Mud, Sweat & Beers: Firefly 2015

Now that the mud and filth that had been accumulating in layers on my body have been scrubbed off, I can finally recover comfortably by binge watching shows and movies all day on my couch in my wonderfully air conditioned home, and recall all of the memories made this past weekend.

Firefly 8

I had never camped at a music festival before, and I had never been to a four-day music festival either so Firefly seemed a bit daunting to me at first, but I was ready for the challenge.  The squad was more than prepared — though, it didn’t initially feel like it as we made the trek to Dover, Delaware (more like DelaWHERE, am I right?!) unsure of what to anticipate.  Upon arriving at our home for the next four days, we were forced to set up camp in our muddy swampland (that’s over exaggerating, but not entirely inaccurate) while it was lightly raining.  There was an unspoken nervousness about the precedent that this set for the long weekend ahead of us, but at the same time, there was a oh-well-fuck-it-let’s-have-fun-anyway vibe in the air.  And that’s exactly what we did despite the weather, living conditions, hygiene levels, and chaffing issues (our weekend was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson baby powder).

Day 1, Thursday.  After setting up camp and getting acclimated with our makeshift home, we chilled until the late start of the festival.  What was supposed to be a relaxing day, though, turned out to be kind of strenuous since the mud made trekking through the festival pretty tough.  Thank baby J for Target rain boots because it made getting from stage to stage just a tiny bit easier.  After solving some wristband entry issues, we were off to an otherwise great start music-wise with Hey Rosetta! at the Backyard Stage.  The lighthearted indie rock sound of the band made it easy to jam out despite not previously knowing their songs.  After hearing the one Panama Wedding song I knew, we headed over to catch a bit of Grizfolk, who I’d previously seen open up for Bastille on their Bad Blood tour.  When I first saw Grizfolk, I was extremely underwhelmed, but at Firefly, it was clear that they had improved and their typical alt rock sounds were exactly what I needed while I chomped on Hawaiian-style soba noodles (the real MVP of the weekend).  Catching the tail end of Solidisco at the Pavilion Stage (which housed most EDM acts for the weekend) pumped us up for Sweater Beats, who I had seen open up for Flume and, later, Chance the Rapper when he came to Rutgers.  Sweater Beats was one of my favorites of the weekend — his use of choppy synths and tight drums remind me of Flume and Cashmere Cat, but are unique in the way he combines multiple layers of sound packaging it all in a dance-worthy track (i.e., “Cloud City”).  After Sweater Beats was the first tough scheduling conflict of the weekend between The Kooks, X Ambassadors, and Tycho.  Since I’ve already seen Tycho at Coachella, I stayed for about 3 songs before moving to X Ambassadors who I was STOKED to see. Besides “Jungle” and “Renegades,” I was unaware of other X Ambassadors songs.  I was pretty disappointed with their other songs, which when played live, sounded like they were confused about what sound they wanted to establish for themselves.  Nonetheless, “Renegades” and “Jungle” were on point and the perfect amount of rock and roll.  On the way out, we heard The Kooks and were still jamming, so I can only imagine what it was like to be in the heart of the crowd during hits like “Junk of the Heart (Happy),” “Bad Habit,” and “Naive.”

