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Access editor Tom Hall examines the limits of data, and why festivals don’t branch out internationally. Read the full feature, for which this is a prelude, below…

While data can tell you what ‘is’, it can’t tell you what you ‘ought’ to do, as philosopher David Hume might’ve pointed out.

Indeed, the world’s most influential events – and the artists on their line-ups – came to the fore without the benefit of Big Data.

The Beatles (whose ‘White Album’ just celebrated its 50th anniversary) were not created by a committee scrolling through Google Analytics. Nor was the global success of Live Aid (Queen’s performance from which is re-enacted in Bohemian Rhapsody) down to a demographically-targeted social media marketing effort.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that there’s a deluge of enticing data available on international destinations, very few festival organisers have successfully geo-cloned their events in pastures new.

The exhibition sector, by contrast, routinely replicates its brands across multiple diverse locations.

So what is it that keeps outdoor events locked in the same field year after year? (See our Geo-cloning feature below)

Whether you’re starting festivals, promoting bands or creating concerts, you won’t be remembered for having all the right data at your fingertips. You’ll be remembered because you delivered effectively.

This is good news for event professionals, as it means your gut feeling and on-the-ground experience might make the real difference.

Of course, data can be very useful. But possessing mountains of data, and delivering something meaningful for audiences, is often uncorrelated.

A lack of the clones: Why don’t festival brands expand?