How to Promote a Music Festival With Gleam

Running a Music Festival? Learn how Gleam can help you promote and grow your event with this helpful guide.

If you're running a music festival then there's no doubt that you've got a whole lot on your plate. Between organising musical acts, a venue, stage equipment, food and beverage outlets and a wide selection of other factors it can be hard to find enough time to focus on one of the most important components of organising a festival: promotion.

Luckily for you, Gleam has a suite of apps which can help you promote and grow your music festival in a more effective and less time-consuming way.

Let's take a look at some of the ways Gleam can take your promotional efforts to the next level:

Run a Contest and Give Away Some Tickets

When it comes to generating awareness and driving real user action there's arguably nothing more effective than running a contest or giveaway. Gleam's Competitions app allows you to easily set up and run contests and giveaways which drive real user engagement. So if you're looking for a great way to draw attention to your music festival and grow your audience then running a contest is definitely for you.

Running a contest which gives users the chance to win some free tickets to your festival is the perfect way to spread the word about your festival and engage with an audience who, by virtue of wanting tickets, already have interest in your event.

Take a look at this demo competition we've put together to see what your own contest could look like.

This demo competition highlights some of the most beneficial actions you can incentivise by giving away some free tickets. By running a contest like this you can encourage entrants to sign up to your mailing list, visit or follow your festival on various social media platforms, check out your music festival's website or share the contest with more users.

All of these actions will spread awareness about your festival and grow your audience, giving your future promotional efforts a much greater reach.

Best of all, by running a contest where the prize is a set of tickets to your festival you will attract an audience comprised exclusively of people with an interest in your event. This means that if you can successfully engage your newfound social media followers and mailing list subscribers in the aftermath of your contest then you will be able to drive ticket sales from a lot of contest entrants who weren't lucky enough to win.

Something to note when you run this kind of campaign is that you will need to give yourself a sufficient amount of time after the contest to engage your new audience and generate sales. You don't want to amass a huge following but only have a week to convert them into customers.

Run a Presale Contest

A sure-fire way to make sure that you leave enough time between your giveaway and your festival is by running a presale competition and giving away some tickets before they even go on sale.

A presale competition is a great way to draw attention to your festival, raise awareness and build hype before you even start selling tickets. The added exclusivity of presale tickets will make them a more desirable prize, and by running the campaign prior to releasing tickets you will maximise the amount of time you have to convert new users into customers.

Run Your Own Competition
Run Your Own Competition

Check out our documentation on setting up your own Competition or get started right away!

Integrate a Giveaway With Eventbrite

Eventbrite is an online platform which helps you plan, manage and promote your events. With Eventbrite you can easily set up and manage your ticket sales as well as gain exposure from a huge audience of Eventbrite ticket buyers. So if you're trying to organise and manage a music festival then Eventbrite is definitely worth checking out.

Something else you can do if you decide to use Eventbrite for your festival is integrate your event with a Gleam Competition.

With Gleam, you can allow users to enter giveaways by buying tickets to your music festival, which is an outstanding way to generate sales.

You can also offer extra entries to users who have attended previous events at the same venue. If you've hosted events at the same venue before then this is an excellent way to reward loyal customers and drive further actions.

If you do want to run this type of contest you will need to be acutely aware of your local No Purchase Necessary Laws. For example, in the USA, no contest or giveaway can require users to make a purchase in order to enter. If your campaign requires a purchase or donation to enter, a free entry alternative must be made available. Many countries around the world also have similar laws which deem this sort of campaign impermissible, but this is not always the case. In Australia you can ask users to purchase a product as a competition entry requirement, though permits are often required.

If you do want to ask users to purchase your book to enter a contest, it's vital that you always remember to check your local laws to see if permits are required and if any no purchase necessary laws will affect you.


Want to know more about running a regulation-compliant campaign? Check out our Complete Guide to No Purchase Necessary Laws to learn more.

If you run an Eventbrite Competition to promote your music festival something else you need to be aware of is that by asking users to buy a ticket you are giving your contest a high barrier to entry. To overcome this you need to make sure that the prize you offer is valuable enough to make entry worthwhile for your users.

Some prize ideas to consider include:

  • Festival merchandise
  • CD's or vinyl records from your acts
  • Free food and beverages at the festival
  • A vinyl player
  • A speaker system
  • DJ equipment
  • A musical instrument

Whatever you pick it needs to be relevant to your target audience and valuable enough to warrant purchasing a ticket as an entry method. Due to the high barriers to entry, this type of contest isn't likely to draw in hordes of new customers, but it will spread awareness and give interested users that little bit of extra incentive that is often all it takes to get an undecided user to make a purchase.

Eventbrite Campaigns
Run Your Own Eventbrite Campaign

Integrate your campaign with Eventbrite to start driving ticket sales and other powerful actions.

Reward People for Buying Tickets

As you continue to promote your festival you may find that a lot of users who have a genuine interest in your event may still be hesitant to purchase a ticket. In many cases these users will want to get a ticket, they just might need a little extra motivation.

You can use Gleam's Rewards app to incentivise purchases through Eventbrite with our 'Attend An Event' action.

You don't need to give away anything too valuable here. A bit of merchandise or some discounts on food and drinks at your festival may very well be enough extra incentive to drive sales and turn undecided users into paying customers.

Use Rewards To Offer Discounted Tickets

Rewarding users for purchasing a ticket isn't the only way you can use Rewards to aid your promotional efforts. You can also try offering discounted tickets as a reward for users who complete designated actions.