Day 2, Friday.  The first day of waking up early due to the heat started with a trip to the porta potties, which were steadily hoarding all types of waste products.  After taking a baby wipe shower and feeling like a million bucks after doing so, we hung out at the campground until leaving around 2:30pm to try and catch Manchester Orchestra at the Main Stage.  Firefly 10Despite my face melting off, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Manchester Orchestra and their alt rock songs — it provided a nice break from the predominantly indie weekend.  Other notable performances of the packed day included Walk the Moon and Odesza (another weekend favorite of mine).  I was stoked to see Cage the Elephant and even left Walk the Moon a bit early to catch ’em.  I wasn’t particularly impressed but not necessarily disappointed by their performance — I would say their set was just average.  “Come a Little Closer” and “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” were still amazing, of course.  Lead singer Matt got me stoked to see Paul McCartney later that night by singing Happy Birthday to Sir Paul.  Glass Animals was just as groovy as you’d imagine with their hard-to-pinpoint sounds that put you in what feels like a drug-induced trance (perfect for: those tripping on Acid).  After Glass Animals was the second tough conflict: Modest Mouse, Run the Jewels, and Kygo.  After staying for about 10 minutes of Modest Mouse, we headed over to Kygo, which was  a no brainer for me since I had skipped out on him early at both Ultra and Coachella.  Listening to Kygo’s steel drum synths just felt right, but when the second set of speakers shut off leaving only the main speakers, it got kind of old after a while.  From what I heard from my other friends, Run the Jewels was as aggressive as their music is, creating a fun and wild atmosphere for the crowd.  After finally finding a spot on the grass that wasn’t too muddy, we popped a squat and enjoyed listening to Paul freakin’ McCartney.  Having parents who always sung Beatles songs to me growing up, and I mean, being a functioning human and knowing who the Beatles were, it was hard for me to come to terms with the fact that I was seeing a Beatle perform LIVE right in front of me who was also breathing the same air as me.  Since he had just turned 73 the night before, it was only right that Paul opened up with “Birthday.”  My Firefly moment- and the moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life- was when thousands upon thousands of festival attendees came together to sing along to Hey Jude.  Looking at the illuminated stage and the crowds that surrounded, I couldn’t help but get choked up thinking: you’ll never be as young as right now.  I get the chills every time I think about the moment.  It felt weird going from that magical moment to the raging crowd of Zedd, who I was initially excited to see, but was ultimately unimpressed (although my friends had a blast).  I made what I consider one of the best decisions of the entire weekend by leaving Zedd early to catch Marian Hill who was straight up swagger and baby-making music.  The use of heavy beats, sensual saxophone solos, and smooth vocals immediately made me 8-months pregnant.  I was sweating profusely both from the humidity and the music.

Day 3, Saturday.  After marinating in my filth for 3 days, I finally took a mini-shower via watering can and a few water bottles.  I felt like a new woman — and that’s no exaggeration.  Still exhausted from the day before, we took it easy and played several rounds of Mafia, which was full of ridiculous death stories and random accusations (shout out to the South Beach Killa), before leaving around 3pm to catch Gary Clark Jr.  We were all so clearly beat from the day before so we spent most of the day sitting on a picnic blanket listening to the music.  Firefly 2Gary Clark Jr. was awesome and obviously one long guitar riff upon guitar riff.  Andrew McMahon was underwhelming, but it could also be because I was expecting him to perform more Jack’s Mannequin stuff.  After was the most energetic set and one of my absolute favorites of the weekend: Matt and Kim.  I love Matt and Kim, but I was totally not expecting their set to be THAT much fun.  The Brooklyn duo are perfect together and their stage presence/energy was palpable; aside from catchy pop beats with heavy percussion, their set was full of crowd surfing (“If you have never crowd surfed before, now’s the time to check that box off!”), t-shirt waving, and jumping.  Matt and Kim got the crowd moving like no other artist I had seen that weekend.  After Matt & Kim, I caught a bit of Spoon while spooning some salad into my mouth (lol), and was expecting to see Dirty Heads, However, because of an impending storm, Foster the People was moved up 15 minutes earlier than expected, which means I had to go right from Spoon to Foster.  Firefly 7One of my biggest disappointments of the weekend was not being able to see Dirty Heads.  My favorite of the entire weekend was Foster the People, and while yes, that is probably a biased opinion, their set was amazing nonetheless full of all its typical glorious psychedelic indie rock through a combination of songs from Supermodel and Torches.  It felt almost religious while they were playing “Coming of Age” knowing that they had first debuted the song at Firefly 3 years ago.  We were at Kid Cudi for a few songs before he stopped short with an announcement that Firefly was shutting down for the night due to a big storm with approximately 60 mph winds (aka enough to blow me away).  Because of the storm, Kid Cudi was unable to continue and Kings of Leon didn’t get to perform.  Firefly 12A bit freaked out by this, we rushed back to the campsite and acted like a mini-army moving quickly to get everything in place before the storm came — it almost felt like we were in The Day After Tomorrow, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t for a second consider calling an Uber to take me anywhere but there.  That night, we slept inside our cars, but at 4am I couldn’t take the heat of the cramped trunk of the van and had to go for a walk around the campgrounds with a friend.  It felt a little surreal to see some of the damages the storm caused and reminded me vaguely of the time I drove around with my family after Hurricane Sandy had hit New Jersey.

