The pros and cons of travel buzzwords
One thing to always consider when mooting a travel angle is reader utility. By and large, will the reader of the eventual travel article be able to replicate the writer’s experiences: visiting the same places, eating the same things, staying in the same accommodation and so on?
It’s because of this that features about festivals are uncommon. Be they music, literature or food-focused, festivals tend to be quite different one year from the next as their line-up and headliners change. As such, a travel article about 2022’s edition is unlikely to be greatly useful for readers considering going in 2023 (besides its perhaps describing the atmosphere or scenery); it’ll have very little utility, in other words.
(The only exception to this can be smaller-scale festivals whose general ambience, rather than star names, are their most important feature. If too small-scale, however, a festival likely won’t have enough fame or substance to merit a feature anyway.)
During spring, I received a few kind invites to larger festivals around Britain but declined them because, for the same reasons of limited reader utility covered above, getting a feature commission would have been difficult.
For those PRs promoting UK festivals, advance interview slots, NIBs (news-in-brief snippets) and lists seem like much more viable coverage avenues than features. Finding out who will be writing a ‘Best British festivals’ round-up or equivalent piece is never easy, though, as it tends to constantly change each 12 months. After being asked by the Daily Mail to do such a list in 2018 for instance, I received loads of festival-related releases or are-you-writing-another-one? enquiries for a subsequent year or more — and yet I’ve barely been commissioned a similar piece since. The best tack, therefore, will be to get chummy with an in-house editor who’ll hopefully be able to point you in the right direction.