Sounds interesting. But first, you’re probably thinking, what’s a micro festival? A music gathering in your back garden?
That’s not far from the truth. Micro festivals are a trend that has really taken off in the last few years. Also known as boutique festivals, these micro events have sprung up as an alternative to the blockbuster music festivals which take place all around the world and seem to get bigger, louder and more expensive every year.
Certainly, there’s nothing quite like standing in a crowd of thousands holding your lighter in the air as you watch one of your favourite bands performing at the likes of Glastonbury, or Bestival on the Isle of Wight, Tomorrowland in Belgium or Coachella in California.
But waiting for hours in a queue for tickets and then paying an eye-watering amount for them isn’t a great start to the whole big festival experience. Nor is fighting through thousands of people to get a half-decent view of the band you’ve paid an arm and a leg to see. Not to mention the mud – or the toilets….
It’s not hard to see why more and more people are rejecting these massive and increasingly corporate festivals for a new kind of event which highlights local bands, and sometimes food and drink from the local area. Quirky, intimate and having a certain naive charm, micro festivals are usually set in remote and picturesque surroundings, but nevertheless, can boast some pretty impressive line-ups. And of course, they’re a much, much cheaper alternative.
Using social media creatively
As you’d expect, festivals of all sizes have jumped onto digital marketing and are using it to create a massive buzz around their events. But the micro festivals are doing some of the most interesting and innovative things with their online activities.
Nowadays, festivals right around the UK and Europe are using digital marketing as an incredibly easy, cheap and powerful tool to engage with their audiences at a personal and intimate level. So much so that music events in the UK are worth £1.4 billion a year and music festivals alone bring in £1.1 billion to the UK economy.
Obviously, one of the key drivers is free tickets. Most festival organisers offer free tickets or other promotions through a variety of social media platforms. Once the festival kicks off, social media channels like Instagram, Facebook Live and SnapChat glow white hot as festival-goers post live updates and share their experiences. Social media makes the collective experience and the individual feelings more shareable and creates memories that will last a lifetime. This is why music festivals love using social media. And none more so than the micro festivals.
HogSozzle is an intimate three-day boutique festival bringing together upcoming music, creative minds and some of the most delicious and creative street food in the UK – catering for meat lovers, vegetarians and vegans.
The team behind the festival take their main source of inspiration from their fan base. They’ve created a HogSozzle Community by articulating their message, ethos and values on a variety of social media platforms and getting feedback from fans. It’s working so well, festival numbers have grown from 1000 to 2500 expected in 2018. This year’s event sold out very quickly, and there’s a danger that HogSozzle could soon lose its’ micro festival status.
Jersey Live Festival 2016 was a two-day boutique music and arts weekend event. The guys behind Jersey Live used social media really cleverly, tapping into the different strengths of the different platforms. For instance, they used Instagram to highlight a whole load of things that were happening at the festival. In particular Instagrids proved highly effective visually. This is a free app which crops pictures into powerful high resolution 3×1, 3×2, 3×3, 3×4 or 3×5 grids
They also used Twitter, and developed a gif which would stop people scrolling through at speed, and stop them in their tracks. It highlighted some of the big names that would be playing at their event. They also created unique gifs showing off individual acts, like Disclosure. This was retweeted by the artist which got them a load more impressions and retweets.
A slightly different kind of music event, !Audacious is a religious expo organised by !Audacious Church in Manchester. They focused on broadcasting the music of their in-house rock band to help spread the word. The band created an album ‘Rise’ and launched it via an online performance that was streamed worldwide.
Listeners could engage with the performance and give their reaction by using the hashtags #audaciousrise and #rise. The online activity was so successful that the album reached number 2 in the Christian and Gospel iTunes chart, helping to build a buzz around the band and generating more interest in the festival.
Don’t miss out on using social media
As with a lot of social media, it’s all about FOMO – fear of missing out. Harness this emotion to get people excited and engaged and they’ll be desperate to get to your event, and will actively share their experiences and memories while they are there.