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The Music Festival Poster.

Andy Robertson

No music festival is complete without its advertising poster, it’s something that has been around for decades that once served a slightly different purpose. In the 1950’s and 1960’s festival organisers used printed posters and flyers to advertise their events featuring well designed graphically impactful images and a list of artists appearing. 


Music festival and concert posters were often plastered on any available space in locations close to an upcoming event. It was the cheapest way to promote an event when advertising in the press, TV and radio were cost prohibitive. Often combined with leaflet distribution this form of advertising soon became to norm for just about any event promotion. Sticking event posters on any available space in towns and cities has largely disappeared thanks to strict laws and legal enforcement, however, they can still be found on occasions where the property owner has granted permission. The familiar ‘stick no bills’ notice along with potential legal consequences can be serious and fly-posting is considered a criminal offence in most western countries. 

With the advent of the internet in the 1990’s music festival promotion and advertising moved into the online world and every music festival now has their own website and social presence. This has not killed off the music festival poster, and, no festival website is complete without its event poster albeit in an online format rather than a physically printed poster. 

Poster Design.
 
The music festival poster design has always presented an opportunity for organisers to create their own unique brand and these have been reinforced over the years with distinctive logos and design styles. In some respects, it can be easy to place a design to a particular era because each decade had its preferred fonts and design trends. However, this has been blurred over time as some music festivals still prefer to use retro design ques with many still opting for the 60’s and 70’s psychedelic style that harks back to the hippie days where many music festivals originated

Collectable Posters. 
There is an active market in trading and collecting both concert and music festival posters. Due to their temporary and disposable nature not many original posters have survived in good condition making them desirable and on occasions commanding significant prices for keen collectors. The demand is still there for physically printed posters and most music festival organisers will print limited runs to be sold online in their merch stores. Event goers like to purchase these as a reminder or memento of the festival they attended and some organisers make back catalogues available of event posters going back several years.

The advertising poster format will continue to be an integral part of any music festival with some fabulous designs still being produced every year. For organisers the poster is an opportunity to reinforce their brand imagery and to increase fan loyalty, and, increased revenue through limited print runs offered either online or onsite during the event.

For any event organiser planning their music festival using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their festival website content and logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing. 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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