Beyond concerts: seeking the experience of music festivals

There are still summer days… Together with the sun and the heat, the route of festivals continues to be dormant in the hearts of young and not so young. Today more than ever a good festival with its headliner, non-stop music and that idea of ​​being “present” at the musical events of the year is almost a commandment to fulfill in the summer stage.

The experience starts at minute one when users queue on-line to purchase your ticket to the event. The ban opens and the excitement and adrenaline increase as the date of the festival approaches, accommodation and suitcases are prepared and plans are made with those friends that will make the day unforgettable.

The names of the international festivals Tomorrowland, Coachella or Lovebox are not unknown to the most festival-goers. At a national level, Sónar, FIB, Primavera Sound, Bilbao BBK Live, Mad Cool, Sonorama and countless more are part of the agenda of those who do not hesitate to buy a ticket and live the experience.

Coachella is one of the festivals best known as a music event and ‘experience’.
Thomas Hawk / Flickr, CC BY-NC

Where does this experience come from?

The generation of experiences occurs through the intermediation of the multiple senses (sight, taste, sense, touch, hearing and smell). Multisensoriality, interaction and imagination are elements of the consumer experience according to the pioneer academics in the value of experience in consumer behavior. To do this, festivals not only offer a musical event but also trigger the offer to meet these multisensory needs by companies and brands that do not hesitate to position themselves in this type of event.

Producing sensations is the basis for developing positive thoughts and relationships with the public, and hedonism, typical of leisure activities, constitutes a particular type of experiential consumption. The use of direct experiences, face to face to favor the engagement and the creation of relationships to build affinity with the brand are today the trends observed among the actions of marketing by the big world companies.

Backlit, a group of adults enjoy a swing ride at a music festival.
Attendees at the London Lovebox festival, at one of the festival’s attractions.
I Pizza / Flickr, CC BY-NC

In this sense, events and, specifically, music festivals are very suitable places to offer memorable experiences to the public. As live music is their main claim, their ephemeral nature makes them unique and unrepeatable celebrations and the perfect place to produce an emotional and experiential state in the viewer that results in their own responses.

festivals and marketing experiential

Music festivals have become an engine that drives the way we relate to audiences of different ages. Music is the activity that most of the population is most passionate about and it is one of the actions in which young people invest the most time. These festivals are shown as a type of experience that attracts a large number of people and an opportunity for brands to promote themselves and connect with them in a relationship that goes beyond mere transaction.

The values ​​associated with these events are modernity and youth. In this sense, 57.8% of festival goers are between 16-29 years old, while 28.7% are between 30 and 39 years old. Integration, differentiation, interaction with the public and maximizing the impact of the actions carried out are some of the challenges faced by brands that wish to be associated with the aforementioned events.

These quotes favor customizable and memorable actions, with the potential for a great impact on social networks. So much so that 74% of attendees remember the brands behind the festivals. These events have great potential to host multiple acts under one event, while personalizing the attendee experience.

A group of people bounce around a singer performing on the stage of a sponsored tent.
One of the tents managed by private companies at Mad Cool 2022 that he used to create experiences for attendees.
Iñaki Espejo Saavedra / Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Actions such as the inclusion of positions promoted by brands to publish selfie in social networks, the gift of merchandise, setting up sponsored stage tents and screens, or participating in workshops, as well as capturing data to personalize experiences (for example, posting on screens how many people are at the event with the same name) build connections and a sense of community . Festivals are on their way to being a compilation of mini-events that require individualized measures around communication.

Carrying out actions of marketing experience in musical events is highly positive for the parties: brands, organizers and the public. The enhancement of experiences becomes a fundamental strategic focus of the communication departments and marketing to attract the attention of the public and generate lasting relationships with people.

The exploitation of the senses, the appeal to emotions and the presence of brands in places and through topics that interest people make visible their desire to integrate into society from perspectives that are more advanced than merely transactional.

The rush of happiness

Viewers of music festivals and concerts have been shown to have higher levels of life satisfaction and lower signs of depression or other mental health problems. In addition, these events reduce stress more effectively than with exercise and yoga and improve social relationships by creating new emotional bonds with different people.

It is also a fact that festival audiences want to experience something that transcends music, and why not broadcast it through their favorite social networks. That the fun is expanded, musical talent is supported, or even the opportunity to create new friendships are some of the reasons why viewers join (at least) some of the must-see dates of the summer.

Running in the front row, trying fast food without remorse or experiencing the “high” are some of the activities with which to complete that perfect summer to the sound of the best musical chords.

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