As the sun comes down on the summer of 2023, and we say goodbye to another incredible festival season, we’re left with moments like Elton John closing out Glastonbury, The Killers belting out Mr Brightside with 90,000 faithful at Reading, or the truly incredible spectacle of Tomorrowland, moments that will carry us through until 2024 and beyond.
While TikTok is well known for music discovery, breaking artists, revitalising catalogue classics, and even launching best-sellers via #BookTok, it hadn’t previously been the go-to tool for festival promoters, but this began to change this season.
For the first time, we introduced a #Festival hub on TikTok – a new space dedicated to all things festival-related for the billion-strong community to experience and engage with.
For a platform that’s only a little over five years old (with a pandemic in between) this has been only the second year that TikTok has been able to fully support festivals during the summer. Promoters and organisers previously hadn’t utilised the platform in the way that labels and even publishers had, to reach a very engaged, young, and music-loving community.
The hub has become a focal point for festival enthusiasts, artists, and content creators, propelling festival experiences into the hands of festival lovers and future ticket buyers, too. With a surge in support for festival accounts, artists, and user-generated content, #Festival has become the go-to source for fans, and the numbers speak for themselves.
The #Festival hashtag has now garnered a staggering 26bn views. This impressive rise reflects not only the platform’s popularity but also the insatiable appetite for festival-related content among users.
“Tomorrowland garnered an astonishing additional 1bn views in traffic”
#Festival’s collaboration with new and established festivals has ushered in a passionate global audience. Glastonbury was among the first festivals to adopt #Festival. Since we rolled out the hub, video views of #Glastonbury have surged by an impressive 74% compared to the previous year, magnifying the festival’s global reach. This surge in visibility also translated to a 79.6% increase in video creations, reaffirming the festival’s ability to inspire creativity.
It’s worth mentioning the breadth of great festival accounts that have shone across Europe this summer, too. From Reading & Leeds, Parklife, and Truck Festival in the UK to France’s We Love Green Festival and Untold Festival in Romania. We’re also really proud to have continued our partnership with The Great Escape to spotlight some of the UK’s most exciting new artists, like No Guidnce, ENNY, and Mae Stephens, who all have exciting futures.
The crown jewel of TikTok’s festival engagement this summer undoubtedly belongs to Tomorrowland. As Official Content Partner, TikTok brought the magic of Tomorrowland’s iconic Main Stage performances to hand-held devices across the globe. The live broadcasts captured the essence of the festival, reaching 16m unique viewers and while solidifying Tomorrowland’s status as the most followed festival on TikTok, amassing a devoted following of 5m enthusiasts with #Tomorrowland garnering an astonishing additional 1bn views in traffic as a result.
Festivals, once confined to physical locations, can now be enjoyed by the always engaged TikTok community, enabling artists and fans to engage on a truly global scale with promoters able to massively expand their reach and promotional capabilities, selling more tickets in the process. We’ve seen this happen with artists using TikTok to build fandom, engage with their community, and crucially direct fans to their own tours and sell tickets. For festival organisers and ticketing companies, this means the ability to reach fans at the point where they are most excited and engaged. We’ve loved seeing how fans, artists, and organisers have used TikTok in unique and special ways to celebrate all things festival in 2023. We’re excited about how this will build in the coming years and how we can be a value-add to those that make festivals such a cultural phenomenon the world over. Nothing beats being there, but there will always be those that can’t, and utilising the power of TikTok can be transformative, redefining how festivals are experienced and ultimately helping to identify future ticket buyers.
#Festival is expanding promoters’ digital horizons on TikTok, and with such huge results from this year, it’s well worth engaging as part of your strategy to build anticipation for next summer.
Michael Kümmerle is business development lead, global music content & partnerships at TikTok
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