Festivals are no longer a sex, drugs and rock’n’roll affair

With summer coming to an end it is now time to look back at one of our most iconic ways to celebrate it; festivals. Hunter boots, Quechua tents and Carlsberg in cups are what makes them so unique, but how have they changed?

First, let’s have a closer look at who festival goers are.

Unsurprisingly, half of them (50%) are under 30 years old with 21-25-year-olds making up the biggest age group (18% of all festival goers) (source: FestivalInsights).

However, what comes as a surprise is that there is a similar percentage of festival goers that are 41-50 years old and that 33% of people attending these types of events have children.

This paints a very different picture of festivals, far from one of raving teenagers, and shows that they can be a family affair.

This actually couldn’t be any truer than when looking at the rise of new types of festivals;  those that make you come back healthier and more rested than when you left; wellness festivals. In the last 10 years, numerous ones have launched; Fare Healthy is the first food fitness and wellbeing festival with exercise classes and cooking demonstrations, Soul Circus offers hot yoga, meditation, aerial classes, juices and clean eating, Balance focuses on fitness and food with boot camps and HIIT classes, just to name a few.

But these new festivals are not the only ones to focus on health and balance; big music festivals such as Green Man which has a healing garden as well as electronic music after parties or Wilderness which offers remedies and relaxation in their ‘sanctuary’ alongside acts like Bonobo, follow the same path.

With the rise of alternative festivals (wellness as well as books, arts, theatre-focused events) it gives brands more opportunities to resonate with festival goers.

You don’t have to be a beer or burger brand to fit in with these opportunities anymore, as long as your brand fits into a ‘work hard, play hard’ territory or wants to communicate around a holistic lifestyle it will work.

Great examples of this include Virgin who launched their own fitness festival – Virgin Sport, Vitamix hosting demonstrations at the Fare Healthy festival and Pepsi who launched contests for consumers to win tickets to festivals with their mates.

However, surprisingly no brand thought to launch mud treatments at festivals, showing how much further brands can go to use this uncluttered territory (make sure you copyright me if you end up tapping into this opportunity!).


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