Million Media

See Things Differently

5 Ways Festivals Are Boosting Their eMail Lists

It’s a fact that email can boost sales and awareness plus help build customer loyalty. So, perhaps it comes as something of a surprise to discover how lame a lot of festivals are when it comes to collecting email addresses.

I’m not sure why. Surely, all the reasons for collecting email which apply to bands, labels and venues apply to festivals, if not more? After all, if you only have one event per year you need your core audience to be regularly reminded about you and feel valued? And given the number of people with iPhones, Blackberry’s etc surely email is also the best way to contact people during the event itself – updates, stage times, special events, parking info etc so why not offer a ‘Festival Alerts’ option?

Most of the ones I looked at (a lot), are very poor at collecting email. By ‘poor’, I mean they simply link to a ‘Sign-Up’ form. No incentive. No reason to join. No options. No information gathered.

However, some are trying the following ideas:


In return for your email address, the Glade Festival organisers offer to send you a monthly magazine featuring insights from art, music & film. This is superb marketing since it not only reinforces Glade as a festival who like to do things differently but provides something back to their audience.


Camden Crawl do this particularly well. However, the organisers also run Traffic street team marketing, which is based around the collection of information, so shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Crawl demonstrate how a sign-up form can be combined with a customer survey to discover more about your customers. To balance the longer sign up process, CC offer exclusives and competitions to help motivate people. Their experience is the longer form doesn’t put people off – in fact, by asking their opinion it reinforces Camden Crawl as a festival who care about their audience.


Check out Global Gathering: There is a simple sign-up form. But Global also require people to register if they want to use the forum, post comments, video or pictures on the site. And, when they register for the community features, they can also opt-in to receive email from the festival. Or put another way, sign up to the mailing list and you also get to use all the website features. (declaration, Media Junction helped build the GG website)


If you achieve a certain level of success you can require people to register before they can buy a ticket. Glastonbury, T In The Park and VFest all employ this. But what about festivals who don’t sell out. Well, why not offer early bird discounts, used by The Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City. If you register then in November you receive an email informing you, you can buy tickets for a fraction of the price than closer to the event.


This is used by Rockness, High Voltage and Download. When you choose to join their mailing lists you are offered a choice of other mailing lists you can join. These festivals are owned by bigger parent companies, in these cases AEG, Mama and Live Nation. Assuming all their events work the same way, people may elect to sign up to more than one list which over time results in larger lists.  But could similar festivals work together and agree that by combining their sign-up forms they could all benefit? Could Green Man, Latitude and Wychwood for instance agree they could work together in true festival spirit?

But this is about it. I couldn’t find any one who offered incentives like free downloads, VIP privileges, email alert services, Facebook connectivity, contact list notification or customisation.


About Neil

Neil Cartwright founded Million Media in 2006 with the aim to help people understand digital marketing and use it to their advantage. The vision hasn't changed but the technology has.

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This entry was posted on March 31, 2010 by in marketing.
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