Glastonbury – The Festival That Needs No Marketing 

image of Sir Elton John performing at Glastonbury 2023

Every summer, music lovers from around the world eagerly anticipate one event that needs absolutely no introduction or marketing campaign – Glastonbury. Seriously, when was the last time you saw an actual advertisement for the festival?

Captivating audiences for decades and offering an unrivaled experience that firmly pushes the boundaries of a typical music festival, Glasto (as it is affectionately known), is a legendary gathering that has become synonymous with epic performances, diverse artistry, and a truly magical atmosphere.

But what sets Glastonbury apart from other festivals is its ability to captivate attention and sell those tickets without relying on flashy marketing campaigns – and make the tickets so lucrative that it’s a virtual battle every year to get your hands on them.

So how does Glastonbury manage to thrive without traditional marketing efforts? 

The answer lies in Glasto’s ability to create a transformative experience that really can’t be found at any other festival. 

It’s much more than just a music festival – in fact, you could absolutely attend Glastonbury without even seeing the pyramid stage. With so many artists, shows, stalls, and community events going on, it seems as though Worthy Farm becomes a whole world unto itself.

While other festivals spend thousands on resources such as advertisements and promotions, Glastonbury has managed to cultivate an organic and authentic following that eagerly returns year after year – and that’s music to any marketer’s ears and something that most of us dream of for our clients.

Turning Festival-Goers into Ambassadors

As the festival is like no other, attendees often become natural ambassadors for the event, spreading the word through word-of-mouth and sharing their unforgettable experiences with friends and family. 

I know I talked of nothing else for a good few weeks after my return from Glastonbury in 2016 – and since then, several friends have managed to go and confirmed that they had the best week of their lives… no exaggeration.

Just take a look at Dan Thomas (specifically his TikTok) – he’s gathered a following of 73.5K followers by producing video content almost solely about the festival. If that’s not dedication to Glasto (and absolutely free marketing for them), I don’t know what is – plus it’s keeping Glastonbury on everyone’s minds (and feeds) throughout the year!

Essentially, attendees become walking marketers without realising it. Glastonbury’s reputation has been built on the stories and memories of those who have attended, fueling the festival’s enduring appeal – who DOESN’T want to go to Glasto at least once in their lives after hearing about the amazing time their friends (and the wider public) had there? 

Add that to the fact that tickets sell out in mere minutes, it gives Glasto a very exclusive feel, which makes those lucky enough to grab a ticket want to shout about it… even more free advertising for the festival with very little effort.

It makes Glasto very unique in that they don’t NEED to be plugging their festival left, right and centre and pushing adverts onto everyone’s timelines – their organic reach both on and offline is so powerful.

User-generated content plays a huge role in the marketing of the festival – our feeds are littered with crowd points of view of the iconic festival weekend, giving us an even more true-to-life insight into the Glasto experience.

In a world dominated by social media influencers and carefully-curated marketing campaigns, Glastonbury remains a great example of how authenticity, community, and creating a one-of-a-kind experience can create a phenomenon that needs no marketing. 

Make the Lineup Unmissable

The organisers also benefit from having cultivated a very enviable lineup that every artist wants to be a part of. This, in turn, also produces even more marketing opportunities in for form of their artists promoting the festival across their own channels – who doesn’t want to shout about playing Glasto?

The lineup is also kept a closely guarded secret, creating even more of a buzz around the festival. Even when it has been announced, there are secret gigs and bands playing under pseudonyms on the weekend itself – just look how much interest the Foo Fighters stirred up this year when they came to the festival under the name The ​​ChurnUps. 

There’s also special guests who may never grace the festival scene again – this year, Elton John attended as part of his final tour… talk about unmissable!

Other Brands on the Glasto Bandwagon

It’s the UKs biggest festival so you can guarantee that brands will want to be a part of the Glasto action. Not only is it the perfect place for other brands to market their products to festival goers, but it’s also a great way to tap into the market using their presence at Glastonbury.

This year, Domino’s created a buzz when they announced that they would be providing jetpack pizza deliveries over the weekend to hungry attendees to mark Elton John’s lineup appearance. 

Dave Grohl also made the headlines by travelling to the festival on a Great Western Railway service and happily having a photo with one of the staff aboard the train. GWR obviously shared this incredible moment and thus… more free marketing for the festival (as well as themselves, of course).

The fact that a music festival has rooted itself so deeply into the UK’s culture that it doesn’t even need to market itself, it’s a testament to the power of music and the enduring spirit of a festival that has become more than just an event—it’s legendary.

 

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