5 Ideas for Promoting a Music Festival Online and on Social Media

Kamila Palka
Kamila Palka
There are thousands of festivals worldwide each year. In the US alone, 32 million people attended a music festival in 2019. Want a slice of that pie? Here's our guide to getting attention for your own music festival. Or wait... You know what. Any type of festival. Roll up, roll up! Like at all the best events, everyone's welcome here.

Music, books, film, drinks, food, cons… if you’re organizing an event that brings a big, diverse bunch of people into one place, then this is the blog post for you. Because most festival organizers lie awake at night worrying about the same set of challenges:

Well, we’ve got the answers. Scroll on down for ideas and examples, or just click the links to jump to the section you need.

Promote music festivals with giveaways and keep costs down

There’s a reason why marketers love social media: it’s cheap and it converts. Although some organic posts don’t have the traction they used to, social media giveaways generate buzz and significantly increase engagement.

So whether or not you do fork out for social ads, you need a way to make a bigger impact with your posts. That’s where giveaways come in. Take a look at how Aperol Spritz, one of the partners of Extrema Outdoor, took it to social media to spread the news about the upcoming festival. The brand worked on visibility for their own brand and the festival and reaching new potential attendees by asking participants to tag their festival buddies in the comment section.

festival tickets giveaway organized by Aperol Spritz on Instagram

The festival tickets giveaway generated hundreds of comments, helping Aperol Spritz reach new users and generating awareness for the festival.

parklife festival ticket giveaway

And here’s another example, this time from Parklife Festival and LadBible. The two brands collaborated so that they could reach a wider audience and generate more visibility for their brands. Can you see the number of views on this post? The giveaway attracted more than 1,600 participants!

Looking for lightning-fast solutions? Run a last-minute ticket giveaway on Facebook or Instagram with our instant templates for festival tickets giveaways.

Festival promotion on social media: build an audience that keeps coming back

Anyone can run an event – once.

But creating a festival that becomes an annual tradition takes a lot more hard work, luck, and organization.

Think of it this way: is it easier to find several thousand new visitors each year, or persuade the same crowd to come back? Festival regulars are the backbone of your ticket sales.

So how can you build up that kind of audience? Well, the first step is staying in touch. You’ll need a way to collect contact details and GDPR-compliant consent for your mailing lists and communications.

Example of a festival promotion. The banner image shows a luxury holiday home, with the overlay text: "Win a 2 night gourmet escape!" Below, the text explains that users can enter the prize draw when they sign up to the festival's newsletter.

Take a look at the example from Hampton Festival. In order to generate new leads for their mailing list, the festival organizers have away a gourmet two-night escape. Apart from collecting all the leads, Hampton Festival got to increase its visibility and work on customer loyalty. But once again, the trick was to offer an incentive. Like in this example, below.

Example of a festival promotion to collect contact details. 3 mobile screenshots show the homepage of the contest, advertizing 3 free tickets; the entry form, asking for full name and email address; and a thank you page which reminds users to validate their email address to confirm consent.

Giving away 3 free tickets is a small price to pay in exchange for thousands of names, email addresses, and enthusiastic subscribers that the organizers of the above promotions got in return. Note how participants were given extra giveaway entries for inviting friends and colleagues!

Would you like to organize a recruiting contest to generate visibility and engagement for your festival? Try our Refer a Friend festival demo and if you like it, download a pre-configured template to launch your own promotion!

Raise your festival’s profile and interactions on social media

If you want your festival or event to go viral, you’re looking at 2 key metrics:

  1. People using your brand name
  2. People sharing their live experience of the event

In other words, you’re not only looking for an improvement in brand awareness, but also brand image. Even though these two goals are distinct, you can achieve them in combination. Encourage people to post about the festival and tag you as much as possible:

parklife hashtag on instagram

  • Create a custom hashtag and use it on all your publicity materials
  • Set up photo opportunities with cute locations for Instagram, or event photo booths
  • Run a mention + hashtag contest to incentivize posts
  • Encourage high-profile acts, vendors, and attendees to post and tag you
  • Broadcast posts about the event on screens that update in real-time
  • Have a team ready to monitor posts and respond to feedback – good and bad

Connect with vendors and talent

Festival organizers, vendors, acts, and other talent have what you might call a symbiotic relationship.

The festival benefits by offering more entertainment and services – while vendors and acts benefit from meeting a new audience.

So it makes perfect sense that this symbiosis applies to your marketing strategy, too. You can use social media to pool your audiences and mutually raise brand awareness online.

But how? You have a couple of options.

The easiest method is to run a brand collaboration. Set up a giveaway in association with event vendors or talent. You’ll be able to offer more prizes, spread any advertising costs, and make contact with each other’s audiences. Just make sure you use a secure giveaway partnership tool so that both brands are protected.

Another example of a festival brand partnership on Instagram. The image shows fried chicken with waffles and maple syrup. In the caption, a restaurant invites users to win tickets to a local food festival by commenting and tagging 2 friends.

If you want to boost several brands at once, then another great option is a Pick Your Favorite contest. Offer your followers a range of products or artists, and ask them to vote for the one they like best.

Then you can hand out customized prizes, based on how people voted. And the brands you’ve featured will be delighted with the publicity boost – whether or not they earned the most votes.

What makes this event different from other festivals?

Every festival has something delightful and unique to offer. The problem is, there’s a lot of competition out there… and it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.

So you need to focus on what makes you special. Hammer the message home on social media, in email newsletters, on flyers, and on billboards. Yell it through a megaphone if you have to!

And if you feel like your message (or voice) is getting a little tired? Well, it’s time to add something new to talk about.

In 2019, Revolve festival and Storyluxe teamed up to create custom Instagram templates. They shared stories by users which showed off the branded templates.

Surprisingly, many festivals are still very low-tech. They’re aware of the power of mobile connectivity and smartphones, but they’re content to leave innovation to others.

If you want to do better, try some of these ideas on for size:

  • run live, interactive surveys about the festival experience, using QR codes
  • create AR filters and virtual photo booths, so that users always have your branding in their pocket
  • build a location-sensitive festival app to offer insider deals, tip-offs, and secret gigs

We’d add more to the list… but we want to see what you come up with on your own! If you have festival promotion plans and you’d like to know more about how Easypromos can help, just start a chat with our lovely support team.

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