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Glastonbury has become the largest green space open air festival in the world. It attracts more than 150,000 festival goers and it’s where artists can make, break or further their careers. Glastonbury is a market/pilgrimage town situated in the heart of Somerset, in the south-west of England, with a population of almost 10,000. It is often described as a ‘new age’ town with many people visiting for its spiritual connections, myths and legends. However, the main attraction to the area is undoubtedly the Glastonbury Festival. In 1970, Michael Eavis, a farmer, inspired by a local blues festival, put on an event on his own farm in Pilton – then called the Pilton Festival. Tickets were only £1 and all milk from the farm was free to the 1,500 attendees. Over 40 years later the Glastonbury Festival is one of the largest, most renowned festivals in the world with bands scrambling for a slot on the line-up. Attendance at the Festival has slowly increased from 1,500 to nearly 200,000 in 2014. The impact on local residents around the Festival can be astronomical: traffic, people and bad behaviour all play a part, with many local residents finding it impossible to get to work, or to function in their normal day-to-day lives. However, the local economy does benefit from spending in surrounding towns.

Using the above case study answer the following questions (your answers will form the main body of your report).

  1. Explain how special events are defined and classified. Your definition should draw upon relevant core texts and examples

  2. Conduct a SWOT Analysis describing the scope and impact of marketing and events for the organising body of Glastonbury Festivals

  3. (a) Explain the role the marketing mix (4P’s/7P’s) play in developing an event marketing strategyand how is this applied in the case of the Glastonbury Festival
    (b)Describe the marketing strategies and resources that the Glastonbury Festivals Ltd would use in the event planning and implementation process using the sub-headings below;

(i) Creating their marketing strategy

  • Segmentation
  • Targeting and Positioning

(ii) Monitoring and Control

  • Monitoring and evaluation and
  • Risk management

Glastonbury's History and Overview

There is the wide variety of business strategy, which involve organizing the event as charity and creating differentiation through activities other than just music, art and theater. Events organized by Glastonbury festival intended to adapt to trend, needs and wants of a younger generation. The organization gained reputation and improved its public image in media. There are some environmental issues faced by festival such as carbon footprint. The organization has been focusing on wider target audience with increased participation (Anderton 2015).  

Several events of Glastonbury festival are developed within an umbrella of community development and social welfare. Events are classified and the focus is on the spotlight of events. Classification of events are done based on timing of various festivals such as carnival, New Year and Melas. These special events are offers opportunity for communities to celebrate their identity and presence in United Kingdom. Special events are used to describe presentations, specific rituals and celebrations that are created to mark special occasions and are planned consciously. Classification of special events are done based on form, size and content. Special events would involve celebrations, national days, civic occasion, major sporting fixtures, unique cultural performances, launching of products, corporate functions and trade promotions (Chakraborti et al. 2015).  


· Events organized by the Glastonbury festival often helps in producing a range of benefit, would strengthen a feeling of belonging, and engenders pride in the community.

· It enjoys economies of scale and has validation of community groups (Flinn and Frew 2014).


· Glastonbury Festival has a deficiency of fields for individual events, active sponsorship, professional support, amateurism of festival organization.

· There is no proper service and physical quality of an area of development. For planning the events, a large amount of forwarding preparation and planning is required, and it lacks the sponsorship (Hede and Kellett 2014).


· Celebrations done through organizing event would provide the opportunity to people to relax from working life and to celebrate their identity.

· Customer or Guests attending the special events offer an opportunity for social, leisure and cultural experience.

· Event organizing body would create employment opportunities for local people there would be increased collaboration between tourism sector and local authorities (Carlson et al. 2016).


There can be disruption resulting from a cultural and ecologic structure. Unique historical values of the culture are being lost and political effects arising from political change significantly affect a festival organization ((Zarantonello and Schmitt 2013).

· There has been poor governance on facilities. An organization has a lack of organization and planning.

The four parameters of the marketing mix are used to develop the sporting event, concert, and other promotional activity when creating an event. This will help in drawing right and intended people and getting the message across the best way possible (Vila and Rodríguez-Molina 2013).

Products-Event is regarded as product, and it must be tailored according to the identified needs of people. This would involve looking at all the activities before, after and during the events.

