What are the Economics of Music Festivals like Tomorrowland and Coachella?
Due to the depth of information requested, three of the largest international festivals were profiled comprehensively as a representative sample of large festival data and demographics. For two of the three festivals profiled - Coachella and Tomorrowland - the demographic is primarily white, young (under 25-29), and middle to upper-middle class. The third festival, Exit, shares the white/young demographic average, although information on the socioeconomic status of Exit attendees was not publicly available.
Average spend including tickets is $1,000 or more, which increases to about $2,000 when airfare is included. Upsell costs for beer can vary by more than 100%. Coachella has the smallest attendance levels, being half that of Exit and a quarter that of Tomorrowland. Locals bought half or more of all tickets for Coachella and Tomorrowland.
All details have been compiled in a spreadsheet for easy comparison, and you will find my research methodology and suggestions for further research below.
It was not within the scope of a single Wonder request to provide a deep dive on all the details and aspects of this query for more than three festivals. This is primarily because this granular level of detail is not available in preexisting composite form, which means that deep research is required for each individual detail, for any given festival. Scope for a single request typically encompasses either breadth or depth, but not both; so in the interest of providing as much hard data as possible, I focused on researching complete data (depth) for three of the largest and most acclaimed music festivals internationally, which have significantly more coverage than festivals in Bali.
Although I endeavored to use highly reputable sources, such as academic research and recognized media outlets, some of the information requested was only available anecdotally, as reported in blogs. In addition, while I have provided the most recent information available, it should be noted that a couple of sources date to 2014 or 2015, and one dates to 2013. These sources were used because they provided the only granular data available for that particular detail. I prioritized hard data, but have included anecdotal evidence when hard data was not available.
Despite extensive research into studies from Billboard, Nielsen, and trusted media sites, I was unable to find any information on how many people travel from the United States to other countries for music festivals. However, the data on how many people travel to the United States for Coachella has been entered on the spreadsheet.
Lastly, please note that the figures in the 'overview' section above are a composite analysis of the data compiled in the spreadsheet; as such, the data points are not cited to a single source. All relevant sources for granular data are included and cited in the spreadsheet.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
I began by researching specifically to Bali festivals, as this is the primary area of interest. While that research generated a number of useful sources to identify the largest Bali festivals (here, here and here), my initial research on individual Bali festivals discovered a lack of available data at the level of granularity requested. However, it is possible that a research path dedicated solely to Bali festivals may be able to discover or triangulate this information. For this reason, I have included on the spreadsheet the names of the three most frequently-mentioned 'big' music festivals in Bali, as a potential starting point for further research. If you wish, we can also continue researching more large international music festivals, though this will likely consist of two separate requests (Bali and international).
Research indicates that festival-goers at large festivals are primarily white, young, and relatively affluent. For two of the three festivals profiled, the majority of attendees were local. Comparative upsell costs vary by as much as 100%, and attendance varies by as much as 400%.