Day 4, Sunday.  Momma, we made it!  It’s safe to say that every single one of us (and there were 12 of us to be exact) felt both exhausted and excited on the last day of the festival.  It was a weird combination of excitement for the day ahead, but also for the day to be over because that meant home, real showers, air conditioning, a bed, and food other than burgers and hot dogs.  Firefly 9After packing up our campsite and moving to a parking lot closer to the actual festival, we were all ready to endure the day.  Although we were excited for all the acts we were seeing that day (to name a few: Hozier, Bastille, and The Killers), we were all counting down (“After this set, we only have Bastille, Empire of the Sun, The Killers, and then home!!”).  Despite having already seen Hozier at Coachella, he was one of my favorites of the weekend.  With his man bun, blues-y, rock and roll rhythms, and romantic yet destructive lyrics, Hozier wow-ed the crowd playing hits like “From Eden” and “Someone New.”  Because mother nature took Sunday a little too seriously, it was incredibly hot the entire day, so for as many acts possible, we took shelter on the good ol’ grass.  I enjoyed Bastille so much and sang along to every song because it’s impossible to not, but I was a bit disappointed with the sound production considering they performed on the Main Stage.  The bass created an uncomfortable sound that slightly took away from the vocals.  Still, Dan from Bastille is a dreamboat and I’d listen to him sing any day.  FINALLY, we were waiting in the tightly packed crowd for The Killers with sweat dripping from all possible places on our bodies.  The Killers were 20 minutes late, but were immediately forgiven when Brandon Flowers ran onto the stage with his boyish charm and nothing but a smile and a “Hello” before bursting into “Mr. Brightside.”  It didn’t take long for the crowd to lose control and sing along to the song that we’ve all screamed at the top of our lungs at least one time before.  Responsible for so many hits, The Killers made sure to play all of them from “All These Things That I’ve Done” to “Somebody Told Me.”  Along with their hits, The Killers paid homage to Creedence Clearwater Revival (“You guys like CCR?”) by playing “Bad Moon Rising” and honored Kings of Leon (“You guys like Kings of Leon?”) by performing a cover of “The Bucket” and an abridged version of “Use Somebody.”  I, personally, had another Firefly moment when the band performed “Runaways,” one of my favorite songs.  I felt honored to have been able to see The Killers perform considering a performance from them nowadays is rare.  Just like during Foster the People, it was amazing to watch the band come in a full circle since they performed at the inaugural Firefly in July 2012.  It only felt right that the night and the entire weekend closed out to “When You Were Young.”

While my time at Firefly was enjoyable, there are things the festival can improve, like having more stadium lights put up considering both the wet and dry mud created uneven and almost dangerous walks at night.  Also, their evacuation method was unorganized and could have easily been chaotic if the hordes of festival attendees began to run back to their campsites.  Although the severity of the storm was unexpected, a precautionary plan should have been created and implemented given that the forecast for the festival had predicted rain for the weekend anyway (trust me, I know because I checked the weather several times beforehand to help plan my #ootd).  As for the mud though, I think Firefly did what it could to make things a bit easier for attendees.firefly 1

In the heat of the moment (literally — if it wasn’t hot, it was humid), I was unable to truly consider my time at Firefly — honestly, I think dirt was clogging my brain.  But looking back now, Firefly was the perfect way to end my season of festivals.  The dirt might be gone, but my sunburn and memories live on.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

 

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10 Best Songs from Governors Ball 2015

Since I went to Gov Ball days 1 and 3 this past weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to theme this week’s “10 Best Songs” post around Gov Ball — kind of like a festival recap.

When it comes to great music, Gov Ball is pretty much on point.  When it comes to the entire festival experience, though, Gov Ball is slacking.  Compared to other music festivals, Gov Ball seems like a series of diverse concerts thrown together in the park.  And sure, they might have tasty food trucks/stands and a super fun silent disco (who doesn’t love looking like an idiot?), but they lack that certain umph that makes the festival feel like, well, a festival.  Being held in a city that overflows with emerging artists, Gov Ball could easily feature various art installations that would totally be Insta’ed, which would add to Gov Ball’s festival cred and image.  Regardless, I still had so much fun at Gov Ball both this year and last.  Gov Ball has no where to go but waaay up (I’m saying this primarily to make a play off of Big Sean’s “Blessings”).  Here are my favorite songs from the weekend:

Gov Ball

1. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa by Vampire Weekend.  Unfortunately, Vampire Weekend wasn’t officially at Gov Ball this year. BUT Chromeo teased the crowd by playing the beginning chords of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa,” and then proceeded to bring Ezra Koenig on stage to perform the song.  It was AMAZING, and it definitely brought me back to Gov Ball 2014.  After, Chromeo played “I Could Be Wrong,” which Ezra is actually featured on — and if I’m being completely honest, I had no idea they even had a song together.

2. Jealous (I Ain’t With It) by Chromeo.  Chromeo is always so groovy, and when they played their hit, the entire crowd (even way back where I was) got funky and pulled their weirdest dance moves out with no judgment whatsoever.

