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Marketing Resourcing for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Every music festival organisation relies on its marketing to promote the event and generate ticket sales. With so many organising entities operating in a seasonal market there is a temptation to limit marketing activity expenditure. How can organisers best use available resources to obtain maximum value for money in their marketing.


Whilst many marketing activities are not industry specific there are elements to the music festival industry that require some specialisation particularly with ticketing and artist line-up promotions. The primary skill set needed will usually be in digital marketing, particularly expertise with social media marketing, content production and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). The other skills set needed are the ability to write compelling press releases for the event along with comprehensive media contacts for improved distribution. All these skill sets require an investment in people but festival organisers have some choices in how they do this.

In House Marketing Team. 
Recruiting and having an in-house marketing team requires some substantial investment but this can be balanced by having a dedicated team available all year round. An in-house team will have intimate relationships with other organisation departments enabling them to work closely and produce timely and accurate marketing material, campaigns and activities. If the budget is large enough a team can be built to cover all the skill sets that may be required.

Freelance Contractor. 
Where budgets are limited organisers could consider using a freelance contractor which means resources can be used as and when required. A contractor may specialise in a specific discipline and are often not be able to handle all the marketing functional requirements the event needs. It is also possible that they will not be able to work closely with other teams in the organisation and may even have commitments with other clients.

Full-Service Marketing Agency. 
One of the more expensive options of outsourcing marketing is to use a full-service advertising and marketing agency but they can provide all the necessary skills on a one-stop-shop basis. There are agencies with specific event or festival marketing experience and this means that they are able to quickly get up to speed in fulfilling all the marketing requirements of the festival.

Event Management Agency. 
When a music festival organisation prefers to outsource the management of every aspect of the event there are numerous event production agencies that specialise in music festivals. Aside from the logistics planning and implementation these event management agencies will almost always have an in-house marketing resource with experience in all the marketing expertise required by music festivals.

The route that music festival organisers take in resourcing their marketing needs will largely depend on the budget they have available. Outsourcing to contractors or specialist agencies does provide some flexibility but organisers can lose some control and at times may end up spending way too much time in briefing and managing them. Where budgets permit it is usually preferable to have an in-house marketing resource which is easier to manage as long as the team has the requisite skills. The team needs the ability to generate ticket sales, increase online presence, promote the brand and work closely with other internal teams and external sponsors.

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
Apunto Group Agencia de publicidad via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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