June at The Woodlands is my favorite time of year, but if there’s a close second, the weeks leading up to our lineup release take the slot. The anticipation is palpable as new websites are being launched (welcome!), servers are being prepared, site plans being updated and adjusted, and fans like you are sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to see which artists will take the stage at The Woodlands. We’ll be announcing to you all very soon and trust us, it’s worth the wait. As a member of the team responsible for booking your lineup, I’m honored to use our first ever blog post to give you some insight into how the 2015 lineup was booked and where it is today.
The process of booking the 2015 lineup started with a singular question: what are we trying to achieve? While the answer to that question is complex, it’s also incredibly simple: our goal is to book the lineup you want to see. Unpacking that goal requires an endeavor to balance genres, mix current music with classic favorites, and cater to a wide array of subjective tastes, but one thing remains clear throughout the process: we work for you.
With that in mind, we started by asking you which acts to book. Nearly 20,000 of you responded to our talent survey and ranked randomly selected artists based on how much you’d like to see them at Firefly. All told, we wound up with a database of almost 1,000 artists ranked by your preferences. We use that database on a daily basis to make sure the acts we’re putting on the bill are the ones you want to see.
The overall lineup puzzle is simultaneously exciting and maddening. Sometimes our top choices decide to go to Europe during Firefly, other times acts that seem impossible at the beginning of booking come through in the final days before lineup announce. What you told us in June isn’t always up-to-date by lineup release time, and every year there are new singles and albums that propel acts from the heap of names to the forefront of our minds. For our part, we’re constantly on the hunt for new music to bring to you; Spotify analytics tell us that each member of the Firefly talent booking team spent the equivalent of more than 90 days listening to music last year. Throughout it all, we take your feedback to heart. We’re avid readers of the message boards, Twitter mentions and Facebook comments and we keep you at the center of all our decisions.
We made our first offer for the 2015 lineup in April of last year, confirmed our most recent act yesterday, and we’ve worked on the lineup nearly every day in between. In addition to finding the right artists for the festival, we also need to balance 120 tour schedules to find a Firefly schedule that works for every act, and we need to find a place on the lineup bill that satisfies every artist. Believe it or not, the difference between a confirmation and a pass can often come down to lineup position and stage slot.
We’re nearly finished, but there are still a couple of pieces coming together to complete the lineup (we’re incredibly excited to share with you soon). We can’t wait to reveal it to you in a couple of weeks. Thank you for being a fan and thank you for helping us book the lineup- I hope you’re as happy with it as we are.
See you at The Woodlands!