3. Bloom by ODESZA.  It’s probably obvious by now that I may or may not be Odesza’s #1 fan so it will come as no shock that I loved their set. However, just like Coachella, they were stuck in a tent so I had no choice but to squeeze through the tight, sweaty crowd to get a little further in from the back to fully hear the set. Again, I wasn’t thrilled with the sound quality since it didn’t quite reach the back, but the duo was amazing as usual. To be fair, I had high standards for the quality of the performance since I saw Harrison and Clayton (yeah, we’re on a first-name basis now) play the night before at Rough Trade to a super intimate crowd of maybe 200 fans.  No matter how many times I see them, their live performance will never get old to me.  The energy at their Gov Ball performance was so palpable and quite possibly my favorite of the weekend.

4. What Kind of Man by Florence + The Machine.  I’m a sucker for heavy percussion so this song was definitely my favorite of her Gov Ball set. When I saw Flo last, it was at Coachella right after she broke her foot; due to her broken foot, she had to have a stripped performance, which was great, but kind of a downer since she always has the best stage presence with her electric energy.  This time, she didn’t hold back one bit.  Her performance was a mix of songs from Lungs, Ceremonials, and her newest album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.  I’m a huge fan of her old albums, but it was cool to hear her perform new songs, like “St. Jude” and “Ship to Wreck.”

5. Energy by Drake.  Talk about ENERGY when it comes to Drake’s performance.  Drake started and closed with “Legend” and boy is he a “motherfucking legend.”  He was just as amazing as he was at Coachella, but there was something about that Gov Ball/New York vibe that made his performance that much better.  Also, nice try, Drake, but you also said “this is the best festival crowd I’ve ever seen” and “I’ve never experienced a crowd like this before” at Coachella — I guess his acting gig on Degrassi really paid off.

6. You + Me (Remix) by Flume, Eliza Doolittle.  I didn’t go to Gov Ball day 2, so I wasn’t there for Flume’s set, but from what I’ve seen via Instagram video, it was absolute *fire emoji*.  If it was anything like his performance at Terminal5 that I was at last summer, I’m sure it was nothing short of amazing.

7. Elephant by Tame Impala.  I said this at Coachella too, but Tame Impala is definitely meant for people tripping on acid.  They just have a way of sending out those triply, groovy vibes.  It would’ve been a different experience if the band played at night though since it was a little hard to see their visuals in the daylight.

8. Get On Up by Big Gigantic.  I was pleasantly surprised by the successful blend of jazz and electronic music — the mix of saxophone, drums, and bass flowed naturally into one another.  I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the saxophonist is a D.I.L.F. (I don’t know if Dominic Lalli is actually a dad, but still).

9. Video Games by Lana Del Rey.  I’m a huge fan of Lana with her deep vocals and melancholy rhythms so I was stoked to see her perform.  In fact, she was a big part of why I decided to go back to Gov Ball on Day 3.  Her back drop was a sight, her outfit (a New York Yankees jersey dress) was on point, her hair was perfectly coiffed, her face was obscenely beautiful, and her voice was- well I’m not really sure.  For some odd reason, the sound was terrible at the Honda stage, and the crowds to the side of the stage and all the way back could hardly hear her.  From seeing other people’s Instagram videos who were closer to the stage, she sounded angelic.  But looking back at my own Snapchat story where I recorded Lana, I could only hear the people talking around me instead of the music.  However, every time I was able to hear tiny snippets of her singing, I was in love.

10. Little Black Submarines by The Black Keys.  Since I was at Lana for her entire performance, I sadly missed all my favorite Black Keys songs, like “Howlin’ for You,” “Gold on the Ceiling,” “Lonely Boy,” and “Gotta Get Away.”  However, ending Gov Ball weekend with “Little Black Submarines” just felt right.  Starting as a ballad that could almost pass as a lullaby, the song explodes with energy as it erupts into a full-on rock chorus heavy with guitar riffs and drums.  As we were all air guitar-ing, fireworks burst into the air right on cue to signify the end of a weekend filled with great friends and live music.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

3 Music Festivals, 1 App

Happy Memorial Day Weekend (aka long weekend)!  And it has indeed been a long weekend for Snapchat, which featured 3 music festivals in addition to other events like the Monaco Grand Prix and Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill (what?).

