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Manging Music Festival Online Communities.

Andy Robertson

Most music festival organisations plan and implement marketing campaigns using their online social media accounts. Organisers can create and control these channels but there are numerous unofficial online communities too, how can organisers control and influence these unofficial groups.

Social media and online digital marketing is a key part of the promotional armoury festival organisers use to make announcements about their events and helps create demand for ticket sales. Online platforms are great for delivering desired messages and content to targeted audiences and festival organisers always allocate budget and resources to maximising their effect. The plethora of unofficial groups and communities related to specific events or more generic discussions about festivals are becoming more important in the online mix.

Social Media Groups. 
Any quick search for a specific music festival on Facebook will often show results that include the festival’s official page plus linked events; however, search results can also reveal numerous unofficial groups related to that event. Groups can be set up by anyone and often are not run or controlled by the festival organisers. The most common reason for the creation of these groups is perhaps because the festival has no official page or if they do any posts are old and out of date. The groups are a platform for festival-goers to share latest news and rumours and to ask questions about the event. They can also be a platform for complaints should festival-goers have a poor experience. Most social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter will also have unofficial accounts too.

Online Discussion and Chat Groups.
The discussion platform Reddit tends to have more generic communities and groups about music festivals and content can cover just about anything festival related anywhere in the world. The other significant online chat group with discussion boards is Quora which tends to focus more on questions and answers. These generic music festival discussion groups may have hundreds of thousands of members and discussions can appear high up on Google search results so it’s a significant platform for finding content about specific music festivals.

Influence and Control. 
For savvy music festival marketing teams, it may be prudent to create groups and communities for their specific event. This enables them to administer and control content although the group clearly needs to state that it belongs to the event organisers. For the more generic discussion groups and forums controlled by others it’s important for festival organisers to be active members and contribute meaningful content as long as it fulfils the moderator’s rules. Participation in generic groups and discussions does provide marketing opportunities either to post news on headliners or for the release of an event line-up poster for example. By searching Quora it's possible to find common questions asked by festival-goers and by posting a response it can contribute to online search presence.

Festival organisers should fully engage with unofficial groups and discussion boards rather than simply ignoring them. It can be a key promotional tool and also serves as a great source of information about current trends among festival-goers.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering. 

Photo by
Ketut Subiyanto via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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