There have been a number of cancelled events and festival recently, from the much coveted Eric Prydz show in Delhi, to the Mad Decent Block Party India tour that was supposed to happen this March. As fans and attendees, it is super disappointing when something like this happens and expectedly, the organisers have to take responsibility and blame. What we need to realise is that there are a lot of aspects in marketing and managing a music festival or event and it’s not always an easy task.

MDBP India Tour 2016, Delhi leg was cut. This year, all three shows were unexpectedly cancelled.

Branding, Marketing, and Sponsorships are some of the major elements that an organiser needs to take care of and they all go hand-in-hand. Gone are the days where attendees just accept whatever is thrown at them due to lack of knowing better. In the music obsessed age and unending number of events to attend, everyone’s a critic when it comes to how an event is organised. Music fans these days attend their fair share of festivals to know what goes and what doesn’t. We may be on the other side of the ‘festival season’, but it’s actually a year round business with events like the ADE Global Sessions and the Justin Bieber concert lurking around the corner.

ADE Global Sessions Mumbai 2016. They ensured their branding was on all possible paraphernalia.

The branding of a music festival is the base of a festival which should decide how you market it and what sponsors to take on. Now that music festivals have become rites of passage for today’s generation, brands are taking notice and have made their festival partnerships the centrepieces of deeper, fully integrated marketing campaigns. Notably, Budweiser has made quite a foray into the market by associating with a lot of artists and festivals. Other brands take up major sponsorship to become practically synonymous with a festival like Bacardi Nh7 Weekender, Absolut Enchanted Valley Carnival, and a lot more. For smart brands, festivals are an opportunity to help underwrite really remarkable cultural moments that are offline, tangible experiences and that mean something to the attendees.

Being the primary sponsor for Nh7 Weekender, Bacardi makes sure their branding is evident

For festival organisers, it is imperative to choose the right brand that gives the attending youth a relatable message. The target audience shouldn’t feel like some brand placement is forced just for the sake on sponsorship which also happens quite often. Integration, Innovation and a healthy dash of bravery are now the core tenets of the progressive brand activation. A way to manage all these aspects of a festival or event in the appropriate manner, would be to hire a festival consulting firm so you don’t miss out on anything or take a bad decision. Just last year, India saw the launch of it’s first such firm; Co-Cr8. They help brands in making valuable alliances and build key industry partnerships, identifying new revenue streams, and building on the ticketing ecosystem. They’re already associated with major players in the entertainment space like blueFROG, Ragasthan, ADE Global Sessions Mumbai, and GuestList4Good. Hiring such a firm would be a wise decision for a brand in the long run as Co-Cr8 would build value for all parties involved. Maybe if major players in the industry followed suit, we’d have fewer cancelled events due to lack of sponsors/ improper management, and more quality festivals that we all desire.

India’s first festival consulting firm, Co-Cr8