*What I’m listening to as I write this blog post.*

This weekend, I went to 3 music festivals: Sasquatch in Quincy, Washington, Mysteryland in Bethel Woods, New York (#tbt to Woodstock), and EDC New York in East Rutherford, New Jersey (so, like, why is it called “EDC NY“?).  How did I attend all 3 music festivals?  Snapchat.

This semester, I had to create an entire Integrated Marketing Communications campaign around any given brand/companyIMG_3054.  I chose Snapchat because I truly believe it’s the next big thing — okay, so Snapchat isn’t by any means “new” since it was launched in September 2011 by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy.  BUT the app is evolving.  It has transformed from an app that was primarily used to send silly, ephemeral, and sometimes nude (hey, do you) photos to friends and other users to an app that’s used for advertising and brand building.  In January 2015, Snapchat launched “Discover,” a new tool for users to view curated content from different brans including Cosmopolitan, CNN, the Food Network, Yahoo New, and more.  But what I think Snapchat is doing best is their “Live Story” feature in which attending users can send snaps to the public feed for all Snapchat users to see.  The trick is to have your location services turned on so that Snapchat knows you’re at the eveIMG_3088nt/in the area and can, therefore, contribute to the story.  For example, this weekend, Mysteryland attendees were able to take snaps and send them to the feed, which Snapchat then picks and curates what snaps are seen by the public.  It allows you to truly experience the festival whereas live streams are often polished, showing only a particular part of the festival and whatnot.  The “Live Story” feature allows users to truly feel as if they have experienced theIMG_3093 festival.  For example, on Day 1 of Sasquatch, some festival attendees were weary of the impending rainstorm whereas others were willing to continue partying on despite the rain.  Non-attendees would have never gotten that viewpoint otherwise.  Also, Mysteryland attendees often snapped what it’s like at festival grounds after the last headliner has played — this was extremely interesting for me since I haven’t camped at a festival yet (but Firefly soon!).  The “Live Story” builds on user experience and allows attendees to share their experiences with one another (#PLUR, am I right?!).

Instead of having a “Live Story,” EDC NY kept Snapchat users updated through their brand account, InsomniacEvents.  I started following the brand’s account last year around this time because of the exclusive DJ shout outs and behind-the-scenes lIMG_3089ooks the account would snap.  This year, Insomniac made sure to “live snap” the entire event.  Live snapping goes a step further than live tweeting in some aspects since it provides a first-hand look at the event through pictures and short 10-second videos.  What makes it cooler is that it’s all fleeting — you don’t get to stare at the picture or video for 10 minutes, but instead, IMG_308410 seconds.  I always found the ephemeral aspect of Snapchat so cool because it makes content seem even more exclusive.  Ultimately, Snapchat allows for the ultimate festival experience for festival attendees and the ultimate FOMO experience for those not attending.

Speaking from personal experience, it’s always a cool thing to be able to contribute to an event “Live Story.”  Even having an event geofilter makes your snap 10000000000x cooler.  At Ultra, we were able to get a few snaps with the geofilter and sent to the “Live Story” (we never made it onto the public “Live Story” #bitter).  However, at Coachella, it was near impossible to get a snap uploaded even just to “My Story” because of the sucky connection at the festival (#firstworldproblems am I right?!).  In the past, Snapchat has scored a 11090854_10205996273764475_8181585702527570812_osponsorship deal with Insomniac Events; Snapchat would provide free WiFi access for festival attendees so long as the”EDC Las Vegas “story” was promoted.  Several users, though, claimed that the WiFi was faulty and unable to be connected to.  According to Snapchat COO Emily White, free WiFi access was spotty due to the apparent popularity of Snapchat at the event.  In the future, it would be cool to see Snapchat doing the same sponsorship at a bunch of different music festivals with improved WiFi access, of course.  Can you tell I’m still a little #bitter from not being able to send my Coachella snaps in?

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Social Media Review: Lollapalooza

Have you ever realized how weird some music festival names are?  Like, who thinks of these?

Up next in the “Social Media Review” series: Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Chicago!

It’s hard for me to describe the vibe that I get after looking at Lolla’s color scheme and general website theme.  Almost like urban psychedelic?  The cartoonish themes remind me of Foster the People’s Supermodel mural, but the colors add a sort of urbaLolla Social Media 2n twist to it.  I’m sure I made no sense at all and sound just as high as most of the festival’s attendees.  As I quickly scroll through Lolla’s social media accounts, I see a healthy mix of videos, photos, and fan engagement.  Briefly skimming over the content, I do not see many social equity posts, which help establish brand personality traits.  However, Lolla’s selective choice of responding to fans somewhat serve as a quick-fix to this since its responses to fans help build its brand.

