Jam, i-level's social media unit has looked into whether these festivals are able to crack Glastonbury's perennial dominance or are have they found their natural home in the left field?
Despite Glastonbury's continued dominance in the space, festivals such as Latitude, the music festival held in Suffolk, can now claim to be genuine competitors to the established events.
The festival has generated more buzz than Virgin's V Festival, indicating that mimicking festival attitudes online has come up trumps for organisers Festival Republic.
The official Latitude forums are generously patrolled by prominent organisers and 2008 festival goers have been prompted to suggest actionable improvements for the forthcoming event. This is a far cry from the city-slicking Wireless festival that only managed to generate 13 online mentions in April.
The graph above shows the levels of online discussion around UK festivals, during April. (Source: Brandwatch)
In addition to Latitude, relative newcomers to the market Bestival (founded by Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank in 2004) have also showed their imagination in the digital space, allowing the Isle of Wight-based party to almost equal the online mentions of the 28-year-old Reading Festival.
Despite his questionable Twitter-etiquette, (3,000 followers, 0 following) Bestival curator Rob Da Bank used the medium effectively, teasing and announcing the final headliner for the festival via his feed.
Rock festival All Tomorrow's Parties, founded in 1999, has taken the community spirit one step further, allowing fans to vote for the acts they wanted to see at the festival.
This has provided the festival with a huge support amongst bloggers, with 42% of the online mentions about the festival coming from these areas. The festivals cross-platform approach supports this and has even given a welcome return to Butlins as a buzz worthy holiday destination; no mean feat
The graph above shows the relationship between mentions of Butlins on Twitter and All Tomorrow's Parties, with terms such as ATP, Minehead and acts such as The Breeders all featuring. (Source: NeoFormix)
But with each of the mentioned festivals having a decidedly non-corporate feel, can festivals such as V Festival and the now Carling-free Reading festival adapt?
Glastonbury and V Festival still lead the way but with innovation led by boutique events broadening the scope of summer festivals, the opportunity is clear; open the discussion or risk becoming the Dad at the disco.
Methodology: Jam is the social media unit of i-level, digital communications agency. Jam uses data from various sources to track buzz and conversations across the web. To suggest a Buzz topic, email email@example.com
Author: Huw Devine