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With Electric Zoo Festival hitting New York this weekend, music festivals are a topic widely on our mind.

What we love about festivals is no matter what your music genre or preference is, there's a musical festival out there for everyone. According to a recent Nielsen report:

32 million people attend a music festival in the U.S. each year.

Music Festivals have taken the industry by storm. In fact, festival-goers spend more than typical music listeners on all forms of music including digital purchases, streaming services, live events, etc. (Nielsen, 2014).

As an artist, it's important not only to perform at these festivals, but to attend them as well.

Attending a music festival is an unparalleled experience than just listening online or even attending a traditional concert. It's an all-day or even a complete weekend of your favorite artists and a huge crowd of dedicated music lovers.

While performing and selling your music is at the forefront of your mission, it's important to sometimes take in the beauty of the music. The best way to be inspired to create music is to listen to music that inspires you as an artist and a fan.

With that said, the best way to understand your fans is to be a fan yourself. Attending a festival connects you to the powerful feeling of being a part of a music community. Music festivals transcend social boundaries and unite music lovers to enjoying each others company as they listen to their favorite music. If you can be a member of a music community yourself, you will better understand what your fans are looking for and foster your own fan community.
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As you gain insight into the sense of community music festivals can provide, you should also be aware of the power of social media at these festivals. While of course festival-goers are enjoying their surroundings and the performances, in this day and age, every event is captured digitally. One of the best ways to promote your music is through fan promotion on social media. Digital promotion is your friend.

When it comes to social media, Nielsen reported:

Festival attendees are 67 percent more likely to use Snapchat, 69 percent more likely to use Vine and 81 percent more likely to use Tumblr.

Having this knowledge and experiencing firsthand what fans like to share on their social networks is extremely valuable. Using this insight, create hype for your own performances or music releases on social media based on your fans digital habits.

Of course, beyond strengthening your fanbase, music festivals offer valuable networking opportunities. While listening to the music may be the first priority, you are surrounded by music fans and music influencers, so it's an ideal network to take advantage of.

Whatever your reasoning is, attending a music festival, even if it's only once, will be beneficial for you as an artist. If not for any of the reasons we mentioned, at least its a way for your to free your mind and simply enjoy great music.

Are you attending Electric Zoo New York? Share with us your favorite performances in the comments below or tweet us at @featurefm.