Glastonbury Festival still resonating
Jay-Z's performance leads to uptick in salesLONDON -- Glastonbury Festival may have closed its gates on another edition, but the goodwill from this year's June 27-29 event continues to flow at the tills.
Jay-Z's firework on the main Pyramid Stage has translated into a huge sales rises at retail. According to a sales survey reported today by market-leading U.K. music and entertainment retailer HMV, Jay-Z's headline set underpinned a near 480% rise in sales of his set, "The Black Album" (Island Def Jam), while up to five of his previous singles releases are set to re-enter the Official U.K. Singles Charts.
An HMV spokesman notes, "Admittedly, the album is only just inside the current top 100 chart, so its sales do start from a lower base than some other titles, but there's been a perceptible lift all the same."
HMV notes that the traditional "Glastonbury Effect" on performers' record sales has become more pronounced in recent years, thanks to heightened exposure on BBC's TV and radio networks.
Other performers to enjoy post-Glastonbury sales spikes include MGMT's Columbia set "Oracular Spectacular" (up 195%) Duffy's A&M debut "Rockferry" (163%), Editors' sophomore (Kitchenware/Columbia) set "An End Has A Start" (up 134%) and the Verve's Hut/Virgin set "Urban Hymns" (up 123%)
HMV's survey is based on album sales of the key featured artists taken over the past six days, which are compared with the same titles in the Friday to Wednesday period a week earlier.
Organizers, meanwhile, are boasting that this year's Glastonbury not only blew the naysayers out of the water, but reckon history will record 2008's edition as one of the most successful Glastonburys ever.
"It was fantastic. It's certainly the best I can ever remember Glastonbury and easily the best since I've been involved," Festival Republic managing director Melvin Benn tells Billboard.biz. Benn has overseen Glastonbury's operations, including licensing and security, since 2002. But like many of the 175,000 visitors to this year's event, has a much longer association with the famous festival, which launched in 1970.
Ahead of this year's fest, Glastonbury was in press for all the wrong reasons, with the media picking over the event's unusually slow ticket sales, the poor weather which had marred recent editions, and the risky choice to book Jay-Z as a headline act.
"The negativity was all disposed of," notes Benn. "We sold out on the Friday afternoon. The weather held up extremely well, and I think Jay Z took everyone by surprise and absolutely stormed the Pyramid Stage. We were just overwhelmed with how it went. It felt like a great Glastonbury."