The music festival industry is evolving faster than ever. To attract new fans while turning a profit, you’ll need to keep your finger on the pulse of how other music festivals are planning and promoting their events. 

We scanned some of the newest data on music festivals to make a playlist of the top trends you should be plugged into. Check them out, then use the data to gain a marketing edge over your competition.

1. More people than ever are attending music festivals

You may be aware of the increasing popularity of festivals, but these music festival statistics are still pretty staggering. According to Billboard, 32 million people go to at least one music festival in the US every year. On a broader scale, Aloompa’s 2016 Festival Demand Report reveals 51% of Americans attended a live music event in 2015, up from 44% in 2014.

Of course, festivals come in a variety of sizes and scope. According to the Forbes’ music festivals study, Austin City Limits had the highest attendance in 2015, entertaining about 450,000 people across their two weekends. (For context, Coachella hosted just under 200,000 people in total last year.)

What that means for you: If those numbers sound unattainable, don’t fret — there’s no need to reach them. Smaller festivals like Fun Fun Fun Fest and Newport Folk Festival hosted 50,000 or fewer fans in 2015, while still remaining incredibly popular.  

2. Your ticket prices shouldn’t be set in stone

If you look at the variety of pricing options at top music festivals, you’ll see that they appeal to both the average music fan as well as those looking for a VIP experience. The Forbes’ music festival study has a fascinating comparison of how America’s top 12 festivals price tickets and beverages.

For instance, at Coachella, a general admission ticket in 2015 was $375 — fairly standard considering the length and popularity of the experience. On the pricier side, a Super VIP pass to the Firefly Music Festival was $1,999 in 2015. For that price tag, an attendee could enjoy an open bar, artist lounges, premium main stage viewing, and other perks.

What that means for you: Worried if your prices are off the mark? Use the Forbes data to benchmark them, and don’t be afraid to offer different pricing tiers and add-ons to appeal to music festival lovers on any budget.

3. The top festival performers aren’t always chart-toppers

Aloompa’s research took an interesting angle with festival technology to find out which artists fans are most excited to see live. By looking at the artists fans added to their schedule using music festivals’ apps, they found surprising differences between those on iOS and Android.   

Four of the top ten artists on iOS are hip-hop acts, and the four remaining were EDM. Android users, on the other hand, were avid EDM fans. EDM artists comprised 9 of the top 10 acts, six of which are from Europe.

The top 10 artists fans added to their schedules across all genres were Miranda Lambert, Modest Mouse, Justin Moore, Mumford and Sons, Calvin Harris, Kendrick Lamar, The Killers, Elton John, Cage the Elephant, and Imagine Dragons.

What that means for you: Music festival fans like a wide variety of music, and enjoy being exposed to new artists and different genres. As you put together a lineup, think about combinations that will attract new audiences. (And if you’re wondering much these festivals are shelling out for the top bands, check out the Forbes study to find out.)

4. EDM has a bright future

According to the International Music Summit (IMS) Business Report 2016 (an annual study of the Electronic Music industry), fans listened to an estimated 15 billion Dance/Electronic streams in 2015. What’s more? Electronic artists dominated Spotify all year as well.

As far as festivals go, EDM festivals and clubs are huge in Europe, and launching in many high-growth markets, including South America and China. The U.S. is expected to follow suit as well, IMS predicts.

What that means for you: Especially if your core fan base includes music-streaming millennials, be sure that EDM has at least some representation at your festival.

Want to more stats to upgrade your operations? Check out this free guide to learn how to use live music data to stay in the black.

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