Festivals are the buffet of the marketing world. There are often a huge variety of different flavors of brands mixing together to compete with, as each brand tries to make a bigger impact than their neighbour and really hit home with as many festival goers as they can.
Why an emerging music festival? You may say every festival that isn’t the likes of Electric Picnic or Glastonbury may not be worth the investment and you’d rather set your eyes on the big fish instead of exploring the pond. When in reality, these emerging festivals are becoming a bigger trend than the main players of the festival season, with almost all of the emerging festivals selling out quicker than the rest. They often provide brands a new opportunity to explore a new demographic or find a new avenue that best provides the consumer with a fresh and vibrant experience for a company’s brand’s image.
With all of the major festivals booking out before you can even say the words “wellies & tents”, brands are now looking to aim their sights at emerging festivals and see if they get in early so they can continue to grow with the festival over its inaugural years. However, before a brand can decide whether they wish to opt into a festival and explore their options to attract the crowd, they first must explore the reasons behind why they should be at the festival and whether the audience demographic aligns with their brand.
In this blog we will explore some of the hottest emerging festivals in Ireland & England that will give your brand a headstart on catching these opportunities..
Kicking off with one of the hottest emerging festivals of the Irish circuit is Beyond The Pale running into its second year in 2023 based in Glendalough Estate, Co. Wicklow. Running all weekend from the 16th-18th June 2023, the festival curators believe there will be no stiff competition for Beyond The Pale this summer once the music & art lovers experience the magic of the weekend in the Glendalough Valley.
With the line-up consisting of Hot Chip, Grace Jones & Thundercat as the main headline acts, it is hard to immediately gauge the demographic from a first glance as each act resonates with a different generation. However, browsing through countless photos & videos from the previous year, it is evident to see that the demographic is varied but obvious to see a majority of the festival goers being young adults roughly in their mid to late 20s but a mix of ages ranging up from there with families also being a key part.
The name of the festival perfectly encapsulates its vibe, its an escape from reality just beyond the pale (Dublin). While their music lineup is a crucial element, BTP also places a heavy influence on art, food, drink and wellness throughout the festival. The “Strawberry Fields” host many art installations that will make you feel you are immersed in an Alice in Wonderland-like set to their “Space In-Between” providing a space where you can “go on an adventure in consciousness” and focus on your wellness and tranquility.
An escape from reality with a mix of demographic and hot music acts providing a perfect canvas for your brand to captivate what its being offered.
City Splash is London’s favorite newcomer festival coming back for another massive year in Brixton for a one day event on the 29th of May. Celebrating Caribbean & African culture, City Splash provides London with the hottest acts in reggae, dancehall, afrobeats and much more all captivating the impact these two cultures have had on British culture.
With african and caribbean culture being the heart of this festival everything from the food to the music has their cultures influence. The great thing about the music taking place over the one day event with 20,000 people in attendance is that there is something for everyone, bringing in all ages from those who rocked with reggae in the 90s to those who just want to dance to the latest dancehall hits to top the charts.
City Splash provides London with this great opportunity to not only celebrate these great cultures and their music but to bring everyone together to explore it as a community. A Carnival vibe brought to life through the people at Brockwell Park is an experience you have to witness as it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Coming into its second festival season, Otherside, based in Slane is another top contender for an upcoming festival in Ireland. “Magic, mischief & connection” being at its core over its 3 day weekend in the first week of July this year, as one of the smaller festivals on the scene they are already making a major impact and signing some big music acts such as Kolsch & Bombay Bicycle Club.
Announcing an abundance of Irish acts performing over its weekend along with some big names in the international scene, their lineup is not one to be missed and will only continue to improve. With a mixture of scenes coming together the demographic for Otherside is a melting pot of all ages and people travel from all over the country just to attend. It is an Over 18’s event with children under the age of 12 being permitted with a guardian so families can also get involved in the magic of this festival.
With their value of diversity at its core with their lineup, Otherside wish to provide their attendees with a festival that is based on connection and allowing people to again escape their 9-5 and explore music and arts with new and old connections. You have the opportunity to share stories at the campsite circle, to laughing at a comedy show in the morning followed by a swim in the local lake, everything that this festival has to offer embodies connection and the magic of a getaway not far from home.
This charming festival attracts the eclectic heads out there with its offerings aligning to that of a retreat, but with an enchanting twist. Wilderness Festival takes place in a stunning forest in Oxfordshire, inviting its attendees to embrace the wilderness for four-days and get immersed in a diverse combination of live music, arts, wellbeing, theatre artisanship, late-night parties, outdoor pursuits and culinary experiences deep in the Oxfordshire countryside. As far as immersive experiences go, this festival has it all, with activities such as Paddleboard Yoga, Wild Swimming, workshops hosted by The V&A, banquets in the woods by sensational British chefs completed with headline music from The Chemical Brothers & Christine & The Queens.
This festival embraces individuality and freedom of expression, with its enchanting realm attracting an audience from all walks of life. If your brand likes to provide experiences that subvert to surprise your audiences, then this is the space for you! This extraordinary festival is well regarded throughout London’s most respected institutions who have been known to get involved such as: The Royal Academy of Arts, Southbank Centre, The Roundhouse and The RSA.
Forever Young Festival in Kildare kicked off in 2019, but with the halt in live events in 2020 this will only be their third year running. This 80s festival is catered towards an older demographic but if you have an old soul or just can’t resist those 80s classics then this festival will be right up your street!
For brands, this is the perfect opportunity to target a more mature audience which is different to those at other festivals around Ireland. The festival attracts a diverse range of individuals who are passionate about music, art and culture. The festival is all about celebrating youthfullness, energy and positivity. This creates a unique opportunity for brands to create special nostalgic experiences for festival goers.
Food is at the heart of this festival, which is the brain child of Michelin Starred chef Tom Kerridge who has combined the best music & culinary delights The UK has to offer. This festival attracts a wide ranging audience across London, particularly due to the fact it takes place in 3 different locations across the summer. Wimbledon, Dulwich and Chiswick are the stomping grounds for this much loved foodie festival which is well-renouned with Londoners, and not just for its top notch food offerings, but for the banging tunes, too! With a great lineup featuring artists such as Craig David, Soul II Soul Soundsystem, Tinie Tempah and Bananarama throughout the tour, there are multiple appeal levels. The main stars at this festival are the celeb chefs, who will be cooking up a storm on the stage with appearances from legends such as Anna Haugh, Andi Oliver and Si King from the Hairy Bikers making appearances. For brands in the food and beverage industry, this festival is an absolute goldmine!
Maiden Voyage (London, England)
With homegrown talent from both sides of the pond on the lineup Maiden Voyage is another great emerging festival on the UK scene.
NTS: One Day (London, England)
Hosting its first festival in 2023, this radio station is bringing to life two stages of Hip Hop talent such as JPEGMafia in Burgess Park this summer.
Wild Roots (Sligo, Ireland)
Ireland’s first festival based in the North West of the island bringing major headliners such as Rudimental & Jenny Greene to this year’s lineup is another solid addition to this list to keep in mind for your brand.
If you are looking to take your brand’s awareness to the next level and create unforgettable festival experiences, we have our teams on hand to help you stand out from the crowd.
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