Embracing Trends for Unforgettable Experiences
Posted On: 07/20/2023
Author: Jeff Hyman, Vice President
At Degy Entertainment, we understand the importance of mitigating uncertainties in the world of entertainment. While we cannot control the weather or predict lottery outcomes, we excel in creating successful events and delivering exceptional experiences in the music and entertainment sphere.
We’ve spoken to several Major Agencies in the Festival and Fair world of booking and narrowed down some of the top trends you might see when booking your music talent at Festivals and Fairs. In this inaugural blog, we’ve identified Four of these top trends here for you!
Nostalgia and Packages Rule!
Alternative Experiences and Enjoyments!
Event Safety and Weather: Whether you’re Festival Happens!
New ways to find that music your audience loves!
Nostalgia and Packages Rule!
Let’s begin with the lineup selection: Our Agency contacts all have confirmed a growing trend of 90s nostalgia-rock/Country and early 2000’s rock/pop-punk/emo music bookings, as well as acts touring as packages to Fairs and Festivals and individual shows. Country is still king though with an estimated 65%-70% of the Fairs and Festivals Programming Country Music. Whatever the genre, younger and older generations alike are forming a melting pot of a music listening demographic. This is due largely in part to younger generations resonating with the music that their parents had listened to growing up and sharing that connection with them. That hasn’t happened as much with past generations. With both age demographics being at the point where they are willing concertgoers and spenders, this can be seen as a great opportunity to book 90s/00’s bands and capitalize on this nostalgic surge. Some bands that have been seeing upward trends include Counting Crows, Sugar Ray, Stone Temple Pilots, Ja Rule/Ashanti and Third Eye Blind and a smattering of Late 90’s Country. In addition, we are seeing those packages with bands that have toured together in the past, and for a new trend to get a broader audience, capitalize on two or more fan bases; you can mix up the music a lot more. It could also be significant to note that this trend will most likely continue as we age up. Sorry if we made you feel old!
NEW Ways to Find Music!
Something else that has become prevalent in booking conversations is how festivals and fairs are finding their acts. In recent years, music streaming services have dominated the landscape of the industry. Rather than finding artists through what is being played on the radio, nowadays it is important to know what artists may be emerging through playlist placements and social media buzz. Some great resources to keep up to date with these trends are pidgeonsandplanes, Stereogum, HypeBot and DIY Mag. Just by following these examples, though, you are bound to see what else the music media world has to offer. If you are having trouble looking to get more options for talent, or just want as many options as possible, look no further than us here at Degy Entertainment. Our broad network can set you up with just what you need to ensure a great show. That’s just a pro tip, though. Now, for the actual…
*PRO TIP! Take control of your social media algorithm by actively engaging with posts and hashtags related to new and emerging acts. This will increase the likelihood of discovering artists that align with your preferences. Remember, you have the power to curate the acts that resonate with your audience. Start exploring and uncover the next big thing that will elevate your show to new heights.
You might be thinking, If everyone is doing the same music programming, how do you make your Festivals or Fairs pop in a bubbling market? How do you retain festival/fair goers and build a loyal community that will attend year in and year out? In recent years, there has been an overall notion to focus on the branding and character of each festival. What does your festival have to offer that makes it unique to your area and what you and your attendees align with? Finding this, highlighting it and capitalizing on these values can take your festival to the next level.
Alternative Experiences and Enjoyments!
It’s important to recognize that younger generations are increasingly seeking experiences beyond just music and alcohol. It is essential to provide a diverse range of activities and attractions to cater to these interests and create connections to your events. There are upgraded VIP Experiences, Alternative trends in food and beverage like sustainability, food allergies and preferences and more. There are more food options to consider, from Vegetarian/Vegan to Gluten Free as well as evolving Cannabis and CBD laws that open more Food and Beverage and legal conversations. Consider lifestyle events such as Drag Brunches and Inclusive and Diverse lineups on the stage. Incorporating interactive art installations, food vendors that offer unique culinary or curated beverage experiences, wellness and mindfulness activities, workshops, and engaging experiences that appeal to a wide audience. Creating a strong sense of community and offering something for everyone will help differentiate your festival from the rest and encourage attendees to return year after year.
Another effective strategy for community-building is to actively involve local businesses, artists, and organizations. Collaborate with local artisans, craft breweries, food trucks, and nonprofit organizations to showcase the local talent and promote the community’s identity. This not only adds variety to your festival or fair but also fosters a sense of pride and ownership among the residents, who will be more likely to support and promote the event, and truly give it a strong community feel. To differentiate your festival or fair in a saturated market, it’s crucial to focus on branding, character, and creating a unique identity. Consider the values and interests of your target audience and the local community, offering diverse activities, attractions, and collaborations with local businesses and artists. Building a loyal community involves fostering a sense of belonging and pride.
*PRO TIP! Try a Headphone Disco- Silent Disco to create an experience for all ages. It gives people the opportunity to listen to 3 different channels of music so draws a great diverse amount of people and is a great way to create an experience in which people can find common joy!
Event Safety and Weather: Whether you’re Festival/Fair Happens!
We at Degy and our Agency friends agree on one thing, Safety and Security of all patrons and Artists is the most important thing about what we do. Since there have been some high-profile Festival Security and Safety issues in the last several years, there has been an obvious and justified increase in security, safety and overall awareness with festival planning and execution. Artists have made more of an effort to check on their fans during shows. Planners have taken steps to increase security personnel and seek out more highly trained security teams as festivals have seemed to be too lenient in the past. Although this comes with higher pricing, protecting patrons, and safe, positive experiences outvalue everything.
Crowd consciousness is what matters most in situations like crowd surges and active shooters. The security team, organizers and the Artists teams must remain in contact during performances to ensure everyone in the crowd remains safe. Check on the crowd throughout the shows and stay in constant contact so all areas of the crowd are accounted for.
Several of our Agent friends mentioned how Weather Safety issues are becoming a trend. We all see more and more instances of strong storms, air quality alerts, wind and flooding and other weather issues affecting more and more festivals and fairs. From the parking limitations of a Flooded parking lot affecting attendance, to having to evacuate a 90,000 person Music Festival, Weather plans and Weather Insurance are more important than ever. If you don’t have one, please get with your emergency management folks in the area and start today! The factor of having to pay the performers and costs that go along with events and then having a wash out is really affecting how people can afford to hold the events. If weather insurance costs and probabilities of issues keep rising, that puts events at risk. That impacts tour prices and economics for everyone!
*PRO TIP! Follow the Event Safety Alliance for an up-to-date guide on best practices HERE
We hope you find this insight valuable and applicable to your upcoming festivals or fairs. With our 25+ years of experience in the industry, Degy Entertainment is committed to enhancing your festival experiences. Consider booking our exceptionally talented artists or collaborating with us to create the ultimate lineup. While we may not possess the winning lottery numbers, we do have tomorrow’s forecast. Stay tuned for more trends and stay connected with us by following our social media channels! Thank you for reading, and please feel free to share any observations or feedback from the festival world.