Experience music festivals past and present with the Festival Playlister

electric picnic

Were you at the first Electric Picnic in 2004? Good for you. Were you again in Stradbally a year later when the festival was extended to a three-day festival? Even better. You probably love to remind people how you saw Arcade Fire before they had mainstream success, before it got bigger, before the now guaranteed scramble for tickets, before before before. You might be right, but at least now anyone can relive the music of Electric Picnic 2004 via the Festival Playlister. Sure, nothing short of a time machine can allow someone to truly relive the magic, because nothing compares to live music or whatever. But the Festival Playlister is still pretty cool, allowing users to look up hundreds of music festivals around the world—past and present—and create Spotify playlists based on their lineups.

The Playlister was recently updated to include some of 2016’s recent and upcoming festivals and, in most cases, the archive goes all the way back to the festival’s inception year. So you can check out Lollapalooza 1991, which featured Nine Inch Nails, the Violent Femmes, Fishbone, and Jane’s Addiction. The Playlister lets you generate two different playlists: “the hits,” which includes the most-played tracks from the lineups, and “the obscure stuff,” which includes the least-played tracks.

You can even figure out just how much your favourite festival has sold out over the years. The Playlister uses Spotify data about an artist’s popularity to determine a “mainstream metric.” The more popular the artists are in a festival’s lineup, the higher the festival’s “mainstream rating” is. For example, Lollapalooza in 1995 is 33-percent mainstream according to the metric, and 2015 is 42-percent mainstream. The archive is quite comprehensive, including not only these larger festivals but also the smaller ones, like the women-centered Ladyfest, which The Playlister has lineups for dating back to 2006, and 2014’s Stargayzer. It may not be live, but sometimes it’s nice to experience the sounds of a music festival without having to also endure the crowds and overpriced beer.

Here are the hits from Electric Picnic 2005, to get you started:
Festival Playlister by Expedia