From festival giants Electric Picnic and All Together Now, to more intimate options like Another Love Story and explosive comebacks like Tipp Classical, Irish festival-goers have been spoilt for choice this summer. 

There’s no doubt that the live music landscape in Ireland continues to transform each year. With more and more festivals popping up around the country with more nuance than ever before, it’s important for festival organisers to stay ahead of the curve if you want to win the hearts of your most loyal attendees. Here are the top music festival trends for 2019 that you need to know about.

Festivals wake up to wellness

Fancy a yoga class before catching The Strokes at Electric Picnic? How about some sound healing before enjoying Talos on the main stage at Body and Soul? 

No longer just about the revelry, opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation are a more frequent find at festivals. Festival-goers are now looking to swap drink and debauchery for yoga and mindfulness. Culturally, we are becoming more focused on health and wellbeing and there’s no doubt that this trend is trickling into the festival experience. Festival lineups are becoming less about jam-packed itineraries and instead are allowing attendees to find moments of calm and recuperation amongst the chaos.

Attendees are also more mindful of what they’re eating and where their food is coming from. Expect to see less greasy chippers and more nourishing food stands with vegan and gluten-free options galore. 

Marketing gets moving

Our 2019 Pulse Report revealed that the number one challenge for festival creators is increased competition for attendees. 64% of respondents said reaching new attendees was one of their biggest obstacles last year.

In an effort to combat this competition, we’re seeing more and more festival creators ramping up their marketing efforts. To stand out, you need to create engaging content that gives the audience a taste of the event experience. What better way to capture the essence of your festival and capitalise on FOMO than through the moving image? 

Expect to see more event creators posting videos to create buzz around ticket sales and line-up announcements and sharing live festival experiences, particularly on social media where video is the most popular type of branded content. If that’s not enough to convince you, our latest Guide to Video Marketing for Events reveals that 93% of businesses say they have gained a new customer thanks to a video on social media.

Sustainability holds strong

Few festival trends have taken on as much momentum and popularity as the trend for going green. We can’t deny that music festivals can be an eco-disaster. Think of the power it takes to run speakers and light shows, emissions from thousands of fans arriving by car, and the mounds of waste generated. 

More and more festival organisers are becoming conscious of the environmental impact of their events and working to improve it. From hiring green armies of volunteers to combat waste, to conserving energy with LED lighting, and outright bans on single-use plastic, festival creators are finally taking action.

Many festivals are also setting up initiatives to educate attendees on sustainable practices, like Global Green at Electric Picnic or Generation Hour at Vantastival. In fact, Vantastival aims to become a completely carbon neutral event and has set a two-year goal to work towards the A Greener Festival Award.

Smaller festivals become bigger business

We’re seeing more and more boutique style festivals popping up and growing in popularity across the country. Think Sea Sessions, KnockanStockan, and Sounds from a Safe Harbour.

These festivals are committed to homegrown talent and offer more intimate and niche experiences for artists and attendees alike. The desire for a sense of community, belonging and shared experiences means there’s a large appetite for these events amongst Irish audiences, so we expect to see a lot more boutique music festivals emerge year on year.

Festivals like Another Love Story and Vantastival have made a conscious decision to allow their events to grow organically instead of scaling too quickly. We expect to see more and more festival creators moving away from the commercialised approach towards something more meaningful and intimate with a focus on indigenous talent and audience satisfaction over big returns.

The current trends we’re seeing on the Irish festival music scene are placing a renewed focus on shared passion, community, and richer experiences for both artists and attendees. We’re excited to see how these trends continue to unfold and flourish over the coming years.

Want to learn more about the latest music festivals trends? Check our guide Insider Tips for Keeping Community at the Heart of Your Festival to read some of our favourite festival success stories.

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