Ranking the major 2014 American music festival lineups
A few months ago, I set out to create a more subjective way of ranking 2014's music festivals. After a long night of putting together calculations, I came up with the 2014 Music Festival Calculator. It matches the festivals up against each other using a band scoring method that ranks Best Value, Best Quality and Best Depth Festival. It provides users a way of scoring each band at each of the major festivals and spits out rankings on which festival fits their needs. Well, I'll be attending a few festivals this summer and decided it was about time to use my tool.
I ranked 8 major American music festivals this spring and summer by going through each lineup and giving bands and artists a score from 1 to 5. Scoring bands at a 5 if they were in my top 5-10 must-sees and scoring bands a 1 if I have just never heard of them or think they suck. It will be blatantly clear that I'm a huge fan of Jack White and The Black Keys and I'm not a huge fan of Skrillex or Outkast. Those scores along with some other variables then drove quality, depth and value of each lineup and stacked them up against each other. Here is a brief explanation of the scoring system.
Quality of Lineup
The average score of the bands in the lineup. As I mentioned I scored each band 1 to 5.
Depth of Lineup
The total score of the bands in the lineup. This is where festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo excel because of just sheer size of the festivals.
Value of Lineup
The depth of the lineup divided by cost of the festival. The score shows cost per depth (not cost per band, that would be too generic). A band that has a ton of depth and is average priced, would score high here. This shows you best bang for your buck and where you're getting ripped off. Let's face it some festivals are way overpriced...cough, cough Sasquatch!
I also just limited the rankings to the festivals below. I know I'll probably get heat for this because there will be some yokel in West Palm Beach saying that SunFest should have made the list. Sorry you turd, this ranking is only for the big boys. The only big festivals I've left off this list is Outside Lands in San Francisco (because I started putting this together before they released the lineup yesterday) and Austin City Limits Festival because the lineup isn't out yet.
Ok, let's get into the rankings....