Throughout the past few years, music festivals have become increasingly popular. Teenage and adult audiences have contributed to the ever-expanding choices of musical styles and offers, driving the emergence of new concert events.
Music festivals’ success is partly due to their high convening power. The communication strategies behind any event are a key factor to its success—correct audience profiling means you can reach specific niches and personalize messages to connect with attendees on an emotional level.
A clear example is the Belgian electronic music festival, Tomorrowland. Part of its strategy is to publish teasers, photographs and videos on social media months before the event to generate high expectations and build anticipation. By the time of the event, attendees are eager to consume and make the most of what the festival has to offer. Adam Abadías Selma, a marketing professor from Nebrija University, believes festivals are the ideal place for winning over consumers: “Festival goers are very motivated by what they come to see, making them a well-suited and highly interested audience. They are a very niche market and pose forward many engagement opportunities,” including those through visual productions, artists, concerts, rides, VIP areas and brand activities.
As such, festivals now represent a business opportunity for both artists and participating brands and promoters. And brand presence at these events is radically evolving. Coca-Cola was one of the pioneers driving this change when it introduced the Coca-Cola Flow Fest—a fully sponsored reggaeton festival in Mexico.
Other factors that increase a festival’s likelihood of success are the databases it generates during the event. Through their database information, festivals can gain insights into their customers, as explained in an analysis by the UOC. Using apps and RFID (radio frequency identification) wristbands to make on-site payments are only one example of how event organizers can collect data on guests’ consumption tendencies. Festivals can then offer sponsor opportunities at subsequent events to generate greater visibility and drive interaction with attendees.
This allows brands to personalize their message and offer experiences that fit consumers’ needs and wants. An example is the laser maze created by mobile service provider Tigo at the Stereo Picnic music festival in Colombia, where attendees were encouraged to get through the labyrinth in under a minute. Those who managed to do so received coins that could be exchanged for useful objects, such as backpacks, clothing items and umbrellas, maximizing the company’s impact on people.
There are many existing tools, and these will continue to evolve as technology advances. Despite being aware of the data collection involved in these practices, festival goers are often willing to share their personal information in exchange for experiences, which for many, are the most valuable part of a festival.
 Marketing, data and summer festivals—why are these opportunities to get to know consumers better?