5 ways that festivals win at social media

Submitted by on the 20th of October 2015

A music festival is a product that pretty much sells itself. With a heady mix of the coolest bands in one place, the vast numbers of attendees, the alcohol and round-the-clock partying, it’s not hard to see why big festivals like Coachella can dominate social spaces like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a global scale.

Despite this, festival organisers aren’t simply sitting back, waiting for their fans to do all the work for them. Organisers are using social media in interesting and exciting ways to get their brand out there and encourage engagement before, during and after their event.

Here are five ways music festivals are using social media well:

  1. They use it to pedal FOMO

    What’s worse than seeing drunken festival selfies on a friend’s timeline? Watching a professionally filmed and produced aftermovie that captures all the best moments of the event, complete with storyline and soundtrack. Coachella and Tomorrowland use YouTube to show you what you missed out on, to make sure you don’t miss out again.

  1. They use it to listen to their fans

    The organisers of Rocking the Daisies turned to social media to compare their 2011 and 2012 events. This was to see how they could improve the experience for their festivalgoers and measure the ROI for their sponsors. Tracking online conversations allowed for the organisers to refine the experience of future events for both festivalgoers and sponsors alike.

  1. They use it to piggyback off others’ influence

    Sure, a music festival is paying for the pleasure of having bands perform at their event. But the organisers can also depend on these bands using their reach to promote the festival, in return. This symbiotic relationship ensures that the festival is promoted on the bands’ social media pages in the run-up, and also allows the organisers to push the connection in its own posts. They can also rely on unique content such as personal experience, footage and photographs from the stage to increase online engagement for both the band and the brand.

  1. They use it to make it easier to get to their event

    Social ride-sharing services like Zaparide and GoCarShare connect drivers with passengers, matching them up according to the route, or even personal tastes and interests. A social login also allows drivers and passengers to review each other. While this is perfect for cutting transport costs and perhaps even making new friends, it’s also leads to a further layer of online engagement for the festival.

  1. They use it to make engagement novel

    Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee uses its wristbands to connect with social media accounts. Using radio frequency identification, festivalgoers can swipe their wristbands at various portals around the venue to check in and update their Facebook and Twitter pages. This led to 200 000 check-ins during their 2012 event and nearly 1.5 million social impressions across the four days the festival ran.

Whether you’re organising a large festival or a small event, investigate using the right social media tools to give you the edge.