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Growing demand for cultural and music festivals in Australia

The growing demand for cultural and music festivals in Australia

Posted on May 18th, 2018 in Industry Insight

While traditional business models in the music and entertainment industries have been rocked by online streaming and piracy over the past two decades, live events have been doing better business than ever – particularly festivals.

The festival experience of choosing between a variety of stages, screens or speakers appeals to young adults and teenagers who’ve grown up in an age of entertainment on tap. For organisers in the competitive events industry, finding ways to keep events new and exciting is the key to continuing success.

Who goes to festivals?

A recent Eventbrite survey of Australian festival attendees aged 18-49 found that:

  • the average festival-goer visits 2-3 festivals each year
  • 65% attended an equal or greater number of festivals last year compared to the previous year
  • 67% plan to attend festivals for at least a few more years
  • the average ticket price is around $150

While most attendees are casual festival-goers, the 14% segment of hardcore festival fans is of special interest to organisers and promoters. Of those who frequently attend festivals, 40% travel to a different state and 16% have traveled abroad for an event. This comparatively small segment of festival attendees drives 80% of the total spend.

What attracts festival-goers?

Almost 60% of Australian festival attendees said they enjoy the sense of community at a festival. The diversity of events on offer means there’s no consensus on what makes the ideal festival, so organisers need to consider a range of target markets.

While headline artists are a major draw for music events – named the most important deciding factor for one third of respondents – almost half say they prefer smaller, more niche events to the mainstream. This can be seen in the continuing success of regional events while star-studded festivals in capital cities such as Big Day Out have proven unviable.

Festival-goers also crave new experiences, with 41% of people saying they would rather attend a festival they hadn’t been to before. Hardcore festival fans are willing to seek out different types of festivals in their area, from arts and entertainment to beer, wine and spirit events.

How can festivals succeed?

With smaller, niche events proving the most popular and a receptive segment of hardcore festivalgoers willing to spend money for new experiences, event organisers can appeal to this demographic through highly targeted events. Limiting crowd numbers can help to foster the feeling of exclusiveness and keep fest fans coming back for more.

Funding programs are continuing to support Australian events across the industries and helping them to compete on the international scene, while new technologies such as live streaming are showcasing the best of Australia nationwide and to the world.

Get the latest insights on the events industry

The Business of Events is a brand new two-day conference coming to Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park from 7–8 February 2019.

This exciting new event is a chance for event organisers to find out what’s happening in the industry and to pick up valuable tips on driving growth and success in an increasingly competitive field.

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