Connection and discovery are two of the biggest festival drivers. Research shows that nearly 80% of Millennials believe attending live events helps them ‘feel more connected to others, their community, and the world’ - while three-quarters think that attending live events offers ‘insights beyond what they can find online’ and enables them to ‘make a more significant impact’. We asked our Youth Culture Uncovered research participants this year what mattered to them when it came to a fun festival experience. The top three responses in order of preference were: 1) it’s all about the people you’re with and you’ll meet 2) the line up and 3) the total escape it provides from normal life. The festival is a magical environment away from the day to day to explore and create a new reality.

More Than Music:

With a new generation that likes songs and not bands, or soccer players and not teams, they see festivals differently from older ones. It is an event where you have a good time, where you have many things to do, have fun with friends, with food, parties and music. It is a whole in which music ceases to be the main thing, although important.Fernando Zabala Alfonso, Socio Fundador De Sold Out (Spain)

A Fun Space to Create:

Work with creatives, don't be afraid to collaborate, content is key! Big spend and lots of production does not always result in a good activation. You don't need to have a DJ to justify your presence at a festival.” Will Rolfe, POD

Younger generations are certainly more focussed on content generation than some of us more seasoned festival goers. They sparkle in their attire, hearts and passion for Live Music! They know what they want and they have choices like no other generation and are experts at communicating it on many platforms. They want FUN! Give them reasons to tell their story to many...” Mike Adamson, CEO, Live Nation Ireland


We’ve written extensively about how greener festivals are going mainstream (this is a brilliant new report on the future of festivals with examples from across Europe). This year, the focus on the festival as inspiration for wider society is getting more exciting - and challenging - as audience expectations rise

Own The Responsibility:

Sustainability is a key priority for us as a business, and has become increasingly important for our partners, artists and fans. As the industry leader, we have a responsibility to not only meet these expectations, but to be at the forefront of environmentally conscious initiatives with our partners and artists, using our platform of 3 million entertainment fans in Ireland to inspire environmental action.Mike Adamson, CEO, Live Nation Ireland

Our company is very aware of organising more sustainable shows. It is not easy because we need large doses of energy and manufacture materials for only one or very few uses. But nowadays you are morally obliged to try everything that is possible. The public also demands it, and the companies with which we collaborate are in our same mood. We use a lot of technology to avoid material consumption, of course we recycle everything, we use low consumption equipment, etc. Everything we can.Fernando Zabala Alfonso, Socio Fundador De Sold Out (Spain)

Make Sustainability Cool & Convenient:

Yeah, making it cool but also making it convenient, accessible and giving people the opportunity to do the right thing and understand how they’re feeding into that. It can be challenging when something very small like having a reusable bottle or cup can feel like a very mundane thing in the face of the climate crisis, and in the face of what’s going on with big corporations and Governments around the world it can feel very small. But what’s really amazing, and what you see at festivals, is that there are so many people here all doing it; the difference that makes right in that moment [is obvious] and that can be a lesson for wider society, how it feels when we all take good steps. It’s a collective.Áine May Hughes, Sustainability Coordinator, Body&Soul (in the Irish Times).

Collaborate and Communicate:

At Glastonbury it was incredible to see the focus given to charity partners Greenpeace, Oxfam and Water Aid. Not only did Greenpeace have its own stage where the entertainment went far beyond what you might traditionally expect at a ‘charity’ festival tent (check out its brilliant latest campaign film here), but key messages rippled throughout the festival site. Between acts, the screens on the main Pyramid stage reminded people to behave responsibly - to pick up after themselves and leave no trace. As sites of real (and fun) civic engagement, festivals provide a huge opportunity for brands to support the exploration of ideas and actions that really matter to younger audiences.Laura Costello, Strategy Director of Purpose & Planet, THINKHOUSE

PLANET also goes beyond the environmental issues raised by festivals. While the diversity and inclusion conversation continues to get stronger, especially around the gender balance in headline slots, younger generations, especially in the middle of a cost of living crisis, are speaking out about the accessibility of festivals and factors like class.


From wellness or storytelling festivals, to food, book festivals and family festivals… There’s something to suit everyone’s niche interests in the festival space, even beyond music (there was even a 5k run around Glastonbury). Brands can support youth’s desire to be inspired in new ways but also can support them by presenting real value through accessibility (think discounts, behind the scenes) or novelty.

Inspire in New Ways

Festival season is one of the most important times of the year for us, when we get to connect with our drinkers outside barriers that might exist in everyday life. At the festival, a sense of fun, freedom and possibility reigns - in more open minded and creative contexts. This is not just about creating incredible moments for people to connect locally, but also to build on pioneering ideas that brands and drinkers across the world can be inspired by, like our more sustainable Heineken Bar initiative.” Mark Noble, Marketing Manager, Heineken Ireland

Provide Value & Comfort

Something interesting that we uncovered in recent research is that for those new to festivals it can be quite intimidating, brands can provide comfort and familiarity in such unfamiliar settings. In order to win at festivals, brands need to present clear value to the fans – provide access & exclusive perks, solve a pain point or amplify a moment. Be authentic, keep it simple and stick to what’s relevant to your brand and business. We always ask our partners and their agency teams to put their festival coat on – stay true to the brand but turn up at the festival in a way that makes sense to the audience.Mike Adamson, CEO, Live Nation Ireland

Add value to their festival experience, give the audience something the festival can't, and present it in an exciting or innovative way.Will Rolfe, POD


We are in the process of launching a new edition of our Love Network - The Love Network 3.0. Before it’s officially launched beyond our client network, we would love to invite you to discover more about it through a 45 minute presentation. What to expect? In a $21BN Creator Economy, learn how brands are winning through our network of Creators, Influencers and Changemakers. The Love Network uses our bespoke IP and methodology to deliver ground-breaking, culture shifting work that puts our brands at the centre of culture, driving awareness, relevance, behaviour shift. To request a presentation explaining the methodology, the technology and some case studies please contact

Read our Social & Digital Innovation team’s latest piece on ‘Vanity Metrics’ here.

Old wellies. Glitter nipple tassels. Muddy tents. Cowboy hats. Portaloo queues. Stories for life…

As Glastonbury footage took over screens across the world this week, festival season officially took over the summer. Beyond the fields, we’re seeing festival content take over TikTok feeds (where even planning a festival is on overdrive!)- driving demand. For week’s 52INSIGHTS we interviewed leaders in the festival space to explore what festival-goers want, and how brands can get festivals right.