Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Voodoo are some of the most popular annual music festivals... but what makes them so successful? Why do people spend hundreds - maybe even thousands - of dollars on a weekend experience? Moreover, how can you make your festival just as enticing? Here we're going to uncover some of the critical factors that contribute to the success of major music festivals.

3 Factors for Festival Success

(c/o Maxime Bhm, Unsplash)

  1. Audience. Before you market your festival, it's vital to know who you are trying to target and what interests them. By understanding your audience, you can plan your festival around their specific needs and desires. At Bonnaroo, they have created a culture around their attendees by deeming them the 'Bonnaroovians'. The Bonnarovians have developed a 'code' over the years, and the festival has created spaces for people to form friendships, enjoy food and listen to their favourite artists.

  2. Experience. The second thing to consider is what type of experience you will provide. For example, Lollapalooza is located in the heart of downtown Chicago, creating a fun and exciting metropolitan experience for all attendees. They pay homage to the art, culture, and cuisine of Chicago, which is enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. Another festival that focuses on creating more than just a music festival is Voodoo. Voodoo is a Halloween themed music and arts experience located in New Orleans, and encourages festival-goers to dress up for the festival and in the spirit of the holiday.

  3. Sponsors. Looking for sponsors can be challenging, but they're a crucial part of funding and hosting an event. With artists and vendors to pay before tickets go on sale, it is crucial to have the support of your sponsors before your launch. As music artist fees are increasing due to the decrease of physical sales, festivals have to account for that in the budget. At Coachella, Heineken is one the longest sponsors of the event, from supplying beer to having their own stage they are . Other sponsors Coachella has includes Absolut., Marriott, and Postmates.

Market Smarter

(c/o John Schnobrich, Unsplash)

Looking at the three main aspects when planning a music festival, here are some tips to help you market smarter to your target fan base.

Be Data-Driven

Learning more about your audiences, such as their likes and habits, can tell you a lot about what they care about. Earning fan data by offering equitable incentives allows you to segment audiences and target likely ticket buyers. As many festival-goers travel to events, demographic data can be used to make more educated marketing decisions when targeting a new region. Affinity data can also be used to create line-ups that entice the fans to purchase tickets and attend the event.

Make it Interactive

In a time where social media platforms reign supreme, connecting with fans where they already are is a vital factor when creating marketing campaigns. Fans want to share their experiences with their friends, family, and followers while attending a festival. Creating activations such as geofilters and art installations at your event makes it more fun for the attendees, as well as increases the amount of user-generated content fans will share online.

Livestreaming the event is another way to connect with more fans and drive awareness beyond the festival grounds. Caroline Golum of livestream.com found that 67% of live stream viewers are more likely to purchase a ticket to the same event or something similar. Bridging online and offline worlds for fans and potential future buyers is a great way to amplify your brand and event.

Create Partnerships

Relationships are crucial to any successful event. Develop partnerships with both sponsors and artists that you know fans will love. Working with partners who share similar vibes and values will help you attract the right audience and cross-promote all year long. Leverage your fans' favourite personalities by partnering with artists and social media influencers. That said - make sure your partners understand your brand and audience to avoid bad press.

Artists are a crucial part of any music festival. As people tend to follow their favourite artists on social media platforms, partnering with artists to do cross promotions is an effective and authentic way to earn new fans. Just make sure the posts align with both of your brands and are tracked properly so you understand which artists are making the best ROI.

The Round Up

People travel all around the world to see their favourite artists and enjoy unique experiences at music festivals. But the festival business is also a highly competitive space. By focusing on your niche, creating a stellar experience, and personalizing your marketing - you're one step closer to a sell out event.

Want to build better experiences for your fans? Contact us for a free consultation on how to promote a data-driven, engaging and wow-worthy festival.

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