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5 Music Festival Marketing Trends of 2020

by Justine Pantaleo
Read Time: 8 minutes
Music Festival Marketing Trends of 2020

Marketing budgets aren’t limitless, but having a marketing plan helps you decide how to spend your marketing dollars responsibly. It isn't just creative ideas; it's continually posting on social and making your name know. In this blog, we are going to help you find and utilize more strategies to market to your audience. 

Since music festival marketing teams are PROS at brand marketing, I have a question for them. How do you get your audience excited about purhcasing a ticket for your festival?  ðŸ¤”

The most crucial part of festival marketing is giving your audience the thrill before the show.  If you don't get your audience excited about what they are going to see or expect, they most likely won't fall for your marketing techniques and spend the money to go. Getting the word out there is the trick. So how do they do it? 

Coachella, Moonrise, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Woodstock, and yes, even Fyre Festival all have unique, but similar marketing strategies to attract their audience into a weekend of music, dancing, partying, and sometimes disaster (👀Looking at you Fyre Festival).

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We are sharing 5 of the top festival marketing trends and how you can apply them to your business strategies.

1.    Get in their shoes

Being able to relate directly to your target audience is vital. If you are targeting millennials, you need to tap into their trends and what they like. Get into their mindset and figure out what will excite them. 

Knowing what your audience wants is so important — for example, music festivals market solely on the experience. Fyre Festival provided information through their promotional video of luxury life, famous people, gourmet food, and a festival on an island once owned by Pablo Escobar. Who wouldn’t want to go and experience that? Below is an example of what Billy McFarland promised festival-goers. He promised them an experience of a lifetime, which was communicated through marketing. Their marketing strategy was about showing their audience an experience they couldn’t miss. Through their marketing, they provided videos and pictures of the glorious island, parties, etc. 

Fyre Festival knew their audience – why they go to festivals, what they previously liked about other festivals, what they didn’t like, and what they wanted. They used this information to build a marketing strategy to drive in their audience. 

How to use this strategy

Small businesses need to know who their audience is and what exactly they are searching for on social. To be able to use this marketing tactic at your company, you need to do buyer persona research – who is your audience, what are their interests, hobbies, and pain points. Learn everything your audience wants to know about your company and then use that to your advantage; base your campaigns off of that information. 


2.    Partner up

Building partnerships is crucial to be able to reach a broader audience while also giving your audience a feeling of comfort. In general, consumers trust recommendation from influencers and artists over advertisements from companies themselves.

Social media influencer marketing works no matter if you think it does or doesn’t. Every well-known music festival proves it.  Influencers, artists, and famous people that attend music festivals, and promote them going, are the reason why other people go as well. Engage performers to spread the word too; their faithful fans are always following their social media accounts waiting for upcoming shows. They get people to do the action of actually buying tickets.

The partner marketing plan behind all music festivals is flawless. Who would have thought, an Instagram post as a marketing strategy? Coachella did! Coachella has partnered with many influencers and brands. Below is a picture that Vanessa Hudgens posted on Instagram. She was advertising Amazon Lockers at Coachella. By having influencers and brands to join and promote your business or festival, you can take advantage of their followers and people trusting in their opinions.

How to use this strategy

When marketing for a small business, finding a sponsor or partner will help you engage more of your audience than working by yourself. We know social media influencer marketing like Vanessa Hudgens is expensive, but it is as simple as sponsoring a local sports team near you. Create a partnership with companies that have similar audiences like you. This will help you broaden your reach and tap into an audience you never knew you could before. 

Steer your marketing strategy in the right direction.
Our Ultimate Guide for Small Business Marketing will lead the way.


3.    Make it fun

Not only are partnerships and sponsoring important, but self-promotion is necessary! If you built a business, you need to promote. Why would other people promote it if you weren’t? Being interactive and present for your audience is the most important. Don’t ignore your attendees or customers.

One way to self-promote and get your audience excited is through promotions; for example, festivals offer free tickets, merch giveaways, competitions, or discounts. Made in America Music Festival offered a “buy one get one 50% deal on July 5tharound the idea of 4thof July” ðŸ‘. Moonrise Festival did a handful of contests to win a pair of general tickets, merch, VIP tickets, meet & eat with favorite artists, and so much more. 

How to use this strategy

By using promotions in your marketing strategy, your audience will get excited about what they can win and the biggest of all, they will communicate with their friends and family about what they are involved in. For small businesses, apply this marketing method into your plan today. Offer referral discounts or start a competition and get the talk circulating. There is no better marketing strategy than word of mouth communication. 


4.    Get on the streets

Offline marketing is not old school, we promise. It’s as easy as talking to someone on the street or speaking on the radio about your business.

My favorite kind of offline marketing is sticker marketing. Many brands create stickers to hand out, post, or sell. Nowadays, people are inventing trendy stickers to put on their cars, laptops, skateboards, phones, etc. It is a compelling tactic and way to create conversation; a conversation about your brand. ðŸ’¯ Music festivals have taken ahold of this trend by creating cool stickers to promote their event. Check a few of my favorites out below👇.

How to use this strategy

Stickers are an easy and inexpensive marketing tactic. Think of something creative that goes along with your brand. At DirectLync, we created stickers with sayings that are specific to marketers. Some other types of offline marketing include parties, holding contests, pop-up booths, print publications, and so much more. Find an offline marketing strategy that works for your business and put it to the test. 


5.    Get social

It all wraps up here. Social media is the MOST important way to market‼️ Yes, I did talk about offline marketing, but it only goes so far. With social media, you can reach more people with less money.  Social media, quite literally, is taking over. All the marketing trends we have mentioned include social media. No matter if it is self, influencer, or performers promoting, they all include a social media marketing strategy. 

Through social media, you can include ads, videos, live stream, live picture updates, behind the scenes updates, and so much more. Coachella streams both of their weekends live on YouTube channel for those who couldn’t make it to the festival. They provide people all over the world the ability to watch the live performers up close as if they were in Indio, California. Right before the festival, they release a schedule that says who and when will be performing live. This gives people a taste of the experience and will make them want to attend next years event. 

How to use this strategy

Think of tactics, a theme, a way to market to your audience through social media. No creativity is bad creativity.

Keep in mind, the use of social media can be your strongest tool, but it can also be used against you. ðŸ™€When posting on social media, be sure to be smart about it, analyze your work, and double-check. Be true to your audience. But, be prepared for your audience to use social to post positive or negative content about you. They know it’s an easy way to get back at you and let the world see the truth.

I’m sure we have all heard that Fyre Festival ended up being an enormous disaster. 

“Social media was their tool, but it also was their downfall.”

Billy McFarland hyped up the luxury, gourmet food that this festival would have, but instead when festival-goers arrived; they got the complete opposite. They used all types of social media accounts to post and share pictures, videos, live cameras of the disaster. Don't make promises you can't keep on social, be true to your audience, or they will spread the word.  


Put these festival marketing trends to the test

A lot of music festival marketing trends were mentioned here, but they are strategies and tactics a small business owner can use to market their business and services. The more creative in social media marketing strategies, the more they will work. Start a trend of an orange picture and let it go viral. Oops, sorry I know that sounded familiar. ðŸ¤¦‍ Don’t take that Fyre Festival idea, but think of your own and make it happen.


Updated on June 8, 2020