Lolla Social MediaPros:

  • Great use of other forms of media- articles, photos, videos.  By posting things other than photos at the actual festival, it keeps the content fresh and exciting.

Lolla Social Media 3

  • Lolla, like Bonnaroo and Coachella, promotes artists featured in the lineup by sharing articles and/or videos featuring the artist.
  • The articles the music festival posts and shares do not just relate to the artist, but the entire music industry/community.  For example, Lolla posted an article about how science may have discovered why humans make music.  Personally, just by following and “liking” Lollapalooza on social media accounts, I have learned so much about music and the industry.

Cons:

  • The Lolla “voice” that I picked up on after reading through some posts was one of sass.  Because Lolla promotes it featured artists so much, it can often go through periods of not posting anything else besides that.
  • Lolla definitely needs to work on extending its brand personality.  Right now, when Lolla posts, I can’t actually attribute a personality trait to the brand.
  • More photos and video clips of actually being at the music festival — help me pretend I was there by posting about the experience of it all.Lolla Social Media 4

Lollapalooza’s social medias definitely show promising growth, but there was nothing that really *WOW’ed* me.  After reviewing 3 other music festival social media accounts, it’s easy to see now how difficult it is to differentiate a music festival from the others.  It’s amazing that Lolla posts articles not only relevant to a specific artist, but to any music-lover.  However, Lolla definitely has to work on curating more content that helps build the brand.

Overall score: 7 — Once Lolla builds its brand and social media “voice,” its score will definitely increase.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Coachella: Day 2 “Earned It”

SOS — Too much desert dust in my lungs and nasal cavities.

Milky Chance: First sets of the day are always amazing since you still have your energy and your feet aren’t as sore yet; jammed out real hard to “Stolen Dance,” of course.

Chet Faker: Quite possibly my favorite set of Coachella so far; came out 8 months pregnant.

Coachella 4Hozier: Enjoyed the blues-y feel; of course, screamed the lyrics to “Take Me to Church.”

Belle & Sebastian: Funky music that caters to every weird dance move you have.

alt-j: Listened to while eating chicken fingers and fries — chill set, delicious chicken fingers.

Duke Dumont: Imagine this: the wind blowing through your hair as “The Giver,” “Need U,” and “I Got U” blasts in the background — pure happiness.  Oh, and steel drums ALL DAY, EVERYDAY!

Tycho: No matter what song he played, I couldn’t stop moving.

FKA Twigs: Just as weird as you would imagine, but she absolutely KILLED it.  I went nuts for Two Weeks, my favorite song of hers. Also looked around for Robert Pattinson… no luck.

Coachella 5Flosstradamus: Synonymous with ratchet; turned the crowd into a giant mosh pit.

The Weeknd: Babymaking music at its finest.  Also, brought Kanye out.  Enough said.

Axwell x Ingrosso: Also saw a tiny bit of their set at Gov Ball and was less than impressed.  Stayed for a little more than 5 minutes and then lost interest.

Last and final day tomorrow!

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Coachella: Day 1 “Shook Me All Night Long”

Oh my gosh, it’s everything you would imagine it to be AND MORE!  Here’s a quick recap of the artists I saw today.

Keys N Krates: ~*LeT’s DaNcE*~

Oliver Heldens: Still had fresh energy, so I was able to bounce, shuffle, and slightly jump (with a still injured ankle).

Lykke Li: Chill, let me sit on the ground to recharge and vibe out to Lykke’s vocals.Lykke Coachella

Interpol: Reminded me of a classic summer festival; this was the first band we saw at MainStage and it was incredible.  The way the MainStage was constructed made it feel like you were up close even though you were all the way back due to strategically placed speakers and large screens.

DJ Snake: Okay, so keep in mind this is my 5th (give or take – I’ve lost count) time seeing DJ Snake.  I love the guy, but his set seemed a little all over the place.  I expected a little more out of him than what was actually delivered.  HOWEVER, he did bring out Rae Sremmurd (I kind of just mumble that when I say it out loud in my head), DMX, and Alunageorge.

Tame Impala: The visuals were made especially for everyone tripping on acid.  Also, I love me some Tame Impala.

Porter Robinson: The sound was a little too low, but his set was amazing!  His music and visuals have this weird way of making you extremely happy but also extremely pensive about life.  Choking on nostalgia is common.

Coachella 3AC/DC: Old guys, but still put on a good show; subconsciously scared Angus Young or one of the other members was going to spontaneously pop a hip on stage.

