The month of September gives music lovers a run for their money. Well, maybe not a run for their money but definitely something to spend it on. With the iHeartRadio Musical Festival and Music Midtown Festival this past weekend (September 19th) and TomorrowWorld coming up this weekend (September 26th), it creates a dilemma for music festival participants. Which one is worth the money? While iHeartRadio Festival may have had over 10 headlining performances packed into two days, 100,000 people chose to attend Music Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia. Granted Music Midtown is at least $500 cheaper.
While Bonaroo and iHeartRadio have created a brand for themselves due to being around for many years, Music Midtown is just beginning to make its mark. According to “The Value of a Twitter Follower” presented by @TwitterSmallBiz, 72% of followers are more likely to make a future purchase. Music Midtown has a strong presence on social media, before and continuing after the festival. The countdown began on Twitter seventy days before the event up until the day of. The countdown featured pictures of the festival in past years and of the venue.
The Twitter page provided ways for followers to win tickets to the festival, weather forecast updates (the event has had terrible weather in the past), and engaged with not only attendees of the festival, but artists and other organizations on Twitter. With the expansion and popularity of social media, organization members with social media skills have a leg up to those who don’t. Shiffman (2008) refers to the shift of fundamental marketing theory and practices, the “age of engage.” According to Shiffman, “the age of engage is a new era of marketplace and marketing communication grounded in widespread socio-cultural movement characterized by people engaging and being engaged in more participative, collaborative, user-generated ways.” Basically, the marketplace has changed into an interactive practice. It is normal now for companies to talk directly with consumers through Facebook or Twitter. Music Midtown took advantage of social media knowledge and interacted with both attendees and hopeful attendees. On September 16th, three days before the festival kicked off, @MusicMidtown tweeted “TELL US: Who are you most excited to see at #mm2014? The tweet received multiple responses with 115 favorites and 117 retweets. The people in charge of the Music Midtown Twitter account can also be seen interacting with other brands who are promoting the artists performing at the festival. Rolling Stone Twitter account tweeted the vine below with the Tweet ”#GrumpyCat is bummed she isn’t the cat on our #LanaDelRey cover.”
The attendees of Music Midtown were also engaging with the festival on social media. The most recent “Bachelorette” Andi Dorfman and her fiance/winner from the show posted multiple Instagram pictures throughout the weekend of their experience at Music Midtown.
Engagement from both consumers and organizations is crucial in today’s marketplace. Companies receive feedback from consumers on social media and consumers are informed about companies they are invested in. Since Music Midtown was able to utilize social media to increase the engagement with their attendees before, during, and after the show, this may have contributed to their overwhelming ticket sales.
-Kelli Hall, Morgan McCleaf, Danielle Walters, Stephanie Jordan, and Shawn Rause