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September 30, 2022

Why Music Festival Marketing Needs a Rethink

In 2019, festival marketing wasn’t markedly different to how it had always been done

Why? Because it worked.

But then Covid came along.

Fast forward almost 3 years and we’re facing a looming recession, changing consumer habits and pressure on the hip pocket.

It’s fair to say things have changed - which means you should consider adapting your marketing strategy.

So how do today’s event promoters acclimatize to this new environment? What can you do to connect with fans? And is there a secret to standing out from the crowd?

Don’t expect pre-Covid tactics to work in a post-Covid world

Reality check: the days of festival goers nabbing their tickets months (or even years) in advance are behind us. 

Here’s why:

Covid cancellations are still a thing

All it takes is one crew member to contract the virus and the show’s off.

People are feeling the pinch

Higher living costs and rising inflation means less budget for non-essential items.

It’s a (festival) buyer’s market

After 3 years of cancelled events, fans have more choice of festivals than there are celebrities at Coachella. And they can’t go to everything.

How, then, do you attract them to your events? 

It comes down to refining your strategy to ensure you’re connecting with fans and standing out from the competition

Building quality connections with fans is the new age marketing

Fans want to feel like more than just ticket buyers. They want the buzz of knowing they actually belong to the festival, that their voices are being heard and they’re getting the lineup they want.

If you can create an engaged, loyal and passionate fanbase, you can count on repeat purchases year in, year out. 

So… where do you start?

Post-event presale

When people are in the throes of the post-festival high, they’re far more likely to buy next year’s ticket. Make sure you jump in straight away - that is, while the messages, social media posts and photo sharing are still running hot. 

Dragging your heels means today’s fans will have to be won over again tomorrow. And that wastes precious time, resources and budget.

Using NFTs

Turning a fan into a stakeholder brings you untold brand loyalty. By offering NFTs, you’ll give your audience the chance to truly be part of the journey - to have a say, promote your show and, ultimately, buy more tickets.

Don’t forget your dormant subscribers

With at least 80% of your email list not buying tickets anymore, you need to tap into every avenue possible. There are plenty of names on your database who can’t be considered fans - but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost the love for your festivals.

It’s worth spending some time analyzing your database to figure out who’s teetering on the edge of being a fan - then nurturing them until they step over the line.

Not sure where to start? Try:

  • Using presale campaigns to leverage word-of-mouth and incentivize dormant subscribers with money-can’t-buy experiences (think private jets with their favourite artist)
  • Creating FOMO by documenting those experiences and sharing with subscribers. 

How to stand out from the (festival) crowd

At a time when buyers are thinking twice before spending up, you’ve got to use every tool in your arsenal. 

Get ticket sales soaring by:

Creating buzz

It’s incredibly important to keep the momentum going - even after you’ve made your lineup announcement.

Again, it’s about the presale campaign. This will build a bigger audience, help you sell remaining general on-sale tickets, plus gauge (and generate) demand for additional dates

Harnessing the power of your fans

Your fan base is powerful - don’t waste it. 

Utilize your fans to spread the word about your festival lineup, by rewarding them generously to share the presale registration link

The more they share the link, the more points they earn - and the higher their chance of winning those exclusive prizes

Using engaging channels

Did you know fans engage the most with email and SMS marketing?

It’s true.

A mind-blowing 98% (you read that correctly) of text messages are actually opened, while 90% of messages are read within the first 3 minutes of receipt

As for email marketing, a McKinsey & Co study revealed this mode of communication acquires 40 x more customers than Facebook and Twitter combined

But don’t just implement these approaches - make them really start working for you by getting creative and savvy.

For example, you can often get people moving with time-sensitive messaging. Phrases like ‘Last call for first release tix’ or ‘Only 1,000 tickets left’ create a sense of urgency and FOMO that fans often can’t resist.

Festival marketing: it’s all about the fans

Gone are the days of tickets ‘selling themselves’. The festival landscape has changed incredibly quickly in a few short years - and your success now centres heavily on attracting, engaging and nurturing your fans.

To see how we can help you stand out, connect with your audience and sell more tickets, schedule a product demo with our team and make 2023 your best yet!

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