Irish Music Festivals in the 21st Century: What Do Recent Developments in Sponsorship Reveal

This Dissertation explores Irish Music festivals; the relationships that they have with sponsors and how developments over the years have impacted the view on festivals today. It examines literature regarding festivals in Ireland prior to 2000 to construct an account of Irish music festivals since the mid 1970’s. This led to understanding how they were run with no sponsored relationships and very weak guidelines in place. It also relates to developments in sponsorship through factors such as legislation and technology influence at recent music festivals. This dissertation illustrated examples from before the 21st century and compares them to more recent examples. This establishes a clear gap between centuries in relation to festivals and the changing nature of the sector. The aim of the dissertation was to explore the role that sponsors play when it comes to music festivals. The secondary research identified how several sponsorships in music festivals are a tool that is utilised to target people when they are having a good time. This s awareness for the brand and ties a good time to the brand. The method of experimental marketing draws on the idea that organisers and sponsors must establish a fit with each other to ensure that their partnership works to improve the attendee’s experience. The findings found two broad changes in music festivals in Ireland, in the 1970s festivals, were focused on music solely and which big-name act would take to the stage. Attendee’s bought tickets based on the line-up performing that weekend. The late 2000s examples display changes in legislation and the increased use of the digital world. Sponsorships have become relied on to enhance festivals and create better experience through add on features which promote their brand. This had led to creating an experience rather than the previous sole focus on music.