The live festival business has grown exponentially since the 60s when Woodstock was one of a few music festivals at the time. In the U.S. there are over 800 music festivals alone, which amounts to about a $200 million dollar business. Globally, there are an estimated 10,000 festivals. The rapid pace of growth in the industry has been accompanied by a quick adoption of new trends.
Some of the biggest trends in festivals include emerging festival ticketing technologies, and new applications of existing technology, while others are more focused on incorporating culture into these social gatherings. But, the most common theme among all of the trends is data. An as with all events, tickets are a key to entry and there are many different ticketing technologies out there that can help, not only with accesscontrol but also with gathering the necessary data to optimize festivalgoers experience. Here are five of the most popular trends in the festival business.
1. RFID Technology
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has been around for a while, but as the technology becomes more sophisticated so does its application. There are a variety of reasons why festivals use RFID technology for things like access control and credentialing. For many festivals, use of the technology has led to decreased attendee entry waiting times, reduced ticket fraud, and higher levels of engagement. Festivals are using the technology more and more as an electronic wallet, which lets festival goers use their wrist bands for payment offering a cashless experience that makes it easier than ever to make purchases.
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2. Beacon Technology
Mobile apps are not new to festivals. Many events have their own apps that let attendees do everything from connect with each other to navigate around massive temporary communities like the one erected in Nevada each year for Burning Man. What has changed is the way mobile apps are being used to personalize the festival experience. Beacon technology uses Bluetooth to communicate with compatible devices, iBeacons are location-based and can send specific notifications. It’s one way festival organizers are making the experience more personalized and enjoyable for patrons.
3. Social Media Data
If you’re not using data to inform decisions, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Social media data should be at the center of every festival ticketing strategy. With access to live data, you get a real-time snapshot of how your audience is engaging with your festival. With those insights you can make real-time changes during the event or leading up to it.
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4. Live Streaming
Virtual attendance is more popular than ever, and when it comes to live streaming there are many options, including Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, to name a few. And festivals are really taking advantage of the many opportunities to broadcast live to those who aren’t able to attend in person.
5. Causes and Philanthropy
Festivals aren’t just about entertainment, spirits or culture anymore. Nowadays many live festivals are built on a platform that supports a cause based mission. People want to make a difference in the world, especially Millennials.
For more tips, check out The Festival Throwers Bible.