Five Minutes to Festival Fame

How smaller festivals can rise from the shadows to the spotlight…

Who are you engaging? What are you promoting? Where are you heading? Why are people attending? Five minutes to festival fame with tips and tricks on festival promotion, and you will be what everyone is talking about!

Everyday there are more and more ways festivals are progressing their marketing, with new technology and new ideas it seems the sky is the limit! But this can be daunting.

You may be wondering why marketing is so key? It’s not what festivals are about? But the challenge of good marketing is one major reason smaller festivals are being outshone and forgotten – marketing is the first glimpse customers get of your event; what, when, where and who you are! Without quality marketing smaller festivals will fade away under the intensity of the big names, losing sponsors, business and reputation.

Not enough magic and the interest will vanish, not enough promotion and no one will know you are out there… but all is not lost!

Lets begin with tips and tricks of the trade, who and what to focus on…


Did you hear?‘ Make every beep, buzz and ping count!

Why not try out:

  • Competitions on account stories eg. polls and quizzes to open up interaction
  • Promote headliners in advance – go into detail on their story and best hits
  • Promote your entertainment, catering and accommodation – what do you have besides the music?
  • What makes the festival different? – plug your USP
  • Let people know you’re inclusive – availability for disabled persons? Catering for dietary requirements?
  • Continuous advertisement – make them remember you!
  • Remind attendees to share – nothing is more tempting than seeing everyone else talk about it


  • Keep up with trends to make you likeable, memorable, and relatable
  • Keep scrolling for more, don’t miss out…


‘Did you see?’ The more eyes on you, the better!

Looking to attract a younger audience? Follow in these company’s footsteps, check out their marketing and how they are reaching out!

  • Pretty Little Thing
  • North Face
  • Boohoo
  • ASOS
  • Uber Eats
  • Deliveroo
  • Just Eat
  • Proper Corn
  • Corona Beer
  • Etsy


‘Did you know?’ Make sure all are welcome!

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes!

  • Am I vegan? Gluten-free? Vegetarian? Pescatarian?
  • Am I Female? Male? Non-Binary?
  • Am I disabled? Deaf? Blind?

Child-friendly? Consider the following…

  • Children’s area
  • Appropriate food
  • Entertainment
  • Baby changing for Mums and Dads
  • Breastfeeding area
  • Buggy hire
  • Child safety measurements to undertake
  • Wristbands to indicate age

Or 18 + ?

  • Highlight the access age during promotion
  • Introduce alcohol deals when booking

Consider who you are reaching out to – who do you want at your festival? Step into the many shoes of your audience!

Don’t forget the competition out there! What do you have that they don’t?

Why does this matter? – The Festival Industry

COVID-19 left festival-goers deprived of their festival fix for several years, but as the UK leaves restrictions behind, the fields are beckoning, festival fans are booking and organisers are facing intense competition!

How can festivals be competitive? 

Consider – streaming consumption is up by 72% post-COVID-19, it appears the best way for festival organisers to connect with their audience is through social media platforms, as 71% of event-goers purchasing their tickets for music festivals after seeing the event promoted online. 

How can festivals stand out against the crowd? 

Take quick advantage of trends to appear one of the first! See it, save it, use it!

Not all festivals manage to do this, mainstream festivals like Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds have demonstrated successful marketing, however smaller scale festivals like :  St. Louis’s Murmuration Festival and the Great Exuma Island Fyre Festival have shown how fake or inferior marketing can put you out of business in a year.

A Youtube video explaining some of the difficulties of organizing and hosting a festival

Successful Marketing through TikTok

TikTok is a social media platform where users can produce and share very short creative videos of 15-60 seconds. Companies and Festivals have used TikTok as a marketing tool to help promote their product.

‘Is TikTok engagement important?’ …

  • 800 million active users world-wide
  • Over 1.5 billion downloads on the app store and google play
  • 96.6% of users are below the age of 55
  • Average TikTok user spends 50 minutes a day on the platform
  • TikTok users can start international ‘trends’ that anyone can get involved in

Festivals will benefit marketing on TikTok if their target audience matches TikTok audience demographics.

Pie chart designed by Charlotte Ford, based off of reports from Omnicore Agency

Festivals such as Coachella and Glastonbury have used TikTok well to target specific demographics:

These screenshots have been taken from Coachella & Glastonburys’ TikTok accounts which show highlights to the videos they are promoting and also the large number of followers and likes they receive

So how can small festivals benefit from TikTok?

TikTok is great for smaller festivals as it is free! There are lots of different ways to create traffic to your TikTok page, however it is important that the content the festival has created is quality and portrays a cohesive, integrated marketing approach. Some ways in which a smaller festival can gain traffic to its page could be:

  • Create a brand identity/theme for the page
  • Creating Modern and trendy content
  • Using hashtags effectively
  • Engage with other users
  • Leverage trends
  • Cross-promote videos to other platforms
  • Be different! Be proud!

An important tip for smaller festivals: have a unique selling point that hooks customers! Promoting this through TikTok is a great way to attract people to find out more.

Have your say!

