It seems they multiply each year. New music festival concepts and anticipated lineups emerge as fast as the collapsible stages and tents it takes to present them. With each fest comes another sprawling landscape for promotional opportunity. As you’re likely well aware, technology and social media are tantamount to marketing success, and there’s no exception with music festival promotions, like last weekend's Festival on the Farm.
However, while festival ticketholders crave a digitally interactive experience, they also appreciate old-fashioned, real life, organic interaction between other humans — ultimately getting in touch with themselves beyond an electronic device. Promotional experiences taking place at the myriad music fests across the country present a promotional pendulum that swings between virtual and authentic interaction.
It’s quite an interesting time for music and marketing alike. With the advent and practical takeover of streaming sites like Spotify, listeners, artists and marketers can all embark on the musical experience in all-inclusive manner. “Today’s audience wants ‘all-access’ — a direct line into the lives and content of artists they like. Several artists have now built their careers using this as a format to monetize and engage… Exclusive branded content, interviews, secret shows, and showcases have become the norm,” says Marco De La Vega, Marketing & PR Director at Mezzanine, a San Francisco live music venue. Leading up to a music festival, the following promotional avenues can be ventured:
- According to Eventbrite, this year artists will reach new audiences through brand partnerships and “direct ticketing” relationships
- Artists (like Rihanna did with her album ANTI on Tidal) are using audio platforms to release singles and EPs as opposed to full albums
- Artists are starting to use certain platforms to act as their own promoter, this includes controlling direct ticket sales, email blasts and sale of merchandise — getting them closer to the brand they’re utilizing and ultimately creating a more direct line of contact with fans
How can your brand take advantage of this musical space on the web and get high-demand artists involved in the process? Be it a banner ad running on a streaming site, or even an email promoting a music fest sent from an artist, which somehow incorporates your logo.
According to Forbes and a recent Nielsen poll, music festivals are often the highlights of people’s summer, with about 32 million people attending one each year. However, the allure of high-energy live performances can’t sever people from their phones and digital interactions. Fest-goers want the entire experience not only going through their eardrums, but captured on their mobile devices, too. People want to move through the fests with agility and speed, not get hung up by long lines or laborious money transactions. Their power bank must be mobile, their batteries fully charged and digital wallets accessible for the ultimate festival experience by the following means:
- Beacons, RFIDS and cashless payments
- Live Streaming with sites like Live Media Group
- Video headsets including panoramic views throughout festival grounds
Think about how your company could impart its brand in one of these digital formats with ads or equipment, or could you be on the juice itself in the case of the power bank? Ultimately your specific brand and goals will make the decision easier.
“Producers and promoters are finding ways to bring other creative outlets into the festivals, other than just music. People live on your festival site for three, four, five days — it’s important to have cool things to immerse themselves in outside of the stages,” says Valerie Harris, a Festival Producer at MCP Presents. While high-tech amenities can be fun and make for wireless, expeditious concert engagements, nothing will ever beat a creative and raw experience like a yoga and wellness workshop, arts and crafts class, or perhaps even a snowball fight?
Could your company host something to engage consumers in a way no Vimeo recording or Periscope stream could ever capture? One thing is clear, music festivals will continue welcoming both virtual and real-time interactions to give their attendees the most optimal experience from both ends of the spectrum. The question is, will your brand be a part of the fun?
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