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Ed Sheeran Helps Drive Record Glastonbury Viewing Figures

Variety logo Variety 6/27/2017 Stewart Clarke
© Provided by Variety

Over 150,000 people were at this year’s Glastonbury while the number of stay-at-home festival fans watching on TV and online hit record numbers, reaching almost 21 million.

U.K. public broadcaster the BBC has exclusive rights to the event and covered the event in depth, following the action across all fields and stages, including film star Johnny Depp’s comments about Donald Trump, and, controversially, U.K. opposition party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Saturday afternoon speech.

The BBC said that 20.9 million watched Glastonbury for three minutes or more, a 12% increase on the 2016 figure. Ed Sheeran’s Sunday night closing set garnered a peak audience of 4.1 million and average 2.9 million, beating previous ratings record holder ELO from last year’s festival.

Radiohead’s Friday headline set had a peak of 1.3 million, and coverage of the Foo Fighters the following day, won 2.5 million at its peak. Former Bee Gee Barry Gibb’s Sunday “legends” slot had peak of 3.7 million. Online, the BBC said there were 4.5 million live streams on the iPlayer service.

“BBC Music was able to bring audiences such an incredible range of genres from grime, reggae, rock and pop to memorable sets including Ed Sheeran, who made his Glastonbury debut only six years ago on the BBC Music Introducing Stage, and legendary artists Radiohead, The Foo Fighters and Barry Gibb,” said Bob Shennan, director BBC Radio and Music .

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