The hottest 20 music festival designs for millenials

It doesn’t seem to matter what genre it caters to – music festival design tends to triumph bright color, bold fonts and standout graphics. From logos to merch, mobile apps to billboard ads, it’s all about marketing to millenials.

These events are growing every year with more than 300 different large-scale music festivals around the world in the last year alone. In 2014, 1.34 billion dollars are projected to be spent on music venues and festivals in North America alone. That’s a serious chunk of change and festivals are working hard to ensure they’ve got their branding just right.

It’d be impossible to go through all of the different branding components for a festival in one post, so we’ll focus on how people first experience a festival’s identity — through their website. Here’s 20 websites that have harnessed their events’ unique personality to create cool, highly recognizable brands.

1. Austin City Limits

Web design for Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits‘ website takes the 1970s aesthetic from its boldly textual logo and expands it site-wide, using combinations of simple geometric shapes and colors reminiscent of the mod lifestyle to create a fun (if not a bit busy) brand.

Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Held in: October
First year held: 2002
2014 Headliners: Eminem, Outkast, Pearl Jam

2. Berlin Festival

Web design for Berlin Festival

The branding for Berlin Festival takes from an aesthetic the city is famous for – street art and collage. A simple color scheme of black, white and yellow that’s paired with a bold typeface selection gives this brand a bold impact without too much clutter.

Location: Berlin, Germany
Held in: September
First year held: 2005

3. Bestival

Web design for Bestival

Bestival‘s slightly pulsating illustration has got to be one of the most unusual takes of the bunch. Despite using the same neon and gem tone color palette shared by many of the designs here, it stands out with its quirky, hand-drawn presentation of information.

Location: Isle of Wight, England
Held in: July
First year held: 2004
2014 Headliners: Outkast, Foals, Beck, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers

4. Bonnaroo

Web design for Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo makes color the star of the show, imitating the glowing lights of a festival lit up by night by using a dark blue and black background and electric green and fuchsia illustrations.

Location: Manchester, Tennessee, USA
Held in: June
First year held: 2002
2014 Headliners: Elton John, Kanye West

5. Coachella

Web design for Coachella

Compared to the overwhelming environmental design of the event itself, Coachella’s website is actually pretty understated. What makes this website special is how it changes based on the time of day. When we took this screenshot, it was nighttime and the site reflected that with darkness. If you check now (so long as it’s daytime in California), the sky will be a completely different shade. It’s an effective technique, because it makes us want to check back every hour just to see how the website has changed.

Location: Indio, California, USA
Held in: April
First year held: 1999
2014 Headliners: Outkast, Muse, Arcade Fire

6. Electric Daisy Carnival

Web design for EDC

Given the wild reputation of North America’s biggest electronic dance festival, The Electric Daisy Carnival, we’re a bit surprised that their site is so corporate. It’s one page in the larger website of Insomniac, a tour promoter that advertises around 10 different festivals every year.

Maybe EDC should get its own page. We want some bigger daisy imagery!

Location: Varies depending on the year
Held in: June
First year held: 2004
2014 Headliners: Avicii, Calvin Harris, Hardwell, Tiesto

7. FYF Fest

Web design for FYF

A lesser-known California festival, FYF (we’ll let you check out what that stands for on their website) focuses on organizing the incredible amounts of festival information that needs to be included – while also showcasing it in a distinctive and engaging way.

Our favorite feature is the grid of images listing out the lineup. It’s a great use of transparency, photography and typography.

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Held in: August
First year held: 2004
2014 Headliners: Phoenix, The Strokes

8. Glastonbury

Glastonbury is known around the world as the original music fest. Held in the muddy fields of England every summer, it’s boasted an infamous reputation for decades.

Their music festival design somehow makes bold color feel subdued, compared with the rest of these brands. Working in natural textures through both the imagery and typography, the look is softer without losing its edge.

Location: Pilton, Somerset, England
Held in: June
First year held: 1970
2014 Headliners: Arcade Fire, Metallica, Kasabian

9. The Governor’s Ball

Web design for Governors Ball

In another just-not-quite-too-overwhelming design, The Governor’s Ball in New York pairs what is essentially a two-tone color scheme of salmon and blue with an intricate illustrated site structure. Like a couple of others in this collection, the site plays on graphics that you would see at the festival itself, pasting all of the information against the illustration of a metal billboard skeleton, with hip parallax scrolling to give more movement to the page.

Location: New York City, USA
Held in: June
First year held: 2011
2014 Headliners: Outkast, Phoenix, TV on the Radio

10. Hove Festivalen

Web design for Hove

White space doesn’t really seem to come into play much with the majority of websites on our list, the notable exception being Hove Festivalen. The contrast between the white background that the immense amount of color, textual and photographic imagery is a bit striking, and we’re not sure if it’s in a good way.

