making Sense topped the underground chart with 31%. Perhaps the biggest surprise came in that no Croatian festivals made into into the top 10 most underground in the overall list.


The UK & Ireland - 40

Secret Garden Party tied with Gottwood in the UK and overall least mainstream lists.

The UK was the second most underground destination in our research. The top five underground festivals were: Secret Garden Party (23%), Gottwood (23%), Beat-Herder (23%), BoomTown (27%) and Eastern Electrics (28%). The top five most mainstream were T In The Park (65%), Wireless (57%), SW4 (55%), SouthPort Weekender (54%) and Oxegen (51%). So not many surprises there. The most mainstream constituent country in the group was Scotland and the least was England, (although we couldn't find any Welsh festivals on there). Probably the most interesting statistic is that London, when taken on it's on had a rating of 44 - four more than the UK average and six more than England's average - so maybe the capital isn't as cutting-edge as everyone thinks.


Europe - Average: 41


Despite being the rave equivalent of Disneyland, Tomorrowland didn't top Europe's mainstream chart.

Europe minus Croatia and The UK & Ireland came out as the third most mainstream, but really the difference between the three is pretty negligible when compared to the massive gap between Europe and The Americas. The overall most mainstream festival was France's Weather (24%) , while the most went to The Netherlands' 5 Days Off (59%).


The Americas - Average: 46


Ultra ranked a full ten places more underground than hippy paradise Burning Man.

Unsurprisingly our westside friends came out as the most mainstream geographical group. Considering the essentially invented both capitalism and the music industry, this was to be expected. The biggest upset came when EDM money-making monster, Ultra, ranked a full ten places below money-free hippy paradise, Burning Man. Now we're not saying this test is at all full proof, but if this is true, the Burning Man people must be burning up with embarrassment, AMIRITE.


Full List:

Gottwood Festival 23%

Secret Garden Festival 23%

BPM 23%

Audio River 24%

Beat-Herder 24%

Nuits Sonores 24%

Weather 24%

Together 24%

Boomtown 27%

Eastern Electrics 27%

Lente Kabinet 28%

ADE 29%

Bloc 30%

CTM 30%

Snowbombing 31%

Stop Making Sense 31%

Love Saves The Day 32%

Dekmantel 33%

Mutek 33%

Movement 33%

Subsonic 33%

Tauron Nowa Muzyka 34%

We Are FSTVL 34%

Beacons 35%

I Love Techno 35%

IglooFest 36%

SunceBeat 36%

Simple Things 36%

Bestival 37%

Creamfields 37%

Garden 38%

Berlin Festival 38%

Dour 39%

Global Gathering 39%

Ultra Music Festival 39%

Astropolis 41%

Unknown 41%

Hideout 42%

Melt 42%

Primavera Sound 42%

Sonar 42%

Tomorrowland Brazil 42%

Dimensions 43%

Outlook 44%

Electric Daisy Carnival 44%

Bugged Out Weekender 44%

Life 44%

Mysteryland 44%

Decibel 45%

Kazantip 45%

Time Warp 45%

STRP 46%

Lovebox 47%

Parklife 47%

Field Day 48%

Coachella 49%

SXSW 49%

Hard Summer 50%

Mad Decent Block Party 50%

Oxegen 51%

Reading 51%

Reworks 54%

South Port Weekender 54%

TodaysArt 54%

Annie Mac Presents: Lost & Found 55%

SW4 55%

Glastonbury 58%

Tomorrowland 58%

5 Days Off 59%

TomorrowWorld 59%

T In The Park 65%

Burning Man 67%


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