Blog Post:

Using Audience Insights to Enhance the Festival Experience

3 minutes

CK Gassou

It is that time of the year again! As major music festivals, such as Coachella, are revealing their artist lineup for 2019 and attendees are getting excited and ready, one has to pause and notice how much the iconic music festival has changed over the years.
Over its 20 years of activity, Coachella has evolved from an indie rock festival to a multi-million pop and EDM dominated production. The proof, the Princess of Pop Ariana Grande, is making her first ever appearance as a headliner this year.
Although this shift has shown to be controversial by long-standing attendees, some would say that they are in fact evolving this way due to the change in crowd tastes and behavior. Using Affinio, Coachella would be able to understand the audiences this year’s headliners are drawing to the festival, build a strategy to convert new audiences interested in the festival into attendees and create the most relevant sponsorships. Let’s take a look at how Affinio can tackle some of these use cases as the festival quickly approaches:

With a headliner like Ariana Grande, the crowd may look significantly younger compared to just 5 years ago. Ariana is the youngest performer to ever headline the festival, she draws a much different crowd compared to the previous headliner acts such as The Black Keys, ACDC, and Radiohead.

We already know that the “hipsters” will dance their souls away at the Do-Lab, while the typical Californian college student will be fist pumping through the VIP Beer Garden. But what does the data tell us is the best way for Coachella to cater to this year’s crowd? Let’s find out.


When we look at the audience that follows both Ariana Grande and Coachella, we can see beauty brands and retail clothing stores make up this audience’s top interests. If Coachella is trying to create experiences and sponsorships relevant to this new, younger audience, their best bet is with brands like Victoria Secret Pink, Forever 21, Benefit Cosmetics or Urban Decay.
Activations and events in the past have been with brands like Bumble, Heineken, Absolute, and Revolve. Influencers and festival goers attending these events are all 21+. Coachella can take this model but create a dry event for the younger audience with more relevant brands and influencers. For example, a relevant influencer in the audience behind Ariana and Coachella is Noah Cyrus, the rising pop sensation who is Miley Cyrus’ younger sister.  Having Noah host a poolside party with Forever 21 would be a great, teen-friendly event. Having makeup touch-up tents instead of just alcohol tents creates a more teen-friendly feel on the grounds as well.

HBO partnership opportunity

Now that we have uncovered ways Coachella can entertain a younger crowd this year, let’s see how it can enhance the experience of the dedicated Coachellers.
Each year, the festival organizers go above and beyond, through innovation and partnerships, to curate and add value to the experience they provide for the attendees. In the past, they have partnered with big brands such as Heineken and Instagram and used holograms to ensure that.
This year, one of the biggest event on TV, the premiere of the last season of Game Of Thrones, coincidentally lands on the third day of Coachella Weekend 1. Coachella could look into a partnership with HBO to broadcast the episode at the festival or even look into having the popular Game of Thrones symphony play on stage the night of the premiere to appeal to both music and show fans.

Thanks to Affinio, Coachella can benchmark if festival goers will be receptive to such an act.

From this table, you can see that the 3 groups with high relevance and affinity scores are: Pop Culture, Fashionistas, and Indie Rock Fans, all known groups for attending the festival. So if Coachella decides to partner up with HBO, it will be a big success in terms of innovation and production.
Through these use cases, we can see how Affinio audience insights can improve event planning for big production such as Coachella. With newer music festivals sprouting at a high rate around the U.S, this model can be applied for the pre-planning and strategy phase of such events.