Location: Tromøy, Arendal, Norway
Held in: June/July
First year held: 2007
2014 Headliners: Ellie Goulding, Imagine Dragons, The Offspring

11. Lollapalooza

Web design for Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza’s site is a bit of an enigma in that it actually gets more interesting as you scroll down. The bottom of the page features a completely badass illustration, so probably you just want to head straight there and skip past all of the useful information on the way.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Held in: July/August
First year held: 1991
2014 Headliners: Eminem, Outkast, Kings of Leon

12. Lowlands

Web design for Lowlands

Lowlands Festival uses texture and the illusion of felt-tipped-marker transparency to give the site a hand-crafted feel. Not using perfect shapes or typefaces, but a simple and interactive home page, makes this a super fun brand to play around with. The only detractor is the ads on the front page — save those for the brochures!

Location: Biddinghuizen, Netherlands
Held in: August
First year held: 1993
2014 Headliners: Queens of the Stone Age, The National

13. Outside Lands

Web design for Outsidelands

Sharing the subdued color palette and paper-cut style illustrations, Outside Lands and Austin City Limits could be sister-sites. But it’s all about the vibrantly layers of shapes — both in text and imagery, that make this style of site work.

Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Held in: August
First year held: 2008
2014 Headliners: Kanye West, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Killers

14. Paléo Festival

Web design for Paleo

Paléo Festival gets our vote for most creative use of font, warping the text to imitate a malfunctioning TV set. The brand continues it’s unique aesthetic after the landing page with a blog style information page formatted in a jumbled grid structure to keep things interesting.

Location: Nyon, Switzerland
Held in: July
First year held: 1976

15. Pitchfork

Web design for Pitchfork

Eschewing the information-heavy format of some of its competitors, Pitchfork’s web page keeps it simple with thin lines and only the most necessary text in stark white against a brightly colored shifting gradient of a background.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Held in: July
First year held: 2006
2014 Headliners: Beck, Kendrick Lamar, Neutral Milk Hotel

16. Pukkelpop

Pukkelpop

Pukkelpop charmed us with its youthful use of color and simple geometric pattern, making us think back to our days in kindergarten playing with toy bricks and watching cartoons. The pattern does get a bit overwhelming at times with the amount of its use throughout the site, but heavier fonts and large chunks of solid color do what they can to balance everything out.

Location: Hasselt, Belgium
Held in: August
First year held: 1985
2014 Headliners: Queens of the Stone Age, Outkast, The National, Editors

17. Soundwave

Web design for Soundwave

It’s impossible to resist a good comic-book play on branding! Soundwave finds a style unlike many other festivals, but then again has much less information to present given that the festival travels and details depend and the date and place.

Location: Touring major cities in Australia
Held in: February and March
First year held: 2004
2014 Headliners: Greenday, Avenged Sevenfold

18. Treasure Island Music Festival

Web design for Treasure Island

Sometimes you have to put your best foot forward, and with Treasure Island Music Festival that best foot is probably location. As is demonstrated in the headliners listed in this article, many of the festivals in the circuit attract the same set of bands. So what makes Treasure Island sellable? It’s beautiful location on The Bay. And they use that, combined with fun typography, splashing it across the front page of their site.

Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Held in: October
First year held: 2007
2014 Headliners: Outkast, Massive Attack

19. Ultra

Web design for Ultra

Is it us, or are we seeing a bit of a trend with electronic festivals and design? Ultra is immediately distinguishable from most of the design in this collection, with the notable exception of EDC. Similar color palette as many of the above, but with less of a bohemian vibe, more of an industrial and commercial feel.

Location: Miami, Florida, USA
Held in: March
First year held: 1999
2014 Headliners: David Guetta, Deamau5, Tiësto, Zedd

20. BPM

bpm

What you see is what you get with BPM’s minimal webpage design. Drawing from the area’s Mayan heritage and inspired by the colors of the night skies, this static page shrouds the festival in mystery. For now, the site has chosen to withhold the 350+ artists slated to perform in favor of teasing their dates, social media channels and tickets. It’s a brilliant way to build up excitement before making the Big announcement.

Location: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Held in: January
First year held: 2008
2014 Headliners: Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox, Lee Burridge

Let us know who you think does the best in the poll below! Voting will on September 19, 2014

The author

Kaitlyn Ellison
Kaitlyn Ellison

Kaitlyn is part of the Community Team at 99designs.com. She grew up in Boulder, CO and went to school at Northwestern University in Chicago. When she's not blogging, she spends her time having adventures and being generally creative. She's all about having new experiences as often as possible!

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