After returning home from three music and sun-filled days at the Osheaga music festival in Montreal, I have a renewed appreciation for the opportunities social media has to offer in enhancing the experience of music festivals. Social media is an incredibly effective and convenient way to communicate important information and help attendees navigate the grounds and locate bathrooms, food, and necessities – but it can also provide a richer and more engaging experience all around.
Here’s how some of the biggest music festivals of the summer have been rocking social media.
Osheaga – Provide Attendees with Assistance in Realtime
The social media team for Osheaga were incredibly helpful on Twitter for the entire duration of the 3-day festival in Montreal. They frequently tweeted updates on which bands were playing and where, and promptly responded to questions and concerns in French and English. Whether you had a question about the location of the ATMs or where to buy a poncho during one of the many rain showers, you could be sure Osheaga’s bilingual social media team would respond in real-time.
Lollapalooza – Live Stream the Event
Music festivals are not for everyone – waiting in long lineups and standing around for hours among thousands of people isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, some of the greatest live performances of all-time have taken place at music festivals, and for those who aren’t able to make it, Chicago’s Lollapalooza has partnered with YouTube and Dell to provide live streaming of the festival.
Live shows by artists like U2, Kenny Chesney and Coldplay have drawn millions of viewers to YouTube, and last year’s Lollapalooza webcast saw viewers spending an average of 44 minutes watching the show.
Outside Lands – Get Creative with Mobile Apps
Outside Lands takes place in San Francisco, one of the techiest cities in the world, and the festival reflects that perfectly by stepping it up more and more every year with cool, innovative mobile apps.
Last year the festival’s free mobile app included show times, a map, the ability to scan food vendor menus, create custom schedules, rate food, take images with Instagram-like filters, and send group messages to friends through the built-in GroupMe app. The app also sent notifications during the festival notifying fans of festival updates and even secret shows.
Last year Coachella (California) and Bonnaroo (Tennessee) both began providing RFID (radio-frequency identification) wristbands. The wristbands included an RFID chip, enabling attendees to update their Facebook status about which bands they were watching by tapping their wristbands at stations. Tapping their wristbands around the festival also entered attendees into contests. Coachella’s “Live Click” campaign saw an additional 30,000 online fans on their social media channels.
What music festivals have you attended this year? How did they leverage social media to enhance your experience?