3 Reasons Why Your Festival Needs A Theme

Themed Festival Ticketing Software

Here's three reasons why your festival should have a different theme each year and how that theme can be part of the purchase process with festival ticketing software.

Mum's The Word

mum festivalEvery year since 1961, Tipp City, Ohio has been host of the Mum Festival. The festival is a celebration of the official flower (the chrysanthemum or "mum" for short) as well as the city itself. The annual Fall event is scheduled to occur again this year September.

Tipp City came to have the flower as the centerpiece for its festival in a roundabout way, according to the official website:

It might well have been a "Tomato Festival." Somehow the scarlet fruit did not readily lend itself to "arrangement" or widespread ornamentation. Dick Stiles, who had just returned with his wife from their first view of the Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan, said "if Holland can have a festival honoring the tulip, why not a mum (chrysanthemum) festival in Tipp City?"

The 2013 festival theme is clever turn of phrase "How The West Was Mum'd." Past festival themes include "Mum's the Word", "Mums Under the Sun" and "Mums and Music." And the different themes are of note. The Mum Festival's wide variety of activities, entertainment and food become unified under the theme and that helps ticket sales in several ways.

Music festivals are well known for having a different theme each year, embodied in both the line-ups and the artwork (tickets, t-shirts, posters, etc.). But not every festival has a theme unifying the experience of disparate activities - and they may be missing out.

There is a strong business case for festivals to have themes, as it relates to ticket sales, short and long term.


At the risk of stating the obvious, during the traditional festival season there are a lot of festivals. Knowing the ticket buying public has a finite amount of disposable income to spend on entertainment, it is in the festival operator's best interests to make her festival distinct and separate it from the crowd. Yes, a festival's reputation for fun and entertainment is a major contributor to event awareness, but one must not discount the influence a theme has on the Zeitgeist ("the spirit of the times").

In just one city, there may be two dozen music festivals scheduled between June and August and sometimes musical genres alone are not enough of a distinction. If you see a tweet like "There are three different Jazz Fests this month? Which ones are we going to?" that is an indicator those jazz music festivals lack a distinctive theme. Mind share in a crowded market is a business advantage.


A festival's theme can generate buzz and increase event awareness too. The Mum Festival has a different theme each year and before it is officially announced, the entire city is speculating on what it will be. At this level, the theme speculation serves as free word-of-mouth advertising. As anticipation builds on what the theme will be, so does event awareness, and thus, more tickets are sold.

The Fun Fun Fun music festival is currently having a contest to "Guess the Fest" and is designed to "get tongues wagging over the unreleased performers line-up." The line-up for a music festival is a major contributor to the perceived overall theme. By making a contest out of guessing the line-up, the conversations ("tongue wagging") that occur help sell tickets.

New & Yet Familiar

Mentioned earlier, there are so many different types of bespoke events and activities at the Mum Festival, the "How The West Was Mum'd." theme lassos :D everything together and conveys meaning. The centerpiece of the festival - the chrysanthemum flower - remains constant but the theme changes every year, and that brings newness and excitement to the event.

If your festival does not have the luxury of a music genre or an official flower to build a theme around, consider what the area is already well-known for and build upon that. Some people like what is familiar, while others are drawn to what's new - a repeating centerpiece combined with an ever changing theme attracts both personality types.

ThunderTix Festival Ticketing Software

Once you have chosen a theme, be sure to make it part of the purchase process as seen in the festival ticketing software. You know what they say:"First impressions are everything!"

The ThunderTix plan for festivals has all the tools you need to add rich descriptive text and vivid photographs that reinforce your festival theme. Our technology also has the option for you to send custom confirmation emails that match your festival's look and feel.

When it comes to being distinct and separating your festival apart during the crowded festival season, start with the ticketing software - start with ThunderTix! Be sure to take a look at our other features and sign up for a free trial today!