Running a festival can be tough. Stewarding, health and safety, food and fireworks— festival management is a mammoth, and yet rewarding task. But whether you’re a fledgling startup or you’ve been putting on a successful event for years, your biggest concern will always be the same: who’s on the line-up?
In an increasingly packed marketplace, even your biggest fans will look far and wide at their options before springing some hard-earned cash on a ticket. So, how do you make your line-up awesome?
- Know Your Audience
A rising artist might seem like a cool pick to add to your bill and draw in sales, but will your fans appreciate the hottest Grime MC when they’ve come for the weekend expecting acoustic folk ballads? Make sure your line-up speaks to your demographic—and if stuck for inspiration, check out how Coachella's line-up evolved over the years.
- Build Excitement
Keeping fans abreast of your latest line-up announcements is vital for generating buzz. So identify who is most likely to attend and use the right channels to get the word out. Are your fans Tweeters or Instagrammers, do they live on Facebook or take quick hits from Snapchat? Give potential customers a taste of what’s to come, talking points and teasers that build to big announcements.
- Curate Carefully
The best festivals offer a balance of fresh acts and legacy artists that will appeal to a broad audience—not just a select few. Whether trying to get specific acts on the bill—or programing them at the right times of day across your event—weigh up your options, and try to consider the generational and social strata of your fans.
- Invite Feedback
Fans make a festival; so much so that festivals such as Firefly are now going down a totally fan curated route. While that might be a big leap for your event, it’s always possible to crowdsource ideas by reaching out to your fans. Events such as Bestival also work closely with their ambassadors to create line-ups, cocktail menus and more.
- Be Prepared
Bad things happen to good festivals and even big acts can drop out at the last minute or fail to meet your expectations, so keep a cool head and always have a backup. That doesn’t mean strapping on a guitar and take to the stage yourself! But don’t be afraid to make changes, or shuffle the running order and keep an artist in reserve—it might seem like the end of the world, but if it means the party keeps going, then your fans will thank you for it.
Looking for more advice for announcing your line-up and working with fans? Download the StreetTeam Guide to Word-of-Mouth Marketing to find out how an ambassador program and other strategies can help your event succeed!