Alesso: Just like DJ Snake, I have seen Alesso a few times before this.  I’ll always be somewhat sentimental watching Alesso since he was the headliner of the first RUPA event I ever worked.  Also, more recently, his song “Heroes” will eternally remind me of Dance Marathon — and that makes me emotional enough.

Two more days of musical heaven to go!

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Social Media Review: Coachella

Coachella, -ella, -ella, ay, ay, ay.

rihanna-coachella

Since I will be attending Coachella Weekend 2 soon (yup, let the jealousy settle in), it’s only right to do a social media review on one of the most popular, celebrity-filled music festivals.  As expected, Coachella has a solid following on all social media accounts.  Still not as large as Ultra’s following, but I’d imagine the most star-studded following (huh-LO, let’s not forget Leo DiCaprio’s “dance moves“):

Scrolling through Coachella’s social media accounts, I see constant use of videos and photos to both hype and prepare festival attendees.  Similar to Bonnaroo, Coachella also promotes artists as relevant content comes to surface.  After analyzing two festival social medias, Coachella is the first music festival I have reviewed that uses SpoCoachella Social Media 2tify playlists frequently to promote its lineup.  When it comes to engagement on Twitter, Coachella primarily retweets artists and lacks engagement with attendees/fans.  However, one of the coolest Coachella social media features is the artist takeover on Instagram.  For example, before Weekend 1, Kaskade was given control of the Coachella Instagram feed.  Throughout the music festival, you can see Coachella through the eyes of whoever takes over the Instagram next  — pretty cool if you ask me!

Coachella Social Media

Coachella Social media 4Coachella Social Media 3

 

 

 

 

 

Pros:

  • Coachella successfully uses multi-media platforms to catch the attention of followers.  ‘Chella is the only music festival I’ve seen so far that makes use of Spotify playlists.  The music and art festival announced its “food lineup” and its art installation process via short video.  Also, Coachella can do no wrong by posting pictures of its beautiful art installations and festival layout.  Palm trees, am I right?!
  • Coachella frequently posts reminders of activities going on or security manners.
  • INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER.  Need I say more?  I still find it so cool how users are able to see Coachella through the eyes of a different person every few hours or so.
  • GREAT day of show posts constantly providing users with minute-by-minute updates and FYIs.

Coachella Social Media 5

Cons:

  • Although Coachella’s social media accounts are definitely aesthetically pleasing, the festival needs to work on its “voice.”  While reading through tweets and posts, I didn’t really pick up on a consistent message or any brand personality traits.
  • If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a huge advocate of fan engagement.  ‘Chella should start replying to followers/fans — by responding to fans, ‘Chella would be able to build its brand.  Connectivity is important for users/attendees at festivals, and socializing via Twitter is a way for attendees to feel connected and engaged by a brand (Jamison et. al., 2014, p. 4).Gigi-Hadid-Coachella-Style
  • Not only should ‘Chella reply to fans, but also retweet fans!  Who doesn’t love to see their post on a famous music festival’s social media page?
  • This one’s not really a con, but more of a suggestion.  Everybody knows that “Coachella fashion” is a thing.  Why isn’t Coachella capitalizing off of this more on its social media accounts?  A social media campaign can easily be started: #ChellaFashion.  I mean huh-LOW, GiGi Hadid and Kendall Jenner can be the first ones featured followed by lace-clad, no-bra wearing, hippie civilians.

I am so unbelievably excited to experience Coachella.  Its social media accounts seem to convey an ounce of the experience, but it definitely seems to be a “you had to be there” kind of concept.  I’ll be counting down the days until musical heaven aka Coachella.  Who knows?  Maybe by the time weekend 2 rolls around, #ChellaFashion will actually be a thing!  (You’re welcome in advance, Coachella!)

Overall score: — Coachella’s Instagram takeover is what really boosted the music festival’s overall score, but ultimately, the lack of “voice” is pretty detrimental to a brand.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Jamison-Powell, S., Mahoney, J., Bennett, L., & Lawson, S. (2014, February). Understanding in-situ social media at music festivals. Paper presented at 17th ACM conference.

Social Media Review: Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

After taking a looking at Bonnaroo’s social media accounts, I now read the music festival as Bonnawoo (no, I will not stop with the corny dad jokes)!

