Although you probably have a good sense of who’s worth booking for your music festival, going with your gut is not always the best method. While you may have a hunch about who is going to draw a crowd, you still need data that indicates whether or not the artists you select will meet the demand of your specific fans or potential attendees. These are the fans that have followed you on socials, subscribed to your email lists, or have been shown ads based on their profiles fitting your ideal audience. These fans have the highest ticket buying potential and you want to maximize that potential by providing artists that interest them.
Since the "best guess" method doesn’t actually connect artist demand to your database of potential ticket buyers, you put your event’s financial and commercial success at risk. Thankfully, there’s a solution.
A better way
Over the last 2 years, streaming has become the dominant medium for music consumption, thanks to the #1 streaming platform: Spotify. The Spotify app collects tons of data every day, and artists, managers, record labels, etc. all use Spotify artist insights to make important business decisions. In your case, the most important data involves the artists with your target audience. Data points such as monthly listeners, audience insights, and other analytics can help you book more appealing artists for your local ticket buyers. We have a step-by-step process to show you how.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
Collecting Listening Data
Catering to your potential ticket buyers is crucial to your event’s success. That’s why it’s important to know which artists they want to see before booking them. There are two main ways to collect user data:
Ask and you shall receive. Although it may seem simple, asking your potential ticket buyers about their favorite artists can help you make more informed decisions about who to book. Furthermore, this simple gesture can show your patrons that you truly care about their opinions. The event will feel more personal to them since they played a part in bringing it to life.
Using your event’s social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), you can post a poll to gauge your audience. You can also post something like: “Who do you want to see at (insert event/festival name)? Comment below!” The last sentence serves as a call-to-action, inviting followers to share their preferences in the comment section. As fans suggest artists, you should copy and paste all of those comments into a separate document. Then, use TagCrowd to find the most popular responses. TagCrowd is a website that allows you to paste a body of text and find the most abundant words or phrases used. The artists with the most mentions should top your list of potential booking targets.
Create a viral registration to contest
Another way to collect user data is by offering a viral registration contest through PromoTix. You can ask potential patrons for their Spotify data in exchange for a chance at winning a prize. We compiled a list of some prize examples, but this list is not complete, so feel free to add some of your own ideas! Our prize ideas include:- Free general admission ticket to your event
- Ability to earn additional tickets (+1’s, +2’s, etc.)
- Upgrades (VIP experience, expedited entry, premium camping, etc.)
- Backstage access
- Artist meet & greets
- Free merchandise
You can then use the Spotify data that you collect to track listening habits in your local area. As more users submit their data, you should be able to see who they were listening, following, and engaging with on Spotify over a 90 day period. Every song or Spotify playlist that people stream will help you get closer to crafting the perfect lineup. PromoTix will automatically take this data and automatically craft a ranked target list of artists. The list will update daily on a rolling 90-day schedule to keep you up to date and inform you about growing trends during your booking process. The artists with the highest audience overlap should also top your list of potential booking targets.
For more information about creating a viral registration contest on PromoTix, check out our page here.
Building out your lineup
Once you have your initial target list of artists, then you should find backup options or use the list to inspire other booking choices. After all, some of your target artists charge a high booking fee, which could strain your budget. In addition, having backup options can improve your leverage during your negotiations, since you always have a musician to fall back on in case you can’t reach a deal. You also want to build out openers and a strong undercard that will keep your audience engaged. The earlier attendees come out to the show the higher concession and merchandise sales will be.
Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash
Websites like Last.fm and AllMusic can help you find similar artists to the ones on your target list. For Last.fm, search an artist on your target list and then go to the “Similar Artists” tab. For AllMusic, search an artist profile on your target list and then go to the “Related” tab. Make sure that you cross-reference these similar artists to your User Data and see cross-reference artists work best for you.
Using fan data to find target artists you can craft the perfect lineup for potential ticket buyers. This creates an opportunity to advertise your lineup towards the same people who helped you build it in the first place. As previously stated, fans will want to attend your event not only because it involves artists they want to see, but also because they played a role in bringing those artists to your area in the first place.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
The key to this method is in crafting custom audiences for Facebook and Instagram, email the people you polled, and reach out to those you have Spotify data from via your social media platform. If you completed the previous steps correctly, your potential patrons will jump at the chance to buy a ticket for your event.
Using PromoTix and Spotify data from your potential ticket buyers is the best way to craft the perfect lineup. In addition, discovering similar artists with the same or greater appeal to your fans can help you save money and boost your buyer’s satisfaction at the same time. Always remember, the right acts at the right price will make you money.
If you want to learn how to increase profits when booking your artist lineup, watch the video below!
Booking the artists on your target list that had the most overlap with your audience is giving your ticket buyers shows and lineups that they simply cannot resist. As a result, naturally, you will increase your chances of selling out and beating out your competitors.
Want to learn how to use PromoTix to implement this method and maximize profits? Then click the link below!