Music Gateway
Login or Join for Free
or sign up with
Spotify icon
Burger menu
Large chevron
close icon
Releasing music? Get more streams and grow your fan base. Tell me more.
Get more
with PROMO.
Discover more about PROMO.
close icon

How To

Music Festival Promotion

Photograph of the blog post author, Music Gateway Support

Music Gateway Support


Small blue and purple gradient divider


Do you enjoy attending music festivals and watching all your favourite bands in one place?

The festival promoter has booked all of these acts after a long time of research and planning as to why these acts would be great for their festival audience. And although you’re there once a year, the festival promoter hasn’t actually stopped working since the previous year.

One festival finishes, and the planning for the next begins…

Many huge festivals (such as Glastonbury) have their own team of promoters who take charge of such responsibilities. Other festivals such as Reading and Leeds, which are run by big event promotion company ‘Festival Republic’, also have their own employed team who work all year round to deliver the best festival for their audience.

Do Your Research!

When the festival promoters begin their job, it’s important that research takes place into the acts they have in mind to book. This research consists of synching the festival show with any album releases or publicity spotlights so the excitement of the artist and musicians transposes to the festival.

This will help with the marketing strategy of the festival as well as ultimately, selling more tickets. Booking the right bands for the festival is absolutely key, as a marketing strategy would already be in place in terms of the target audience, so the artists must match this to draw them in. For instance, Beyoncé wouldn’t be a suitable booking for Rock and Metal event, Download Festival.

When it comes to booking acts, there’s not always a sole focus on famous and chart-topping artists (although this is the main selling point). A lot of festivals book a number of local acts to build their reputation of nurturing local talent by showcasing them alongside internationally famous artists.

One example of this would be the Isle of Wight Festival, which showcases a number of local bands across their small boutique stages. But of course, this becomes more dominant in smaller festivals that have smaller budgets and reputations. Local bands are a great way of attracting and winning over local residents and help to create huge excitement for the artists themselves.

Making Money

Ultimately, festival promoters make money from the ticket sales of the event. The ticket sale numbers are dependent on the quality of artists that are booked, so the higher the quality and the higher the reputation of the bookings, the more income potential for the promoters. In essence, this is a very similar model to live promoters at music venues.

Although employed promotion teams may be paid a wage/salary, the actual promoter companies make money through ticket sales. This may differ from boutique festivals where individual promoters may be the same person(s) who actually started the festival, so their money comes from the overall festival profits.

Consider the Competition

When festival promoters book the acts for the upcoming festival, a number of fundamentals are on their mind. This will be competition and the current trends within the music. One example of these trends is the Reading & Leeds Festival booking Arctic Monkeys to headline the 2014 event shortly after the famous Alex Turner Brit Award speech.

To stand out against the competition and to secure the current trends at the festival in question will put them at the forefront of the summer festival saga. With so many festivals throughout the year all over the world, the battle to be the biggest and best will continue in order to gain the highest possible.

Top Music Festival Promotors

  • Live Nation: Live Nation is one of the world’s largest live entertainment companies, promoting over 25,000 concerts annually in 40 countries. They have a strong presence in the festival industry, promoting some of the biggest festivals in the world such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Electric Daisy Carnival.
  • AEG Presents: AEG Presents is a global promoter, producer, and presenter of live entertainment. They are responsible for producing some of the biggest music festivals in the world, such as Coachella, Stagecoach, and Hangout Music Festival.
  • C3 Presents: C3 Presents is a music promotion and production company that produces some of the most successful music festivals in the world, such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Shaky Knees Music Festival, and the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. They are known for their commitment to creating unique experiences for their fans.

Our top picks for festivals

Coachella – The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an annual music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, in the Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert. It was co-founded by Paul Tollett and Rick Van Santen in 1999 and is organized by Goldenvoice, a subsidiary of AEG Presents.

We Are FSTVL – We Are FSTVL is a multi-genre electronic music festival held annually in Upminster, London. The festival showcases some of the world’s biggest DJs and producers, as well as up-and-coming talent.

Glastonbury – Glastonbury Festival is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts that takes place in Pilton, Somerset, England. In addition to contemporary music, the festival hosts dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, and other arts.

Creamfields – Creamfields is an electronic dance music festival series founded and organised by British club promoter Cream, with its UK edition taking place on August Bank Holiday weekend, with a number of international editions held across various territories worldwide.


closed button
Music Gateway Company Logo

Get started today

Join for Free