Soundwave Vs Splendour: Eventbrite Reveals The Festivals Winning At Social Media

The hands of a concert crowd at a live music show, focus on the hand in the foreground

Eventbrite’s study into the social buzz of festivals reveals those festivals winning at social media and why.

Self-service ticketing platform and events marketplace, Eventbrite, has released its study into festival social buzz, which outlined who the typical Australian festival attendees is, and how best to engage with them on social media. It also identifies those Australian festivals that are the best at engaging this market and why.

The festival social buzz study analysed social media conversations that occurred around all types of festivals in the last year – from music to performing arts to food and alcohol festivals – to uncover the secret ingredients for a winning social festival.

Defining the modern festival goer

Festivals aren’t just for teenagers and young adults anymore. While the average festival goer is twenty-something and female, the Eventbrite study found that a majority (68%) of festival goers are married, a quarter are thirty-something and over a third have children. They generally have a keen interest in politics and news (48%), comedy (21%), music (20%) and technology (17%), and their favourite brands include McDonalds, Instagram and Qantas.

Festival attendees are also highly sophisticated in their use of social media, with Twitter being their platform of choice. In fact, the majority of festival attendees have been active on the Twitter for more than three years, have over 100 followers and tweet at least once a day, most likely from their iPhone. This love of Twitter highlights the importance social media plays in any festival marketing strategies.

Slow and steady wins the race – sustained engagement vs conversation spikes

According to the Eventbrite study, it’s far more important for festivals to drive sustained social media engagement over a long period of time, rather than drive large spikes in conversation on a single day. For instance, while Soundwave didn’t drive any of the top spikes in festival conversations over the past year, it still came out on top in terms of social buzz overall thanks to sustained chatter, making it Australia’s most popular festival on social media.

However, when you look at the amount of buzz per festival compared to attendee numbers, it shows that Splendour in the Grass actually has the most engaged audience, followed by Stereosonic and Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.

On the other hand, Tropfest drove the biggest conversation spike, but most of sentiment was negative. When Bamboozled was announced as the winner of Tropfest, many people took to social media to criticize the film as being homophobic and transphobic.

Comparing popularity (volume) to passion (volume compared to attendee numbers) to conversation spikes (volume in one day)

Rank Popularity:Top 5 most talked about Australian festivals Passion:Top 5 Australian festivals with the most engaged fans Conversation Spikes:Top 5 social media spikes in a single day for Australian festivals
1 Soundwave Splendour in the Grass Bamboozled wins Tropfest
2 Stereosonic Stereosonic Australia Day Parades
3 Vivid Sydney Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival The start of Vivid Sydney
4 Big Day Out Tasting Australia Sydney Mardi Gras
5 Splendour in the Grass Adelaide Food & Wine Festival Big Day Out line-up announcement


Music festivals are the best at social

Of all the festival categories, music festivals are the best at creating buzz, driving more than half of all festival conversations on social media. Using clever tactics such as staggered line-up announcements and encouraging the acts themselves to engage with fans directly, music festivals have created a winning social media formula.

“Festival and other event organisers can learn a lot from the success of music festivals on social media,” Eventbrite’s International Expansion Manager, Elsita Meyer-Brandt said. “This study highlights the importance of a strategic, long-term social media marketing plan that encourages and inspires your fans to spread the word for you.”

“Analysis of our own transaction data supports this, showing that a single share on social media generates nine additional visits to an event page and $4.80 in additional revenue back to the organiser. It also shows that Twitter generates 2-4 times more revenue and page views than other social channel. This demonstrates the power of social commerce for events.”

Creating social influence

The Eventbrite study also looked at specific Twitter influencers – those profiles that were able to drive high levels of engagement and conversation around festivals – and found that celebrities, media and bloggers were the predominant influencers.

Elsita Meyer-Brandt said, “These results highlight the importance of working closely with ambassadors and sponsors to create intelligent integrated marketing campaign that will drive engagement. This isn’t something that can be cobbled together quickly, it takes careful planning and investment to achieve such results, but the pay-off is clear.”



For this study, Eventbrite partnered with leading social media insights rom Mashwork. Sources of the analysis include 302,283 unique conversations on Twitter, public Facebook posts, blogs and forums surrounding four major categories of festivals: music (relevant mentions: 153,848); visual and performing arts (relevant mentions: 48,691); food and alcohol (relevant mentions: 18,446); and miscellaneous festivals (relevant mentions: 81,298); Sources of the “Who are these festival goers” analysis include conversations of 22,100 users discussing festivals on Twitter. All conversations considered in the analysis took place over the course of one festival year, from June 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014.


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