Why Play at a Music Festival and How Can You Stand Out?

Why play at a music festival and how do you stand out? - Part 2
Why play at a music festival and how do you stand out? - Part 2

Making an appearance at a major music festival is often one of the biggest goals for an artist. Performing at a festival can quickly boost their career to the next level. However, it is important to know how to accomplish this goal. 

A festival performance is not the same as a normal show or concert. The difference and challenge is that there are multiple artists performing and a more diverse audience. So, you need to give a memorable performance and wow the crowd, without putting too much pressure on yourself. In every case, performing at a festival can offer a number of potential benefits. The major ones are listed below.


Playing at a festival gives you exposure to larger and more diverse crowds. The benefit here is obvious – it gives you a chance to gain new fans, which can increase your future sales and boost your career. The chances are, you’re not a main headliner but that doesn’t change the size of your potential audience. People who are there to see the main act, will hopefully participate in your performance.

Furthermore, festivals tend to stick around a particular genre of music. So, your chances of securing new fans are even greater, as people are already interested in music similar to yours. Remember that you are performing alongside other artists, so make sure that you don’t miss out on a chance to wow the audience with an unforgettable performance!

Getting Paid

You may get paid for your performance, depending on the stage of your career. As well as the festival’s budget and size. For any public performance, you will receive income from performance royalties paid by PRS for Music. What is more, if there are any official recordings of you playing, you will get further payment whenever the recording is played – online, on TV and other advertisements. Just make sure you that your music is registered to collection societies, such as PRS.

Festivals are also a great opportunity for you to sell your music and merchandise to new audiences. If you are selling any records or products, be sure to bring a supply with you. People are more likely to purchase physical products at a live performance.


Festivals are a great opportunity to meet people from the music industry. As a starting artist, it can be hard to book performances or secure deals without knowing the key people. Here lies your chance. Festivals are not only a great place to meet people from the audience, they are also a place to meet people working in every part of the industry. From record labels’ employees, publishers or promoters to music technicians and marketing directors. Before and after your performance, be sure to introduce yourself and start to build these relationships. Don’t forget that festivals are also a great source for A&R to look for upcoming artists!

Considering the benefits, hopefully it’s clear that performing at a festival is something no artist should miss out on. However, in order to get these benefits, first you need to secure the slot itself. In Part 2, we will explore how to get your submission ready.

By Magdalena Wysocka