When it comes to organizing and promoting music festivals, there are a variety of practices and techniques artists can employ in order to generate maximum hype around and event and thereby boost ticket sales. Here we look at some of the most effective of these tactics.
Guest post by Emma Miller
Music festivals are a great opportunity to get a music fix of your favorite musicians, all gathered in one place, giving shows for days in a row. When music festival announcements begin, it’s hard to ignore all the ads and billboards with lineups for the forthcoming summer. Around the world, music festival marketing experts are giving their best to jack up the hype around their lineups.
In order to create as much noise and attract a lot of attention for the initial day of ticket sales and lineup release, festivals test out new methods and tactics year after year. For example, Lollapalooza (music festival in Chicago) waited longer than usual to release their lineup, which proved very effective – it took them less than three hours after the announcement to sell out one-day general admission passes for the festival. If you’re organizing a festival yourself, these tips can expand your pool of ideas and make your marketing efforts more efficient.
1. Maximize digital and social music festival marketing
Hardcore festies, the festival superfans, attend multiple festivals each year and influence their friends by telling them about upcoming music festivals and lineups. This means that you can rely on them to be your organic marketing channel and a portion of target audience you should focus the most. These people talk and read about shows, when they’re not actively seeking out new ones. You can reach them through social media and online ads, as many people discover festivals through online ad campaigns. They also get information from their favorite artists, who announce their upcoming shows via TV and radio appearances. Target these digital spots and track ticket sales by region in order to measure the results of your campaigns.
In addition to encouraging fans to come to your festival in person, you can also get those who stayed home to watch the livestream of the current performances. Many fans who watch an event livestream attend it in person the following years. If fans can’t attend a music festival in person, many of them would livestream it (and watch a virtual reality livestream if possible). Set up a livestream, promote it or sell access at a discount, and promote the next year’s festival there.
3. Engage performers to spread the word
People visit festivals to listen to their favorite musicians. They follow their social media pages and listen or watch interviews to keep track of their work. They do it because there’s no one more qualified to talk about these new songs or albums than the artists themselves. Get the artists to talk about their upcoming concert at your festival, to promote both themselves and the festival to the fans. It is one of the efficient event marketing strategies that’s virtually free and it benefits everyone – festivals get more attendees and artists get to play in front of a larger crowd. If they want to see their band rock the stage, they better come to your festival.
4. Market your festival to different locations
In order to attend a festival, many people have to travel to another country. Why not test your campaigns in other countries then? Just make sure that you start promoting your festival to them early, because they need more time to schedule a trip. If you start promoting it a month before the festival, your efforts won’t be so fruitful. To choose the best marketing channel for this endeavor, just pay attention, track and learn what works the best and what’s worth of your marketing budget.
5. Rely on your partners for marketing
When it comes to festival promotion, your partners are ticketing providers, event listing sites, funders and donors. Most music fans find about a festival from a ticketing provider, while other discover them by tracking event listing sites. This means that they want to attend a music festival and they’re actively searching for it. Make it easier for them to find your event by having your ticketing provider send targeted emails to fans. They can tailor targeted messages based on the fans’ purchase history, thus helping you reach the fans that are most valuable to you without spamming those who aren’t interested.
In order to create a successful music festival marketing campaign, you need to know what you want to achieve. Start with the end in mind – what is your ideal outcome? That’s what you should start with and work your way backwards to find out what to do to accomplish your goals. Determine your goals, make them measurable and attainable, conduct an exhaustive research, be clear who your audience is, and don’t forget that a campaign is not a one-time event. How many events are you willing to commit to? Decide this ahead of time and use all methods that are available to you.