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How music festivals are changing the social media game

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Filed Under on July 9th, 2014

If you’re a music fan like me, you’re bound to attend one or two music festivals this summer. You’ve also probably noticed the increasing number of fans posting photos, status updates, and tweets about their experience during the festival.

I’ve seen plenty of fans holding their smartphones in the air, capturing their favorite band on camera, but it’s clear that social media has fundamentally changed the way we engage at music festivals and concerts. Fans are posting their experience along the way, bad or good. The bottom line is that you can’t escape it, so you might as well embrace it.

Big festivals such as Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Lollapalooza utilize social media long before the festival even begins. It helps create buzz and excite potential ticket buyers with lineup announcements, special pricing, and new additions to the fest. It also gives these once a year festivals a way to communicate with concert goers all year long. Days leading up to the event, social media gives an opportunity to share behind the scene updates and preparation details, which all contribute to building your excitement for the show.

Most music festivals also have their own apps, creating easy access for fans to find all the event information they need like lineups, maps, food vendors, as well as ways to connect to their social media platforms to share their experiences. It’s become a practical way to communicate with attendees in real-time. For example, if the weather takes a turn for the worst, festival attendees can refer to social media for real-time updates from event organizers.

I recently attended 80/35 music festival in Des Moines, Iowa over the fourth of July weekend. I curious to see how engaged they were on social media so I hopped onto their Twitter account to see how consistent they were making tweets during the festival. Just as I suspected, a fully engaged and active Twitter account with constant updates throughout the weekend. It’s become part of the experience. I couldn’t resist making an update myself with a Instagram photo of my husband and I in the VIP area with the stage behind us. Later that evening, I posted a Facebook status update about my excitement to see the band Cake. Moments later, my husband also shared a photo of Cake on Facebook with the caption “F’ing Cake!” We both couldn’t resist contributing to the almighty social media update.

This is happening at most festivals, concerts, and events. Even sporting events have become a popular place to post a status update. I certainly know when my friends are at Cardinals game in St. Louis or a Bears Game in Chicago as these kind of updates are flooding my newsfeed.

If you don’t have a strong social media presence, I recommend “drinking the kool-aid” because your fans are doing it already. This is a golden opportunity to engage your customers and promote your brand. Keep the conversation going after the event which is what 80/35 is currently doing. Asking questions such as “What act surprised you the most this weekend? Anyone have any new favorite band?” continues your interaction with the festival after its over.

Music festivals have become very savvy with their technical use of social media. The audiences are just as tech savvy too, so why not use this to your advantage? You don’t have to be a music festival to utilize social media. It’s just as effective for small and large businesses if used in productive fashion. We are living in a social media world so why not engage your fans and give it a whirl?

P.S. We can help! 🙂

F'ing Cake!My 80/35 Music Festival Instagram photoEnjoying some sultry tunes from Caroline SmithSmiles all around

Mo Carter

About The Author

Mo Carter has been riding the social media roller coaster since 2005. As the social media specialist at Nerdwerx, she is responsible for managing social media campaigns and blogging her little heart out. The St. Louis native turned Quad Cities staple graduated from St. Ambrose in 2006 with degrees in Communication and Journalism. Mo is also a singer, acoustic guitarist, and ukulele player extraordinaire who performs around town. When Mo isn't busy making music or status updates, her time is consumed with live music concerts, hanging with her man, and kickin' with her small army of amazing friends for a night out on the town.

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