Top 2014 Music Festival Trends and Insights

The music festival business continues to boom in America, and there’s no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. One in ten Americans attended a music festival in the past twelve months, and social media conversations around music festivals spiked 34% this year compared to last. To uncover the top music festival trends and insights in 2014, Eventbrite teamed up with leading social media research company Mashwork to analyze 20 million social media conversations about music festivals in the 2013-2014 season. We’re excited to share our top research findings with you, and how you can use these festival facts in your favor. For even more fascinating finds, fill out the form on the right to download the full report.

Festival Conversation BreakdownProtect your rep. A music festival’s brand and reputation are the primary drivers of positive social media conversation. With only 8% of positive posts specifically mentioning an artist or performance, it’s clear what matters most to attendees is the overall festival lineup and experience itself. Know what sets your festival apart—like yoga at Wanderlust, or the beautiful beach setting of Hangout Music Festival—and put it front and center in all of your marketing efforts.

Millennials mean money for music festivals. One in five of the “experience generation” report attending a music festival in the past year*—twice the rate of the general population. And a whopping three quarters of chatter around music festivals was driven by millennials (ages 17 to 34). With millennials driving the online conversation today, there’s a good chance this outspoken, outgoing group will continue spreading the word tomorrow.

FOMO is a festival’s best friend. One in five people who posted about music festivals expressed Fear of Missing Out or wished they could have attended a particular festival. This explains the 5 million posts that came from people who were participating in the festival remotely through live streams, video, and the festival version of Superbowl parties.

Long-distance listening is a good thing. Remote participation is actually amplifying music festival chatter. Roughly 1 out of every 4 posts about music festivals came from people participating remotely via live streams or other forms of engagement. This is key because live streaming increases interest in the events themselves. In fact, 70% of people said they are more likely to attend a future live event after participating in the experience online.*

Put a hashtag on it. Among the top 10 most discussed festivals, only 19% of conversations contained branded hashtags. This means 4 out of 5 posts were difficult to track and engage with. Connect your fans’ posts to create a larger conversation. Just choose a hashtag that’s easy to remember and is clearly related to the event, and make sure to use it consistently wherever you promote your brand.

Capitalize on pre-event chatter. 54% of the conversation happens before the event. That’s a lot of talk. Drive buzz by encouraging artists in your lineup to announce their performances online, or by partnering with popular publications to offer ticket giveaways.

Live in the moment. Nearly 1 in 5 posts (17%) happen during the event, and 38% of that conversation used a hashtag. Maximize the impact by promoting branded hashtags all over the event and pulling these conversation feeds into your festival mobile app.

Tap into the post-show glow. 29% of posts happen after the fest, so keep the party going by having a solid follow-up plan in place—recaps, photos, videos, and plenty of #TBTs to stay in touch for next year.

Itching for more trends and insights? Fill out the form on the right to download the full report.

Want to learn more about Eventbrite live music event ticketing? Visit Eventbrite Music.

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Research Methodology

Eventbrite and Mashwork analyzed over 20 million public conversations across Facebook, Twitter, and other online forums for the past 12 months (August 6, 2013 – August 5, 2014). All branded and unbranded posts about music festivals were analyzed within a Boolean framework. The posts were analyzed for overall volume trends, social channel, location of conversation, influence of conversation, topic of conversation, sentiment of conversation, music genre details, and demographic breakdowns for age and gender.

*Source: Eventbrite Harris Interactive survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers, July 2014.