Branding Changes Music Festivals

How to create a successful music festival and change it to a brand where everyone wants to go to? First of all, people must want to go there because they know it will be worth their time. According to Marty Neumeier brands only exist only in people’s mind and the most important thing is to have a gut feeling about the brand. Brand is not a logo or a product. It is what they (customers) say it is.

Tomorrowland for instance is one of the biggest electronic music festivals in Europe right now but that wasn’t the case when it was first organized. In 2005 the organizers had to give away a lot of free tickets to raise people’s awareness. They even incurred losses of 150,000€. In 2013 the tickets were sold in under a minute even though the prices are incredibly high. Their brand is at the level where people don’t care about the price.
People nowadays pay a lot of money for tickets to Tomorrowland because it is a charismatic brand meaning it is a product or a service which people believe there’s no substitute.

Tomorrowland is an experience people want to see because it differentiates itself from other electronic music festivals by answering three questions:


Who are you? – An electronic music festival
What do you do? – Create a unique music experience where people can enjoy themselves
Why does it matter? – People want to go there to have a great time and enjoy music

If people can answer these three questions it creates an image of the brand. The gut feeling tells people is it worth their time and money meaning they create the image of the brand.


Lastly Tomorrowland created a unique logo which stands out. People know about the brand already, but the logo makes it visible. When customers see the logo they already know what the brand stands for.


Brand as a “gut feeling” by Marty Neumeier

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5 Responses to Branding Changes Music Festivals

  1. Olivia Chudik says:

    The way you explained that brands exist because we decide they do, in the first sentences of your article, is a great way to introduce your topic. Tomorrowland is such an experience and incredible event, there definitely had to be an article about it. I did not know that for their first year they actually gave some tickets for free, but, what a great choice. It absolutely helped them raise money the years later as this event’s popularity has spread so fast and so incredibly. Their brand strategy is very well defined, and their logo is one of the greatest part of it. They have thought about everything, and every year, this music festival is a huge success.

  2. raphaelverma says:

    How imperative do you think that “gut feeling” is in building a brand?

  3. annakissa says:

    I find the post very interesting and I think the key of Tomorrowland’s succes is, of course a good reputation, but also its visuality really is something! It has built its brand to be very unique with wonderful fantasy elements and mysterious atmosphere. I think it’s one main reason what really makes people want to experience it. As you wrote, the prices are super high but still people are fighting to get the tickets. Do you think the same kind of brand building could work with Finnish music festivals?

  4. jeremyterrier says:

    That awesome how brands are affecting everything in our life! I didn’t know the case for Tomorroland. Imagine even art is touching by brand.
    Nowadays if you want to make profit and also success you need, or is more interesting, to work with brand. When you see that brand is investing such a lot of money to sponsorise movie, and also music. Now you can see clothes brand in videoclip, certain type of brand car in movies. There is an interesting movie did by Morgan Spurlock called Super Ca$h Me (same producer as Supersize me). Mr Spurlock figures ou the huge industry of product placement in the movie industry and how little production can’t survive without huge investment in order to do create a film. Some companies are ready to pay million of dollar to appears few times in a movie and there are to much goals to achieve for producers to get this money as number of entry, how many people will see the movie chart, that’s awesome!

  5. henaheii says:

    I agree that Tomorrowland is a very charismatic event. They have their unique themes for example in their stages. They also create stories with their after movies, which are made after the yearly festival. The themes and the story makes it stand out from the rest of the festivals. I’m not sure do you recall Finnish Summer Sound Festival? It’s held in a boring hall in a fair center. The stages are large and all the lights are visually impressive. However the festival doesn’t have unique or charismatic theme. It makes the whole event dull compared to Tomorrowland.

    All in all being unique, charismatic and having answers to the questions mentioned are not the only keys to success. I think Tomorrowland also benefitted from the “EDM” music trend that has boomed over the recent years. Having good artists and their trending music is very important!

    Good blog and have a great summer with upcoming festivals!

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