A chance to meet the most talented artists, listen to some amazing music, and have some delicious food? Sign us up! A music festival is a perfect way to bring artists and fans together and celebrate all things music.
To organize the music festival of the decade, however, you do need to get the word out and make sure people actually come. And you obviously want notable individuals in the music industry to drop by as well.
All big music festivals, from Coachella and Moonrise to Lollapalooza, have one thing in common – amazing promotion. When it comes to creating hype for the event, these festivals knew they had to go all out. After all, the attendees are the main ingredient in the recipe for a successful music fest.
This is why we’ve prepared a guide for you to help you promote your upcoming music festival. Want the eyes of fans and industry leaders at your festival? Read on to find out what you have to do to make it happen.
How to Promote A Music Festival: 5 Tips
1. Run a social media giveaway contest
More than 4.5 billion people all across the world use the internet regularly. Out of this, 3.8 billion are active social media users. This means that when it comes to promotion, social media is your best bet. You’re bound to find your target audience here.
People love free things and are often willing to participate in most online contests if there’s a possibility to win something. Leverage this by running an online giveaway contest for your festival tickets.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to grab people’s attention by simply inviting them to a festival you’re organizing. Especially if it’s your first time doing it. This is why you need to create an incentive.
Start by announcing the contest on your social media pages. Ask people to share the post and tag at least five friends. In return, they’ll be eligible to win two free tickets to the festival. This way, you’ll get in with your followers’ followers. Pretty soon, you’ll have curious eyes on your page, and from here, you can direct them to your website or to a link for more information about the event.
Start the giveaway well before the festival. And do it four or five times to gain as much traction as possible. In 2019, Moonrise Festival did a whole bunch of contests online to sell their tickets, and it worked brilliantly.
2. Put up posters everywhere
Research shows that print advertising is still a lot more effective than online advertising, especially to promote a music festival. And there may be a good reason for this. Posters, flyers, and brochures allow you to connect with potential customers in your area. Because these people are close to where you are, they’ll be more likely to actually visit your place of business.
Festival advertising is no different. You want to market the most to people who live a short drive away from the venue. So put up posters in your entire neighborhood. In your poster, guide people towards your ticket sales site, website, and social media. Don’t overwhelm the poster with too much information – just the name of the festival, dates, artists playing, and ticket and contact details should be enough.
Here are some places you can put up your poster to promote a music festival:
- Pub restaurants and coffee shops
- Community bulletin boards
- Public places like parks, subway stations, and parking lots
Make sure to ask for permission from relevant local authorities before putting up your poster. If you don’t have a huge marketing budget, it will be more feasible for you to make your posters using online tools like PosterMyWall. Here you’ll find hundreds of music festival poster templates, which you can customize within minutes.
You can also repurpose the poster designs and make flyers out of them. Hand out flyers in parks and grocery stores during rush hours, or go door to door.
3. Partner up with influencers and celebrities
Part of the festival experience is being able to be in the same space as so many influencers and enjoying the same music as them. If you can get a group of famous influencers and celebrities to help you with your online music event promotion, you’ll immediately see a bump in ticket sales.
The influencer market is currently worth $9.7 billion, and that’s because it’s extremely effective. Reach out to local influencers via email or direct messages on social media. Give them an elevator pitch about your festival, and ask for their help in promotion. In return, offer them free tickets and free alcohol.
To smoothen this process, make an excel sheet with the names of all local influencers and their contact details. Then reach out to them individually, and record their response.
Big festivals like Coachella bring celebrities on board all the time to help them with their marketing.
Also, use this strategy to reach out to potential sponsors and stakeholders. In the same excel sheet, add names and contact details of record labels, big corporations, and big names in the business who might be interested in a partnership. Their expertise might just help you take your festival to the next level.
4. Sell tickets at local venues
The best way to get your name out there is to be at places where your target audience is at the most. For instance, let’s assume your target audience for your festival is between 18 and 30 years old. Now, let’s assume you’ve learned that most people of these ages hang out at a particular coffee shop in your town all the time.
What do you do? You place a stack of tickets at this coffee shop, along with a small poster or brochure with more details about the festival. Talk to the coffee shop owner and the barista beforehand, and ask them to offer the tickets to everyone who places an order. In return, offer the coffee shop a booth or kiosk at your festival.
You can also start an official partnership with the coffee shop – for example, if someone orders a strawberry scone from the shop, they’ll automatically get 10% off on a ticket.
So do your research and find out who your target audience is and where they can be found the most. Pick a few popular spots, and get to work.
You can also sell your tickets online through sites like Eventbrite. Simply place a QR code on your poster at the coffee shop, and ask people to get their e-tickets in minutes online by scanning it.
5. Always sell an experience
When it comes to luxury goods and services, it’s always about the experience more than it is about the product. People don’t just want the tickets or the food or the music. They want a day to remember, or more specifically, a day they can post about on social media.
So regardless of what type of promotion you do, make sure that the experience of the festival is the focus. Do a small shoot in which excited festival attendees are having the time of their life dancing, singing, drinking, eating, and taking pictures. If you’ve done the festival before, share pictures and videos of it on your social media. If nothing else, the fear of missing out alone will rack up ticket sales. But the goal is to make the festival look like it’s worth not missing out on.
Recent studies have shown that customers base their loyalty on the experience they receive, not on the price or product. So if you’re able to sell the experience, the tickets will sell themselves. A good and luxurious experience will also grab the attention of bigwigs in the music business, who might be looking for a partnership.
To accurately sell an experience, you need to do target audience research. A lot of it. Find out what they like. Do young people like neon, bright lights, or props? Make them a part of the experience. Is there a particular food that’s really popular with your audience? Make it a part of the experience as well.
Here are more ways you can market your festival experience:
- More photoshoots at your venue – have influencers go to your venue and take pictures, or take your own.
- Post small clips of the artists who will be performing at your festival
- Do a video shoot of festival attendees enjoying the food
- Show behind-the-scenes footage of organizers getting ready for the festival and hyping it up
All big festivals secure their attendees by selling the experience. That’s literally how the Fyre Festival sold all those tickets, even though the festival itself was a disaster. Final thoughts to effectively promote a music festival, you have to do your research. Research the market, your audience, and everything in between. Then implement these strategies to increase attendance at your event. A good mix of online and offline strategies is exactly how you can make your festival a raging success.