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The Future of Festivals: 8 Trends You Need to Know

Discover the 8 biggest trends driving the festival industry in this data-packed report. You'll learn what inspires attendees to attend — and spend at — your event.

In a competitive festival space, it’s more important than ever to create a unique, unforgettable experience for your attendees. So how can you make your festival a once-in-a-lifetime experience that brings people back, year after year?

To get you the answer, we asked festival-throwers about what they think is next for the industry. We also asked festival-goers what’s driving them to buy tickets. From technology to refreshments, discover the eight biggest trends driving the festival industry in this data-packed report. You’ll learn:

  • What inspires attendees to attend — and spend at — your event
  • All the latest technology, including location-awareness, virtual reality, and livestreaming
  • How to keep participants coming back for more of a great thing




There’s a premium on experience these days. In fact, over 75% of millennials and 59% of baby boomers say they value experiences over possessions. This is good news for your festival. You’re already offering a unique experience — it’s just a matter of showcasing it.

So how can you make your festival a once-in-a-lifetime experience? How can you tap into your attendees’ desires, and build strong connections that bring them back year after year? To find out, we asked festival organizers to identify the most prominent trends they’re seeing today. We also checked in with all kinds of festival-goers to find out what they love about the events they’re attending.

This paper draws on those conversations, as well as recent research, to give you the latest festival innovations, emerging technologies, and marketing tips. Read on for the eight trends that will put your festival at the head of the pack.

Trend #1: More payment methods mean more spending

Does your ticketing system allow for multiple ways to check in? Attendees are getting more and more savvy about their ticketing choices. We’ve already seen this trend booming for music events. Half of music festival attendees prefer RFID wristbands that grant them rapid entry so they can skip long lines. RFID can also offer other perks that paper currency cannot.

Trend #2: Instagram is amplifying word of mouth

For superfans, casual festival-goers, and even first-time attendees, sharing what they’re doing on social media is a key way to communicate with friends. And friends are important: 83% of people say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. In fact, Eventbrite has found that 20% of traffic to events on our platform comes from social media.

Trend #3: Your attendees are hungry for more 

In a recent Eventbrite survey of more than 5,000 festival-goers, 80% of millennials had attended three or more food, wine, or beer events in the past year. Millennials drink more alcohol than any other generation before them. And more than half of them consider themselves “foodies.”

The more food and drink options your attendees have, the happier they’ll be. But there’s a more strategic reason to offer food at your festival: 84% of food festival-goers are likely to post pictures of food while at an event. That’s priceless social media marketing.

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