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Comparison of Band Popularity at Metal Festivals

Discussion in 'RC' started by skyrefuge, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    Ok, since this has now been x-posted at the PPUSA forum and the Chicago Powerfest forum, I figured I should also post it here, as this seems like the de-facto Heathen Crusade forum.

    *****************************************

    It's time for more charts and graphs! I selected three US metal festivals (ProgPowerUSA VIII, Heathen Crusade II, and Chicago Powerfest 2007) and collected data from last.fm for each band. The piece of data I used was "X listeners total" (under Weekly Top Listeners).

    There are some sources of error. A "number of listeners this week" figure would probably be better, because would give the best picture of a band's popularity at a particular point in time, but it doesn't seem like they publish that. Next, last.fm has worldwide input, so differences between local and worldwide popularity can be a source of error. Finally, the community of last.fm users might not be perfectly representative of the community of festival attendees.

    However, it's probably better than record sales figures, because it shows the number of people actually listening to the band.

    I think the results are pretty interesting. Here are some highlights:
    - Sonata Arctica is HUGE. They almost have more listeners than all the other bands combined.
    - ProgPower's lineup has big numbers throughout. 8 of 10 bands have more than 3000 listeners, while Heathen Crusade was 3 of 18 in that category, and Chicago PowerFest is 3 of 9.
    - The PPUSA running order matches the numbers perfectly. There are no less-popular bands playing after a more-popular band. That makes me wonder, does Glenn use this last.fm methodology?
    - Similarly, HC was pretty well-ordered, but CPF is all over the map (perhaps Novembers Doom's draw is lower locally because they play in Chicago more often)

    Here are the charts of each festival posted individually, and then one of them combined, so you can get an idea of how the scales vary between them.

    Some figures for reference:
    Iron Maiden - 215,114
    Nightwish - 169,574
    In Flames - 160,092

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Wish me luck at the science fair this weekend!

    Neil
     
  2. WhiteBeastofWotan

    WhiteBeastofWotan Apostitutes!

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    Wow that was actually pretty interesting, thanks.
     
  3. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    I was *just* about to make a post about this over at PP USA....

    Discrepancies with last.fm aside, and the fact that everyone already knows power metal is popular (and come on, if you were going to put on a fest and have a good chance of making money, you'd be insane not to include a power metal act or three), the only thing that really strikes a chord with me here is:

    w.t.f? Hahaha, that's more than double Helloween and kills Blind Guardian's numbers!! So in theory, Nightwish (with Tarja) would headline above Blind Guardian at Wacken? Holy moly. Guess I'll go back to living under a rock, lol.
     
  4. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    Er....this can't be true because Redemption are playing above Virgin Steele, yet VS triple their numbers. I'm still not entirely sure why Redemption are so high up on the bill. Even Communic beat their numbers and they're an opener!
     
  5. Trylakos

    Trylakos gimme my key bitch!

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    0 for Earthen, ouch:ill:
     
  6. WhiteBeastofWotan

    WhiteBeastofWotan Apostitutes!

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    Yeah that gave me a hearty chuckle. They were the only band at the festival that I believe sucked mightily.
     
  7. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    Also, if we're pretending these numbers offer any real logic, the Heathen Crusade roster was fairly accurate too, except that Gwynbleidd, Dark Forest, and Manetheren should have been higher up on the bill (which in truth and hindsight, they should have been).

    Poor Earthen score a big fat zero. After the performance at HC, they might now be in the negative. :loco:
     
  8. Necromunchkin

    Necromunchkin Lord of the Whisky

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    I'm not that surprised. Viewing comparitive numbers from when both Blind Guardian and Nightwish played here, respectively, there were at least an additional 100-150 people for Nightwish. What I noticed though, in terms of the fans, is that Blind Guardian was pretty much only metalheads, whereas at Nightwish I noted a number of "gawths" and emo types that were okay with it because of the image/female vocal thing?

