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By Admin

We have been looking into the increasing popularity of musical festivals, and what amazing untapped marketing potential exists there.

The number of festival visitors in the UK grew by over one million in the three years between 2012 and 2016, from 2.79 million to 3.9 million, with 60% aged 30 years or younger.

Source: Statista

According to Eventbrite, festival popularity extends far beyond the actual events. After conducting a study of over 20 million social media conversations, they found that millennials are the driving force behind music festival attendance. Furthermore, millennials’ high engagement in social media before, during and after the musical events has changed the whole music festival experience. Social media, has, in fact, fuelled the fire for music festivals.

Why are music festivals so popular?   It can make festival goers seem part of a ‘tribe’ who share similar lifestyle choices as you, and the event brings everyone together.  Research shows that nearly 35% of festival goers are in groups of 6 or more (source Festival Insights).  It’s also a great way to forget day-to-day troubles and cares and truly escape for a few days.

What is the make-up look for festivals?  Quite simply, glitter!   Jewels, bright colours, anything sparkly and the more the better.   Flowers applied directly to the face (flower crowns are apparently so last season), hair in pastel colours and worn in braids or corn rows.

We found that there were oodles of magazines and blogs who use the summer months to thoroughly cover off festival looks in splendid style, but very few brands make anything of the festival trend in store or on their websites.   There were a few nods to looks or colours, with Superdrug winning out with a big section on Festival Essentials with lots of looks included.   This is surely an area that cosmetic brands can take note of for next year.

Apart from print and the internet, an actual presence at festivals can offer great marketing opportunities for brands:

  • Face to face with your target market: 19% of festival goers are under 21, and nearly 39% are aged 21 – 35. (Source Festival Insights)
  • Build brand awareness or position your brand in a new context
  • Offer sampling, make-overs or tutorials
  • An opportunity to be experiential & educational
  • Generates great content for PR and social media
  • Partner with a similar brand eg. fashion with cosmetics, hair with skincare

Benefit are a brand who really make the most of the opportunities that summer events offer.   This year they set up a GlastonBrow drive-thru, giving away free Benefit goodies and brow waxes on the route to the Glastonbury Festival.  But they have had a Brow Mobile (a 4×4 all-terrain vehicle in Benefit’s signature pink) touring the UK for 3 months earlier this year, and an ice-cream van, which toured around UK seaside locations to promote the launch of its Hoola Quickie Contour Stick, offering quick contours and free samples.

We asked our own panel of consumers what they thought about cosmetics and beauty on offer at festivals, and they were all for it, but rarely came across anything.

“Not sure I’ve seen beauty brands offering makeovers at a festival but I think in the middle of a long weekend getting muddy and tired I’d absolutely love a good pampering. It would be great to get a makeover too because it’s not practical to take a load of cosmetics with you!”

So, beauty brands, lots of opportunities there for the taking in summer 2018!


Retail Insight Manager

Alison Barham


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Music festivals