Do you have any advice or tips when it comes to marketing? Has there been any festival advertisements that have stuck with you? Please comment with your thoughts below!


Hannah says:

I really enjoyed reading your blog, this is such an interesting topic which up until now I haven’t actually given much thought too. I agree that TikTok is the current way to go with marketing, as it has and will continue to blow up so many small businesses and events – and with a fun and engaging campaign can make smaller festivals viral. I think a fun, quick and witty video is the key to grabbing users attention!

s1900901 says:

Hi! Thank you so much for taking time to read our Blog, we really appreciate it! Isn’t it crazy how a single platform can make small businesses get noticed by a large audience. I completely agree short and snappy videos is definitely a great way of catching peoples attention, especially with peoples limited free time.

Marie-Ann says:

This is a really interesting blog, with some great points. I really like the part about considering the audience. As someone who has tried to arrange a section of a festival for children considering their needs is super important. When it comes to marketing I feel tiktok is the way forward especially with engaging with a younger audience.
How would you suggest to promote inclusivity within the marketing of an event?

s1900901 says:

Hi! Thanks so much for reading our Blog, we really appreciate it! It is great to hear your experiences and thoughts as an industry professional. Tik Tok is definitely targeted for the younger generation – did you know there is even a section for under 13’s to use TiK Tok and the app has a algorithm to only show child friendly videos and content?
I think a good way to promote inclusivity at an event is to perhaps create multiple short videos with different aspects of the event that promote inclusivity. For example wheelchair access, different facilities such as a children’s area etc.

Please let us know if you have any more thoughts on this, we would love to know!

s1900901 says:

Hi Marie-Ann,
Sponsorship can also be a great tool especially when trying to promote inclusivity for events.
For example if trying to promote a child friendly section of a festival like you mentioned, gaining a sponsor of a local playgroup or toy shop could provide you with appropriate promotion, and resources to engage the children, and in return you could promote their facilities.
It’s always nice to see businesses support each other and finding common goals.
In your experience how did you promote the child friendly section of the festival?

Natasha Taylor says:

What are your thoughts on Influencers? You discuss the use of social media to market and following brands… but what about certain people, their influence and sharing their experiences for future marketing?

s1900901 says:

Hi Natasha, thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog.
Much like sponsorship, collaborating with influencers can be really effective, and increase the demographic and geographic reach for the marketing campaign.
There are however important considerations to keep in mind, as similarly to companies/brands influencers have reputations which are based off of audience perception and opinion, and of course not everyone’s opinions will be the same. Reputations can also change drastically in a short period of time, making collaborations (whether it be with a brand or person) risky.
Remember, High risk high reward, but how many chances do you get to make a first impression.
It is best to maintain an integrate marketing approach so if the influencers’ content, values and beliefs align with your marketing message, and it makes sense to collaborate, then influencers can prove to be great for successful marketing.
Have you had experience with sponsorships or influencers? and if so how has it worked?

Josh E says:

Wow! Really interesting blog. Social media marketing is bound to be on the forefront for years to come. Really interesting to see firms like RyanAir take a self-aware approach to criticisms of their brand to perform damage control. Really interested to see what the next progression for viral marketing will be.

s1900901 says:

Hi Josh! Thank you for reading our blog, and we really appreciate the response! We are thrilled that our blog has provided you with a wider perspective on the power of marketing.

Ellie says:

A really interesting blog. Tiktok is definitely a modern platform that can be used to promote events! With tiktok algorithms, is there anyway of directing tiktok posts to be seen by the desired audiences?

s1900901 says:

Hi Ellie, we really appreciate your response! With TikToks and getting the attention from the desired audience, our research has shown that providing content which relates to the target audience (eg. appropriate entertainment/catering) leads to more views from those keen in the festival area – this attention will broaden to the wider audience as TikTok is valued for providing the appropriate videos to users based on their specific activity!

Leah says:

Interesting article on how marketing smaller festivals better can help boost their revenue. I’d love to know how you think the market can adapt to be more inclusive of neurodiversity.

s1900901 says:

Hello Leah, thank you very much for your time and response. We’re glad you enjoyed the read! In regards to neurodiversity, the beauty of social media and marketing is that there are so many ways to grab peoples attention, eg. videos, images, podcasts, articles, advertisements. But there is always room for improvement, everyone reacts to marketing differently and a deeper insight into how variety can attract and satisfy potential audiences would be very beneficial for businesses!

Angie says:

That’s a really interesting blog to read. Never knew there was so much background work that goes on and the advertising across so much social media us huge!

s1900901 says:

Hello Angie, thank you so much for your time and feedback! We are so glad our blog has given you a deeper insight into the power of marketing and social media!

Andy says:

An interesting blog that highlights the wide range of paths to an event’s potential audience and the different routes that can be used to target different sections of society, age groups, specialist interests etc. Also gives an idea of the amount of work being done behind the scenes to make an event successful.

s1900901 says:

Hello Andy, thank you for your response and we’re glad you enjoyed our blog! Interactive marketing is constantly progressing and we see that raising awareness on its significance can be extremely beneficial for smaller businesses.

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