    Edit- basically, crossover appeal that Blind Guardian doesn't have.
     
  9. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    Yeah possibly. Huh, go figure.

    If anything, I would have thought female operatic vocals would be a turn off to most metal fans. Or at least, Nightwish would have a clique audience and not a majority.

    It's ironic that 'power metal only' fans will distance themselves from death growls and viking chants, but throw in some Madame Butterfly and they're all sexxxored up.

    I suppose in the world of power metal, graduating from Michael Kiske to Tarja Turunen is the death metal equivalent to, say, transitioning from Tom Araya over to Lord Worm. :loco:
     
  10. Necromunchkin

    Necromunchkin Lord of the Whisky

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    She is pretty deep and brutal compared to Kiske...


    And before you start questioning why the hell I was at Nightwish, it was a present for my girlfriend at the time since she was all wet for Tarja. 75 minutes of Nightwish is definitely worth the cost of the sordid and demeaning sex acts I got from it thereafter.
     
  11. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    you love her
     
  12. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    Wow, I must have been really drunk when I was comparing the PPUSA chart to the actual lineup (it's been pointed out that Firewind is out of position too). I must have been comparing one version of my chart to another version, and not to the actual lineup. "Oooh, it matches perfectly!!!!" Dork.

    Not to kill the joke, but Earthen and Bronnson were zeros simply because they don't have any recorded music, and thus, nothing to listen to on last.fm.

    And yeah, HC probably fit the last.fm data at least as accurately PPUSA. One of the reasons I wanted to do this for multiple festivals was to see if this last.fm methodology was actually viable. Presumably the promoters used a different methodology to determine their lineups, so the fact that they correlate fairly well (at least in 2 of the 3 cases) says the last.fm methodology at least isn't completely crazy.

    Now, hopefully I didn't open Pandora's Box here, where bands will start "last.fm bombing" and messing up the data in order to convince promoters to give them a higher spot!

    Neil
     
  13. JayKeeley

    JayKeeley Be still, O wand'rer!

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    I would hate to think that promoters would consider something that can be so skewed, as you say. Then again, I don't really know how a promoter would decide the roster order.

    On paper, Virgin Steele should headline ProgPower based on their tenure and the number of albums they've released, but that doesn't reflect popularity. Just look at what happens each time Pain of Salvation play, or look at what resulted from Rage headlining, coining the term "the Rage effect".
     
  14. Dark One

    Dark One The Tainted Dogma

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    Expect an ambush of Kamelot fans.
     
  15. Sfarog

    Sfarog Trapped in hated logic

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    whats so great about all of this is that if 5 more people listen to Gwynbleidd on last.fm, the popularity will rise by a whopping 2.9%

    awesome :lol:


    btw Gwynbleidd now has 204 listeners on Last.fm, thats a 20% improvement, please update yer chartie thingies :heh:
     
  16. Demonspell

    Demonspell cheating the polygraph

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    I'd say a combination of an earlier appearance, positive feedback on the PP forum, and Ray Alder being a permanent member...very informative post, didn't think Saturnus and Manegarm had that many listeners.
     
  17. EricT

    EricT Don't you ever get...

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    Problem with basing these charts off Last.fm is that a lot of people don't use Last.fm.

    I know theres a hell of a lot more people who listen to Mael Mordha than 196 for example...
     
  18. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    What you should be concerned about is how screwed over you got by the HC guys. You should have been moved up five slots, which would have given you what, an extra five minutes? I'd totally sue.

    Though these numbers were actually gathered just last week or so, so maybe at the time, you *were* in the right slot, but word of your performance at HC has circled the world like wildfire and gotten you an additional 17 listeners or so!

    Neil
     
  19. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    Well, it's not intended as any kind of absolute gauge, the numbers can only be used relative to one another. Presumably the listening patterns of last.fm listeners will be reasonably similar to non-last.fm listeners.

    Neil
     
  20. Sfarog

    Sfarog Trapped in hated logic

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    :lol:
     

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