Price- Price would be the fees charged by guests or attendees attending the event. They offer free press tickets to those who have written about the festival in advance.

Place- This particular component of marketing mix determines the place where the event is held and there are three criteria that decide the place of an event. The venue for event should be decided after looking the convenience of the target audience for reaching the site. It should also take into account factors such as traffic congestion, driving time and parking.

Promotion- Target attendees should be advertised using broadcast stations, print publications, and websites. Special events should be promoted at a location of business. Sponsors should be asked to promote the events on their social media webpages and websites. Glastonbury festival make use of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook page and advertise for festivals with an international audience. Glastonbury uses such platform for selling announcing acts, selling tickets, engaging with attendees and promoting events (Bradley and Close 2015).  

Marketing Strategy Analyzed Using the 4Ps

Physical evidence- It involves physical elements that the customers are paying for. Glastonbury provides the target audience with different events and programs.  

People- All the organizations are relied upon the people who are running it.  It includes sales staffs, front line staffs to managing director and is highly dependent in them for the performance. Glastonbury festival is dependent on people who are running it.  

Processes- Service delivery to the customers are done when they are present and the way of doing service is also essential.  

a) Creating marketing strategy-

Marketing strategy adopted by Glastonbury in serving as the basis of designing effective marketing strategy. Glastonbury is able to determine the psychographics and demographics of target audience using effective marketing strategy.

Targeting- Targeting of the events used by this festival is anyone and up to any age. The target group of Glastonbury is not clear and it is perceived that the events are losing the younger audience and they are old fashioned.

Positioning- The Glastonbury festival is to be developed as brand that explores the extent of marketing techniques, consumer society and branding that has moved the festival from the hippy fringes to the mainstream music market. There are some positioning issues facing the organization, they are tighter legislation, and they are losing support of local community (Zarantonello and Schmitt 2013).

Monitoring and evaluation- The organization actively pursues with the objectives of making profits. The performance of the events are evaluated by the total number of tickets that public are buying and the amount of money that is raised for the charity purpose. Venues are monitored and they are assisted by providing technical support.

The learning that is derived from the previous festivals does risk management- Assessment of risk. For minimizing the impact of risk, precautions are taken by organization. Risk associated with Glastonbury festival would be completely unacceptable if they are left unmanaged (Flinn and Frew 2014).


The marketing strategy of Glastonbury should be so developed that it is focused on attracting young people or audience. The major problem facing the entity is that there is clash between the requirements of target groups, which is damaging the identity of corporate. It is recommended that the Glastonbury festival should be split into two at the business level strategy. It can concentrate on traditional theme by focusing on older audience. Another area requiring concentration is adopting the modern approach that focuses on younger audience. Festival locations should be different as it will help the field in recovering and there should be a defined clear market for organizing each event.


Anderton, C., 2015. Branding, sponsorship and the music festival. The Pop Festival.

Bradley, E. and Close, L., 2015. Examination of the physical activity levels at Glastonbury Festival using GPS and an accelerometer.

Carlson, J., Rahman, M.M., Rosenberger III, P.J. and Holzmüller, H.H., 2016. Understanding communal and individual customer experiences in group-oriented event tourism: an activity theory perspective. Journal of Marketing Management, 32(9-10), pp.900-925.

Chakraborti, R., Groza, M.D. and Cobbs, J., 2015. The Influence of Sponsorship on Brand and Event Attitudes: Understanding the Role of Emotions. In Ideas in Marketing: Finding the New and Polishing the Old (pp. 590-590). Springer International Publishing.

Flinn, J. and Frew, M., 2014. Glastonbury: managing the mystification of festivity. Leisure Studies, 33(4), pp.418-433.

Hede, A. and Kellett, P., 2014. Design processes around dynamic marketing communications for event organizations. Event Design: Social Perspectives and Practices, p.109.

Vila-López, N. and Rodríguez-Molina, M., 2013. Event-brand transfer in an entertainment service: experiential marketing. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 113(5), pp.712-731.

Zarantonello, L. and Schmitt, B.H., 2013. The impact of event marketing on brand equity: The mediating roles of brand experience and brand attitude. International Journal of Advertising, 32(2), pp.255-280.

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