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Experiencing festival luxury

VIP Nation Europe's Sarah Woodhead writes on the increase in demand for VIP festival experiences

07 Jul 2017

Sarah Woodhead, VIP Nation

The morning sun illuminates the stretched canvas of your expansive Bedouin tent as you throw back your Siberian goose-down duvet, swing your legs over the edge of your 1,600 pocket-sprung mattress, and retrieve your morning paper from the lush dewy grass. This you’ll read over a cooked breakfast after emerging from a hot shower stocked with luxury scrubs and cleansers.

It is little wonder that people who were never festivalgoers have become such in recent years. The experience, for those prepared to pay for it, is a far cry from the festival experience that often springs to mind.

Many studies have noted the shift in consumer spending over the last decade (led in no small part by millennials), with discretionary household spending decreasing and the demand for live experiences (travel, events, recreation and eating out) steeply and steadily rising. The growth in boutique camping areas and VIP enclosures is, in part, a response to the appetite of the consumer to make live music more of an experience and has, in part, also fuelled it. The idiom build it and they will come holds some water here.

It is little wonder that people who were never festival-goers have become such in recent years. The experience, for those prepared to pay for it, is a far cry from the festival experience that often springs to mind

For alongside the rise in middle-income consumers dedicating more hard currency to personal consumption spending, and less on homes, cars and goods, comes the older, more affluent consumers, going to festivals for the first time or returning after an absence – with their children and, dare I say, grandchildren – because the experience is so vastly improved.

Retailers too are recognising that consumers value live experiences more than the possessions they stock, with many providing customers with a range of events like pilates, flower arranging, perfume mixing and pop-up restaurants to get them through the door, build brand affinity and increase spending on tangible goods.

For many years, VIP activity and live music were uneasy bedfellows. Like water and oil in a pot, they were held together but kept apart, largely due to the festival organiser’s desire to shield the general festival-goer from areas that were considered distasteful, corporate and elitist. Those myths have been dispelled by consumers’ use of social media. Using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to tell people what they’re doing. More than ever before consumers are aware of what they’re missing out on and this continues to fuel the demand.So don’t be shy. Shout about it but, above all, make it an experience.

 


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