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The future of festival management.

Industry Insights

The 3 Most Remarkable Festival Trends of 2015

StreetTeam recently created a great report and infographic based on IQ-Mag’s Festival Report 2015. And darn it, if it isn’t just too insightful for us to keep it from you! Here are our key takeaways on festival trends.

Artist fees are soaring

Artist fees continued to increase throughout 2015, as they did in the years before. Though not really a surprise, it was still the biggest trend and (probably) the biggest concern for festival teams worldwide.

Sometimes fees have even doubled in no more than one year. One festival promoter reported that he had to cut from 180 acts in 2014 to 120 in 2015 because of higher artist fees.

IQ reports that the knock-on effect for bands lower down the bill who are trying to build their fan base is potentially devastating. The result of higher prices for headliners is, ironically, less slots for newer acts…

… but ticket prices aren’t 

Good news for fans though: despite soaring artist fees, festivals aren’t charging these costs directly to their customers. Instead, most festival organizers respond with an increase in capacity.

That also means increased attendance with 46% of festivals reporting sell-out events in 2015, up from 43% in the previous year. Conclusion: increasing capacity is a viable strategy to cope with higher artist fees.


📖 Related: 5 Festival Management Trends That Will Shape 2016  📖


Headliner announcements are being made earlier & earlier

Festivals are now announcing headline acts eight to nine months in advance. That’s a big difference to the four to five months in advance that used to be the industry norm.

Guardian music news editor, Harriet Gibson, suggests that the reason is that “it’s the competitive nature, and need to draw in young audience members with a one-ticket per year budget, that has taken the promotional experimentation to a new level”.

Gibson also commented on how Spanish festival, Primavera Sound announced its line up by asking fans to download an app to reveal all the details and gain access to an exclusive bonus video of British band, Cinerama. Over at Bestival, they announced their 2015 line-up exclusively on Instagram, taking over the feed with a series of puzzle pieces which fitted together to provide the full bill of artists, and in 2016 they have created their own video to introduce the hotly anticipated annual theme for the event ‘Join us in the future’.

So aside of just announcing earlier and earlier, festivals are also trying to capture (potential) ticket-buyers in marketing channels that are exclusively theirs. The consensus is that these young festival-goers make up the majority of the market and can only visit so many festivals per year. Persuade a few, and you’ve also persuaded their friends: you are now the market leader.

Read the full IQ 2015 Festival Report

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