Offering discounted tickets is powerful tool for encouraging purchases amongst users who need a little extra incentive, and by limiting discounts to users who have completed valuable actions you'll be able to aid your festival's growth in ways which extend far beyond driving immediate sales.

Just take a look at this demo Rewards campaign to see some of the many possibilities.

By putting discounted tickets on offer you should be able to generate some powerful actions. Asking users to send out a tweet about your music festival or retweet one of your own posts are great ways to drive promotion and reach new audiences. You can also allow users to sign up to your mailing list or interact with you across various social media platforms as actions.

Growing your festival's attendance can be reason enough to offer discounted tickets (especially if you're a new festival trying to get off the ground), but as long as you're giving away cheaper tickets it's important that you're getting back some value in return. Don't be afraid to make high-value actions like retweeting one of your posts mandatory or make it a requirement for users to complete multiple actions before receiving the reward.

Run Your Own Rewards Campaign
Run Your Own Rewards Campaign

Check out our documentation on setting up your own Rewards campaign or get started right away!

Create a Pre-Sale Ballot

If you're running a festival with a lot of interest and limited availability then it's a good idea to create a ticket ballot system where users enter a draw and a designated number of entrants are given the opportunity to purchase pre-release tickets before they go on sale to the general public.

Even if you're not expecting to run out of tickets, pre-sale ballots are still a terrific way to raise awareness, generate hype, insight some FOMO and ultimately drive ticket sales.

With Gleam's Competitions app creating your own pre-sale ticket ballot is a breeze, and there are several approaches you can take.

Simple Sign-Up Ballot

You can create a simple ballot where entrants can sign up with their email address to enter the ballot like the demo we've created below.

To create this type of ballot you just need to follow the steps below:

  1. Create a new Competition
  2. Use your User Details Form to require users to login to your campaign with their email.
  3. Make sure you tick "Require logins before actions", "Automatic entry", and "Build Competition Subscriber List". This will automatically enter all users who complete the form into your Competition so you don't have to worry about entry actions.

    Admin view of User Details configuration for a Gleam campaign
  4. Your prize will be the opportunity to purchase tickets, so ensure that the number of winners you select is equal to the amount of pre-release tickets you want to offer.

    Enter Prize details for your Gleam Competitions campaign
  5. Launch your Competition
  6. Once your campaign is completed, email all winners a link to where they can purchase their pre-release tickets.

Ballot Contest

If you want to use a pre-release ticket ballot to drive powerful promotional actions then you should create a ballot contest with Gleam's Competitions app.

This will function similarly to the ballot we showed you how to create above, except instead of using your user details form to collect entries, you can allow users to enter using a wide range of powerful actions, with more entries being awarded to users who complete more actions. This is a great way to use a pre-release ticket ballot to drive social actions and promote your festival.

If you want to give users some extra incentive to enter beyond the prospect of guaranteed tickets you can try offering discounted tickets to users who are drawn from the ballot. This can be fantastic for raising interest and driving more actions.

Pre-Sale Ballots
Run Your Own Pre-Sale Ballot

Check out our documentation on setting up your own Competition or get started right away!

Use Capture to Grow Your Mailing List

Email marketing remains one of the most powerful promotional tools you have at your disposal. Sending potential festival goers updates about your festival's musical acts, food stalls, art installations, other entertainment and anything else which is relevant is a fantastic way to generate buzz, showcase everything your festival has to offer and ultimately drive ticket sales.

However, for this approach to be effective you need to have a sizeable mailing list, and there's no better way to get one than with Gleam's Capture app.

Gleam Capture in the 'Popup' template

With Capture you can build a perfectly tailored email opt-in form which you can embed in your website and display to visitors at the perfect moment.

You may want to collect emails from visitors as soon as they reach your page or wait until they've already done some research and then ask them to sign up to stay up-to-date. Whatever approach you want to take Capture has got you covered.

Build Your Own Capture
Grow Your Mailing List

Check out our documentation on setting up your own Capture or start growing your mailing list now!

An incredibly important component of promoting a music festival is making sure that people know what your festival is, and what they can expect from it. If you're festival has already had its debut then the best way to do this is by harnessing the power of user-generated content and showcasing images from your festival which highlight just how awesome it is.

With Gleam's Galleries app you can create and curate beautiful photo galleries which can pull in hashtagged images from a wide variety of sources including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and a whole lot more.

This is perfect if you have a festival hashtag, as you'll be able to easily create a gallery filled with user images from your previous festivals which will serve as excellent promotional material for your upcoming event.

Just take a look at this gallery which pulls in Instagram pictures adorned with #rainbowserpent. The gallery puts the music festival on full display and highlights the event to prospective attendees.

If you're importing media from Instagram you should consider asking users to also tag you in their posts and using @mention imports with #hashtag filters. This will help you take clearer ownership over posts and capture additional user data such as usernames and timestamps which Instagram no longer allows you to capture from hashtags alone.

Another terrific way to display hashtagged images is by activating Carousel Mode in your Gallery and showcasing photos from your festival in a scrollable carousel. This is a highly effective way to stylishly and unobtrusively show off high-value user content on your website.

If you need help growing your gallery you can simply ask past festival-goers to upload their images or you can incentivise photo submissions by including the Submit Media action as a part of your Competition or Reward campaign.

Create Your Own Gallery
Create Your Own Gallery

Check out our documentation on setting up your own photo gallery or get started now!

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Ahron Burstin

Ahron is a Growth Marketer at Gleam. Shoot him a Tweet if you got something out of this post ☺