Engaging with consumers using social media: a case study of music festivals

Simon Hudson (College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
Rupert Hudson (Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1785-2954

Publication date: 11 October 2013



Social media has fundamentally changed the consumer decision process, and in the last decade a more nuanced view of how consumers engage with brands has emerged. Instead of the traditional purchase funnel, consumers research products and services during an extended evaluation stage, and after purchase, they often enter into an open-ended relationship with the brand, sharing their experience with it using social media. This paper describes the new consumer decision journey, and then adds to the body of research on events and festivals management by applying this new model to events and festivals.


The study uses a case study methodology with a multi-method approach to analyze the use of social media at three major music festivals. Case studies offer depth and comprehensiveness for understanding a specific phenomenon, enabling inductive and rich description, and are specifically welcome in new situations where little is known about the phenomenon.


In general, the music festivals profiled are proactive in their use of social media, engaging with consumers throughout the consumer decision journey. In particular, social media is making the “evaluate” and “advocate” stages of the decision journey more relevant for festival marketers.


This paper provides an illuminating view of the use of social media in an event and festival context. It supports the theory previously developed in this area, and is further evidence of the powerful impact that new technology can have on consumer behavior. The results have important implications for both researchers and practitioners interested in the marketing of festivals and events.



Hudson, S. and Hudson, R. (2013), "Engaging with consumers using social media: a case study of music festivals", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 206-223. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-06-2013-0012

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.