Jun 13, 2019

By Izzy Falkovich
New data reveals the average budget breakdown of festival-goers.

Brands are constantly looking for new and better ways to connect to consumers, hence the rise in experiential marketing and branded live events. Successful IRL activations can captivate the senses in a way that’s impossible to replicate through a digital ad or traditional commercial— leading audiences to develop brand loyalty and affinity.

For marketers, there’s plenty of data that proves the ROI of live events. More than 3 in 4 millennials “would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable,” according to recent data from Eventbrite. Plus, 91% of consumers have more positive feelings about brands after attending an event, and 85% say it drives their purchase decisions based on data from the latest EventTrack report. Experiences are more effective at communicating a brand’s value than online ads, social media, and retail stores.

At Viacom, events like Nickeldeon’s SlimeFest, Comedy Central’s Clusterfest, and the BET Experience give young and diverse fans a new way to experience their favorite Viacom stars and series. These events are extensions of the programming legacy that goes back to programs like MTV Spring Break, which was a cultural powerhouse in the ‘90s and returned to the network in 2019 after a five-year hiatus, or MTV Unplugged, which gave small audiences access to acoustic performances starting in 1989.

Music as a live event, of course, isn’t new. But modern music festivals—with brand activations, 24/7 programming that include sound baths and circus performances—cater to today’s young fans. These festivals are incredibly popular; according to Viacom Global Consumer Insights (GCI), 42% of Americans age 13-54 have been to a music festival within the past 12 months.

On average, U.S. festival-goers spend $344 per festival. The breakdown of how they spend their money is instructive to marketers and brands, as it shows where the opportunity is to be part of the fan experience. It’s a clue into how live event audiences prioritize their experience.

Here’s how much fans are dishing out, on average, to go to a live event:

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