Well the first major festival announcement of 2020 is here! One of my most enjoyable clients, the Birthplace of Country Music, hosts an annual music festival every September, and 2020 we'll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion festival. Over the last year of working with the marketing director, we've explored introducing several new strategies that will hopefully pay off with an increase in overall brand awareness as well as ticket sales, attendance and revenue.
It's been tradition for Weekend Passes to go on-sale the Friday after Thanksgiving, which many know as "black Friday." This is one of those, "if ain't broke don't fix it" moments, with 30-40% of their weekend pass sales happening before anyone even knows what bands will be performing. Then in December, the festival has traditionally rolled out a 12 Days of Christmas Campaign, which introduces 12 mid-tier artists with the remainder of the 120+ band lineup to be announced in April. In reviewing the data, the 12 Days of Christmas seemed to do little in actually moving more ticket sales, as folks where generally waiting for the lineup if they hadn't already purchased over Thanksgiving weekend to get the discount.
So for the 2020 festival, we decided to shift the strategy slightly. As opposed to the 12 Days campaign, we rolled out the first round of lineup (headliners included) last Friday, December 13th. Sales still kicked off on black Friday, and then two weeks later we're keeping the buzz going with introducing artists such as Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Moon Taxi, Tanya Tucker and 27 more.
What we've seen as a result of this, is an increase in year over year sales at this point in the marketing plan. By adding this, along with our post 2019 festival strategy, our overall ticket sales are up vs. the same time last year. What will be interesting to see is, as we move into 2020 how will pacing of sales continue to track? As opposed to waiting until April, we will announce the full lineup on Friday, February 14th, with the hope that this will result in another big push for ticket sales. Another key factor in the data is, when there's a price increase people tend to make that commitment to purchase in order to save a few dollars. While we don't have any price increases planned until April of 2020, it will be interesting to see if the lineup is enough incentive to move weekend passes, or if consumers will wait until April when the price is about to go up.
Stay tuned for more details as we move into next year! Oh, and this lineup is shaping up to be one helluva a festival to celebrate 20yrs of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion!