Early bird and advanced tickets for Ultra Music Festival in Miami sold out in minutes. That’s pretty remarkable, considering the event is 10 months away. Advanced ticket sales have already ended for Coachella in California, even though the show isn’t until April of 2014. In Tennessee, The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival draws hundreds of thousands to a 700 acre farm in the middle of, well…Tennessee.
How do these festivals do it?
The first ingredient is time. Building a successful event is like building a successful business. Be prepared for the long haul. Your first year event might not be a good as your 3rd year event. But if you build it properly, they will come.
The venue and atmosphere is critical. Where the event is held and how the event is perceived will add to your success. Bonnaroo uses their remote location as an asset, a venue that leaves your troubles behind. Miami music festivals like Ultra Music Festival, held during the same week as Winter Music Conference, tend to take advantage of the city’s vibe. It helps that there are such eclectic venues in Miami.
Many music festivals in Florida and elsewhere will have a charitable tie-in. Among the many charities that Coachella supports is The Painted Turtle, a camp for children with serious medical conditions. Offering support to charitable organizations allows for some additional exposure and potential access to a group of event volunteers.
Successful music festivals offer a variety of fan experiences from general admission to VIP upgrades and artist meet-and-greets. They also start selling their tickets close to a year in advance, and limit the amount of tickets each individual can purchase. This creates a year-round buzz about the event. People plan their year around some of these festivals.
Having a strong artist line-up with loyal fan bases is also important. Many festivals load their line-ups with up-and-coming artists that are rapidly gaining fans. They bring this momentum to these festivals.
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