Simply put: Your lineup announcement is the most critical point during your festival season. It’s the largest chance you have to deliver your message in a BIG way, get new eyeballs on your festival and generate significant momentum. If done correctly, your public on sale following the announcement can generate up to 50% of your sales for the entire season (Hell, I’ve even sold out a festival within 2 weeks of the lineup announce before)!
It’s absolutely crucial to your festival’s success to be prepared and there’s a significant amount of work to be done leading up to (and through) the big day.
Over the past 4 years (and 12+ festivals) I’ve developed a “Lineup Announce Checklist” to help plan my announces. While I’ll dive into my announce strategy at a later date, this checklist covers WHAT to focus on to amplify the buzz of the announcement, coordinate across all key partners (artists, media, sponsors, etc), and maximize ticket sales for the public on sale.
What do you need to consider when planning a Lineup Announcement? Unsurprisingly, a whole lot. Though not inclusive, I try to account for all key areas of your marketing plan: Admin, Content, Website, Publicity, Social, Digital Ads, Data/Analytics, Street Team, Radio, Print, Sponsors, Artists/Talent.
The Lineup Announce Checklist
- Marketing plan – Outline of marketing strategy and baseline data from lineup announces from previous years (initial sales, traffic, demographics, social engagement, etc)
- Timeline – Lineup announcement date + time set. Public on sale announcement date + time set. Major announcements, on sales, and marketing milestones sketched out for the season
- Budget – Expenses proposed, approved by accounting, and communicated with sub-departments. (I aim to have the full marketing budget done by this point, but at the very least have 3-4 weeks planned).
- Ticketing – Set Ticket tiers, prices, amenities and packages. Work with ticketing department on event built and on sale scheduled. Early bird tickets taken off-sale.
- General – All announcement dates/times communicated company-wide. Executive report templates built for reporting on the announcement.
- Admat – Logo, date/location, lineup, “Tickets on sale on DATE”, website URL, various branding elements
- Lineup Video – Hire video team, concept & storyboard, produce, edit and format video, get approvals across artists and key partners
- Social Graphics
- Website hero/slider design
- Print ads
- Digital ads – GIF/HTML5 for display, Facebook
- Email graphics
- On sale – Ticketing page branding assets, packages, pricing, “sold out” graphics, etc
- Homepage – Hero image/slider updated, navigation updated
- Pages created – Lineup page, artist pages, sponsor page
- Content – Blog post created, upload press release, FAQs updated
- Tickets page – Pricing and packages, amenities/descriptions
- SEO – Target keywords created and incorporated into copy, make sure all artists + publications are linking back to your website, schema set for a clean search page
- Q.A. – Check website for broken images, bad links, and general usability. Perform same test on mobile as well
- Press Release – Written & sent under embargo to key partners. Sent to everyone the day of announce.
- Publicity – Hire publicist, create talking points developed and sent to executives / key personnel that might be interviewed
- Media list – Created and teaser info sent
- Media partners – Promotional support negotiated (e.g. exclusive release)
- Influencers – Contacted, promos and announcements scheduled, graphics distributed the morning of announce
- Artists – Management all contacted, distributed graphics, suggested announce copy & trackable links
- Local – Local contacts (government, tourism board, etc) contacted, distributed collateral with trackable links
- Digital – Wikipedia and other reference sites updated on announce date
- Facebook – Teasers leading to announcement, Lineup post copy, video uploaded, admat formatted, cover photo, on sale graphics, event updated with lineup info
- Instagram – Teasers leading to announcement, Lineup Post copy, video formatted, admat formatted, on sale graphics
- Twitter -Teasers leading to announcement, Post copy, video, admat formatted, on sale graphics
- Snapchat -Teasers leading to announcement, Admat formatted, video formatted
- Youtube/Vimeo – Video uploaded, password protected
- Customer service – Answers for anticipated questions written out ahead of time and communicated to marketing dep’t. Process developed for fielding new questions and getting answers across departments (particularly site ops + production).
- Facebook + Instagram – Audiences built, Campaigns created, targeting set, graphics created + approved, ad copy by artists
- Google Search – Campaigns created, targeting set, ad copy
- Google Display – Audiences built, Campaigns created, targeting set, graphics created and approved by artists
- Youtube pre-roll – Audiences built, Campaigns created, targeting set and scheduled
DATA & ANALYTICS
- Website tracking – Google Analytics, Facebook analytics, Adroll, etc
- Ticketing page – All conversion and shopping cart pixels code sent to ticketing company, implemented and tested, cross domain and e-commerce tracking enabled
- Reporting – dashboards created, baseline KPIs from previous announcements recorded for quick reference
- Links – Google Analytics naming convention for links created, trackable links (for artists, city, sponsors, publications, digital street team, etc) created and distributed
- List – E-mail list updated with previous year’s buyers, scrubbed, cleaned and segmented
- Lineup email – Created, approved by talent, “Add to calendar” link created
- On sale email – Created and scheduled
- Team leads – Notified and asked to get street team members prepared
- Collateral – Ordered, printed and shipped to team leads on announce date (earlier if no chance of leak)
- Promotions – Local business promos coordinated, set up and tickets sent
- Distributed – Aim to start distributing the day of the announce if possible
- Digital street team – Graphics, talking points and trackable links sent, push coordinated with team leads
- Schedules – Flights planned, negotiated and contracted
- Promotions – Negotiated and contracted from top partners, tickets sent to stations
- Spots – Written, produced, approved by artists and partners, sent to stations
- Press release – Sent under embargo the day of the announcement
- Ads – Planned, negotiated, and IO signed
- Promo packages – Promotional support secured from top partners, tickets sent out
- Creative – Approved by artist camp, sent to publication
- Brand assets – sponsors all contacted, distributed graphics, suggested announce copy & trackable links
- Website partners page approval
- Print ads approved
TALENT BUYING / ARTIST APPROVALS
- Billing – Order confirmed
- Graphics – approval from agencies/management
- Assets Approvals – Press release, email, social, video, print ads, radio spots
Let me know your thoughts. Anything I should elaborate on? What am I missing? What does YOUR Lineup Announce checklist look like?