FOMO Marketing: Instagram and Music Festivals

Calling all music lovers, art enthusiasts, and small biz owners — festival season is in full effect! We survived the wave of this year’s Coachella posts on our feeds that either made us never want to eat a cheeseburger again or confirmed our beliefs that next year we’d have our infamous #chella moment in front of the Ferris wheel. Either way, Instagram has proved itself yet again as being the number one vehicle for promoting music festivals and creating the existential dread of FOMO (fear of missing out) simply from user-generated content.

How to Create FOMO with Instagram

As we all saw with the notorious Fyre Festival, FOMO is a real thing. Users and influencers alike will go to great lengths to make sure they can get their hands on festival tickets and exclusive VIP packages for the ultimate Instagram-worthy weekend. Granted, there are plenty of festival-goers out there who go to music festivals for, well, their love of art and music (weird). In any case, with so many kick-ass Instagram accounts promoting festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, or Lollapalooza, how could you not want to go?

So, without fur ado, here are some examples of FOMO marketing at its finest.

Exhibit A: Bonnaroo

Nothing lures in a user more than one of a kind experiences (aka the ultimate FOMO marketing tactic). Surprise sets, late-night parties, and parades? Psh, count me in! Where else in the world can you party on farmland, dress like a unicorn, and parade around with people all over the country? Uh, nowhere! Bonnaroo sheds light on the theme of human connection and overall positivity. The one thing we all want and need in this game called life. Even I can’t deny, their posts naturally pull at the heartstrings!

This even brings me back to Fyre Festival’s marketing tactics, posting the same type of “FOMO” videos on their Instagram page, pushing that it’s more than just a music festival.


Exhibit B: Lollapalooza

Man, this is marketing 101, you guys. Giveaways are the key to any fan’s heart (and dollars)! Not only do giveaways drive traffic to the festival’s desired landing page, but they also reel you in with getting your email. Was that an ‘aha!’ moment you just had? With your email address at hand comes (drum roll please) remarketing ads! Now you’ll see weekly reminders of this festival on your Facebook and Instagram feed. But, enough about that. Giveaways like these create the ultimate daydream of meeting your favorite artist, thus creating FOMO (SCIENCE!).

Marketing Festival Fashion

Within the past couple of years, festival fashion has become its own collection on multiple retail websites and girl, let me tell you, it’s working. Popular retail sites like Nasty Gal, Forever 21, and Dolls Kill have all jumped on the trending fashion train by even encouraging user-generated content on their Instagram pages. These posts can turn into total win-win situations for brands, small business owners, and influencers.

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#Coachella2019 #palmsprings #VL 🎡👧🏻📸

A post shared by Ludovica Valli (@valliludovica) on

Festivals provide a safe space where you can rock your wackiest outfit and have photographers from multiple publications document every single bit of it. I, on the other hand, wear a cat shirt to work ONE TIME and people are silently judging me from behind their computers. But seriously, festivals create a judge-free zone where you can be unapologetically yourself. For women, it can be an excuse to dye their hair purple, splurge on funky outfits they couldn’t wear anywhere else, and pour glitter on literally eh-ver-y-thing they own.

So, have I officially convinced you to go to a music festival this year? Did I create even more FOMO by talking about FOMO marketing? Let’s hope so. If you’re a retail brand wanting to get your name out there, consider setting up shop at a festival. Backup your brand with some creative social media marketing strategies or even get advice on implementing SEO and PPC to your marketing efforts. (Guys seriously, please sign up for our services. I need money for festival tickets.)


Digital Marketing for the Entertainment Industry