Famous Music Festival Posters to Inspire Your Next Design

Spring means festival season is around the corner and with it comes music, dancing, and a flurry of social media posting. Many major music festival posters become collectible artifacts for the memories they evoke–and as branding assets, there’s much to learn from the best festival poster designs for their ability to balance a lot of information and capture a vibe. Ultimately, a festival poster is a flyer, conveying the who, what, where, and when, while the artful use of imagery and type turn these advertisements into hangable art. Check out some of the best festival poster designs out there and why they work, then hop into Adobe Spark’s online poster maker to apply these learnings to your next design–we’ve got customizable festival-inspired poster templates to help you get started.

Outside Lands is San Francisco’s much-loved music festival set in Golden Gate Park. The festival’s 2018 poster featured a mix of san serif fonts, ombre sun setting colors and iconic imagery—the city’s skyline, Monterey Cypress, and the Golden Gate Bridge—to brand the event.

Many associate Coachella as the reigning champ on the music festival scene. This year’s poster uses bold, white font showcasing the festival’s musical acts, which pops against the ombre indigo night sky backdrop. Tropical desert imagery of palm trees, mountains, and Southern California skies complete the vibe.

Stagecoach Country Music Festival shares the same desert venue (and is produced by the same company, Goldenvoice) as Coachella, but the poster feels unique to the event. The poster repeats the big sky backdrop and palm tree imagery, but focuses on the headliners. Both Stagecoach and Coachella also share the unique sans serif font for the names. This continuity reinforces the brand’s visual identity and recognition for the event producer.

Taking a different tack is The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival poster, which imparts sun, celebration, warmth, and music ambiance through the use of four colors and graphic design basics.

Colorful and abstract, the bright rainbow sherbet ice cream tones of the Governors Ball music festival provide a playful background for the black and white lettering. Black framing offers high relief for title and details while all caps text and consistent font size impart equal importance for all the performers. Consider using a center alignment for visual balance.

Bottlerock Napa Valley marries some of the other posters design principles, evoking a vintage, relaxed tone with soft, muted colors and distressed white font to make the performers names pop in contrast. The hot air balloon background against a blue sky points to the festival’s Napa Valley location, although the mention of the winery event presenter is likely what the region is best known for.

A monochromatic backdrop allows this poster’s bold, large-scale font to pop while also remaining legible. The iconic Glastonbury name takes visual hierarchy thanks to its size and the repetition of the abstract, color block pattern. The wild design in the lettering alludes to the free-spirited nature of the festival, which takes just outside the town of Glastonbury, England. Meanwhile, musical acts take second stage in subtle, white text at the bottom quarter of the design.

St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival in Australia makes a major statement with maximalist design techniques. Maximalism means more is definitely better and uses a mix of patterns, icons, bold colors, and powerful font to pull eyes in. This poster packs a fabulous punch with bright blues, red, orange, and yellow designs and black font that pops. Patterns include checkerboard, stripes, dots and drop shadows are used to create a sense of depth.

Simple, block font and structured white rectangular outlines provide visual framing for the abstract design of this electronic and jam band-oriented music festival. Unique from many of its music festival counterparts, this official Electric Forest poster has the photo-realistic qualities of computer-generated abstract art. An ombre blue background fading into sea green draws the eye from need-to-know info in the header down to relevant details in the footer.

Many modern day music festival posters draw inspiration from the Summer of Love psychedelic art which began with the Monterey International Pop Festival poster and iconic music posters from The Fillmore—a historic music venue in San Francisco. This 2016 Summer Camp poster utilizes the bright colors, mystical imagery, and psychedelic font popularized thanks to 1960s’ counterculture design.

Utilize tonally similar colors in a simple color palette to balance a complex visual design like this Austin City Limits poster. The abstract design elements conjure the natural environment of Zilker Park where the festival is held. Details of the festival are incorporated into the body of the coyote, utilizing the same color palette echoed in the festival lineup.

Maximalism makes an eye-catching statement in this UK-based music festival poster. Layering and abstract color design are given structural form through the use of the repeating sun ray pattern and the perfectly formatted white font. The simple font and regimented alignment offer the perfect foil to the colorfully layered design.

Retro design trends bring style to the forefront through the use of drop shadows, vintage-inspired color palette, and simple graphic art. The Norman Music Fest poster has a nostalgic feel with its layered graphic art. Selecting mixed fonts—both serif and sans serif—for the festival title adds visual intrigue and sets the name apart from the line up of headliners.

The Monterey Pop Festival debuted in 1967 as the musical embodiment of the flower child movement sweeping through California and centering in the Haight & Ashbury counterculture scene of the time. This 50 year commemorative poster remains true to the festival’s psychedelic roots with swirling, abstract design, bright and bold colors, and whimsical icon art like flowers and dandelions.

Sasquatch! Music Festival may have finished its 16-year run in 2018, but its iconic festival posters will live on. Over the years the posters always featured a Big Foot character rendered in cartoon-style art and iconic imagery of the festival’s riverside setting at the The Gorge Amphitheater. This poster uses a repeating color pattern and diagonal font design for the headliners. A creatively abstract title font echoes the Sasquatch fur, creating symmetry in design.

Dig the cool cat vibe to the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival poster. You can nail the retro design trend through the use of retro icons (like those charming, twinkly teal stars), a vintage-inspired color palette, and the use of a nostalgic pattern (like the checkerboard pictured here)—not to mention through the use of old school cartoon-style drawings like this hip blues player.

Splendour in the Grass, an Australian music festival, conveys a playful vibe by mixing unexpected images in as lettering on the festival poster. Mixed fonts that run the gamut from serif to neon add to the whimsy. Meanwhile, the all caps sans serif white wording for the headliners is kept simple to read in a smaller, sans serif font.

Free, Customizable Festival-Inspired Templates

The pros at Adobe Spark work overtime to create templates featuring the latest graphic design trends. Create your own social media promotion to gain eyes on your favorite festival. Swap out copy and photos to reflect your vibe with your followers. Click on any of the templates below and hit remix to get rockin’! How are you participating in festival season? Tag your posts with #AdobeSpark to share the love!