See Things Differently
Festivals are in a hugely competitive market – in the UK alone there are over 400 events this year. It’s increasingly important for them to establish a brand identity. The ultimate aim, according to Live Nation, is to get the event to sell out before the band’s have even been announced. Festivals have to go to greater lengths to create an experience as opposed to simply being a relatively cheap way to watch lots of bands over 2 days.
To help them achieve this they have turned to community sites, in part to help build greater awareness, but mainly to begin increasing the communication and rapport with their audience.
– Big Chill have used Last.fm to help them publicise their festival on 3rd August (which I’m going to, incidentally!). The profile set-up is a slightly revamped version of an artist profile, and links to all the artists appearing, has custom radio stations and contains a list of friends.
– Pitchfork, the US music magazine, have used Imeem to great effect. They have used Imeem’s more advanced ability to feature video and playlists. Footage of performing artistes is on the site and registered users can upload photos from the event.
– Coachella have used MySpace, with some success but really it’s nothing more than a re-skin. This highlights the limitations of MySpace since it does not allow very advanced features apart from embedding certain widgets.
Together, they’re a good example of how events and brands are trying to get in to the Social Network environment, which after all, is where their audience is hanging out. The social networks have to be hacked a little in order to work, but there is no doubt that more brands are going to shift on to SNS and away from the well-worn website route.