Glastonbury is the best festival on the planet.
In 2023 Glastonbury is still as incredible as ever. Now it's the blueprint for content distribution on a commercial and underground level for every festival - thanks to the distribution power of the BBC.
This edition of The Blueprint breaks down what the BBC does for Glastonbury and how it translates to social media, BBC iPlayer, six radio stations (live and online) and the UK music media.
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BBC Live Coverage
Across the weekend, Glastonbury was live on BBC 1 and 2. The BBC broadcast the three headline names (Artic Monkeys, Guns & Roses and Sir Elton John) from the Pyramid stage at peak watching time - 9 PM.
Sir Elton John, 76, became the most-watched act in Glastonbury history as 7.6 million people tuned in to the BBC broadcast and an estimated 120,000 fans watched in person on the Pyramid Stage. Friday's headliner Artic Monkeys saw a record performance for a Friday night headline set with a 5 min peak audience of 2.6m and an average of 1.5m.
A record 21.6m people, over a third of the UK population, watched the BBC's Glastonbury TV coverage across the weekend.
How many said: "Let's go to Glastonbury next year!" out loud?
BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio and BBC Sounds
The BBC delivered over 40 hours of coverage across its TV channels, 85 hours of live radio broadcasts, and content on BBC Sounds and iPlayer, where you can already watch over 90 artists' full live performances.
BBC Radio now has six channels, each specialising in a specific era or genre of music. The BBC broadcasted over 85 hours of live radio across all their networks.
If you think that's impressive…
How did they share this on social media?
The BBC Radio 1 Instagram page (1.5 million followers) has shared over 100 Reels about Glastonbury on its feed since the festival began on Wednesday last week. How many Instagram Stories is that across five days? And how much of this content was posted on TikTok? I refuse to download the app and count.
The content is purely focused on the music with clips from the live performances shared on social media. Every post has the same call to action - watch live on the BBC iPlayer or listen on BBC Sounds.
Content Distribution across multiple BBC Channels
Now here's where the BBC's coverage of Glastonbury is distributed at scale online alongside TV, radio and the iPlayer.
The BBC's network on social media is not just BBC Radio 1. It has Instagram accounts for BBC Radio 1, 2, 6, and Xtra. There are also dedicated BBC Sounds and BBC Glasto Instagram accounts that accepted a collaborator post from its bigger brothers.
Here's why this is genius…
Each of these channels caters for a different target audience.
The Foo Fighters' surprise appearance was shared by BBC Radio 2's Instagram account and BBC Radio 1's and BBC Radio 6's.
A carousel of photos captioned 'best dressed' was shared by BBC Glasto and BBC Sounds.
A Loyle Corner video was posted by BBC Radio 6 and BBC Glasto.
A Fatboy Slim and Rita Ora video was a collab post between BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 1.
A Lil Nas X and surprise guest Jack Harlow post was shared from BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio Xtra.
A 360 marketing approach
And this is just Instagram I am talking about.
The BBC has huge audiences across TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook as well… 🤯
What did Glastonbury's social media channels do?
Glastonbury's official Instagram channel has only shared 26 feed updates since the gates opened on Wednesday. The posts are much different than BBC Radio 1's, focusing on the festival traditions like Emily Evais opening the dates or festival attendees forming a peace sign at the Stone Circle that is photographed and filmed by a helicopter above the festival.
There was also a big difference in the content shared on this account, with photos prioritised over Reels. The content was a variation of content showing the spirit of Glastonbury through its people, unique stage designs and overall message.
Glastonbury has so many talking points
Glastonbury coverage is not just across the BBC.
Lad Bible got 225k likes on a post about flags. Resident Advisor is talking about IICON and Block 9. Arcadia is sharing the best coverage from the spider. Bands, DJs, photographers, fans who couldn't get tickets, and people who did get tickets are all talking about something to do with Glastonbury.
Lana Del Rey will never live down the fact she was 30 minutes late on stage because she didn't like her hair. Her fans will forgive her but criticise the BBC for cutting her off.
This is why Glastonbury is the biggest festival in the world by some distance and why as long as it carries on offering such a unique experience, it will continue like this for generations to come.
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