Happy fans. Solid lineup. Sold-out festival. All you could ask for and more?

While these are every organizer’s goals, they’re easier said than done.

Planning an epic music festival is no easy task. Festival-goers will either love your festival or they won’t. But not to worry, the fans who do love your festival are enthusiastic and more loyal than ever.

According to Nielsen Music, music fans are willing to travel an average of 903 miles to attend a festival. It’s safe to say music festivals are not a fad that will be forgotten next season. But with increased interest comes increased competition.

So what can you do to get ahead of the game and become the next must-attend festival?

Easy. Get a kick start on your data strategy and start leveraging your best asset — fan data.  Fan data can be as simple as demographics like age, location and gender. But if you’ve got a sound data strategy in place, you can collect deeper insights like brand affinities, general interests and more. Check out these four ways data can help you plan a better festival.

Want more data that can help you connect with festival fans? Sign up for our free panel next week on 5 New Facts About Festival Fans — And What They Mean for Your Business.

1. Curate a data-driven lineup

Picking the line up is the most important and stressful part of planning a festival — it will make or break you.

This is where having a complete view of your fan data is essential. What does your audience look like? How old are they? What are they interested in? Use data to see which artists are popular within that age or gender group. Or if you’re trying to please your hardcore festie, take a look at last year’s data to see which artists were most popular.

Not confident in your data? Try using publically available data from popular streaming services like Spotify and Soundcloud. See which artists have the biggest following and higher play counts to get a pulse on what’s popular in the wider industry.

2. Find unique and relevant sponsors

Sponsors are a crucial source of income for festivals, and fans are more likely to favor brands who sponsor their favorite festivals. This sponsor benefit makes it easy to entice the best brands to sponsor your festival. But how do you know which brands are the right ones?

Fan data, of course. This is where a data management platform comes in handy. With a DMP, you’re able to consolidate all your fan data in one place to get a holistic view of your fans. Using social data, you’re able to break out fan demographics to see which brands your audience is most interested in.You may be surprised by what you find. A large part of your audience might like brands you never expected, or you may discover popular new brands that are itching for more exposure.

3. Prove value to sponsors

Data is useful for not only finding relevant sponsors, but also for helping you prove value and ROI to them. Sponsors invest a hefty amount of money into festivals and expect to gain insights around the success of their investment.

Data helps you understand brand affinities so you can segment your fans within the context of a single brand, or groups of similar brands. Data also helps you closely track changes in audience age or if one brand was more successful than its competitor. Sponsors appreciate these insights and will likely invest again if there is clear value.

4. Engage and collect — there’s an app for that

Attendees expect to have a memorable experience at your festival. Luckily, your ability to give them that experience is already in the palm of their hands. Don’t have a festival app? Time to re-think that. Festival apps make it easy to engage with fans and collect valuable data from them at the same time. Popular festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and ACL are already taking advantage of this.

Fans use festival apps to plan their day, map out food and water stations, and connect with friends. Couple your app with beacon technology to send vendor surveys or promote vendor contests. Use this data to discover which vendors were most popular at your festival. Next year, bring those back and swap out the less popular vendors with new options to delight your fans — and give vendors their money’s worth.

Want to learn more about using data to plan better festivals? Register for our upcoming webinar to learn five new facts about festival fans and data insights that will help your business.

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