Continuing with my “Social Media Review” series of various music festivals, I will be reviewing Bonnaroo’s social media presence and content.  Although I tend to follow music festivals quite closely, I will admit that I haven’t really looked at the Tennessee music festival’s social media accounts before.  Apparently, I’m in the minority according to Roo’s social media following:

These numbers seem close to the numbers I would guess that Roo probably had in terms of social media following.  It’s interesting, however, to compare the monstrous following of Ultra versus Roo (read: Social Media Review: Ultra Music Festival).  Quickly scanning over Roo’s social media accounts, I was pleasantly surprised with the content.  Roo makes good use of videos, photos, and fan engagement.  The music and arts festival keBonnaroo Social Media 4eps a consistent “voice” and message throughout all social media accounts.  I can already feel the hippie, free spirit nature of the music festival just by reading through some of its posts and viewing a couple pictures.  I respect Roo for keeping committed to their message: “RADIATE POSITIVITY.”  What I really admire about the festival’s social media accounts is that its content also includes inspirational picture quotes, artist promotion, and articles related to Roo.

Bonnaroo Social Media 5

Bonnaroo Social MediaBonnaroo Social Media 3

 

 

 

 

Pros:

  • Bonnaroo’s “voice” and brand personality is strong and established.  It’s easy to imagine Roo’s atmosphere without being there because its social media personality is so consistent.
  • Roo retweets and shares fan photos frequently.  Roo even goes a step further and replies to many fan tweets.
  • Content on Roo is never stale — the Tennessee music festival features related articles, inspirational quotes, cool photos, teaser vids, and more!
  • Roo will also post content that promotes an artist performing at the festival.  Roo will also retweet artists that are playing at the event even if the tweet does not explicitly mention/involve Bonnaroo.  Often, music festivals promote the entire lineup as a whole rather than promoting each individual artist as relevant materials arises.  For example, Roo posted a link to Florence + the Machine’s new music video, “St. Jude,” since she is one of this year’s headliners.  I plan to do this sort of promotion for my Capstone event as well.
  • Roo heavily promotes the experience of the event via pictures and articles.  Festival attendees are even referred to as “Bonnaroovians” who live under “The Bonnaroovian Code.”  The festival even compiled a “Census” based on its 2014 attendees.

Bonnaroo Social Media 2

Cons:

  • Although Roo features all types of photos from the event, a few pictures of the different stages with their respective production would be cool.
  • This is me nitpicking at this point since I can’t really think of anything majorly wrong with Roo’s social media, but using countdown visuals can help hype up event attendees.

I have never been to Bonnaroo, but their social media presence is definitely making me reconsider.  At the same time, though, their social media presence is so expertly done that I feel as if I have already ran through “The Farm” barefoot with messy hair throwing up the shaka sign and maybe a peace sign here and there as I “radiate positivity.”

Overall score: 9 — Roo’s done everything pretty much perfectly from posting relevant content to keeping attendees/fans engaged!

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Social Media Review: Ultra Music Festival

More like ULTRA cheesy social media (hate myself only a little bit for making that joke).

As part of my Capstone, I plan to review and analyze different music festivals’ social media presence and content.  Up first: Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida.  Catering to a specific crowd (since Ultra is an electronic dance music festival), I predicted that Ultra’s social media following would be large, but still scaled back.  Looking at Ultra’s official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I could not have been more wrong.  Check out their social media following:

Clearly, there are more EDM fans than I originally assumed.  I’m extremely impressed with the music festival’s social media following, but its content?  Not so much.  Sure, Ultra posts awesome, trippy, FOMO-worthy pictures of stages with amazing production and attendees that are having the time of their life (but are also half-dressed in different variations of neon colors — this is a whole other topic though), but Ultra’s Facebook posts/tweets/Instagram captions are pretty weak and a little bit cringeworthy.  HOWEVER, the posts do cater to the majority of the music festival’s fans.  This is definitely evident through the high levels of engagement with posts, including shares, replies, retweets, favorites, and likes.

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Pros:

  • Ultra does an excellent job at hyping up fans by posting countdown visuals, video recaps from previous years, and sensory-stimulating photos.
  • Catering to its audience, Ultra posts retweet-able or sharable content (although I would never personally retweet something that said “Ultra > anywhere else” or “Find love at ULTRA” with a picture of two neon-clad attendees kissing).
  • Across all social media accounts, Ultra’s “voice” remains consistent whether it is through picture captions or general posts.
  • Ultra makes good use of photos and videos.  By posting plenty of multi-media content, Ultra basically encourages attendees to view and share the content.
  • Ultra posts consistent reminders about tickets and security regarding the festival.  According to an article that studied festivalgoers’ use of Twitter during the Glastonbury 2013 music festival, researchers found that festivalgoers often used Twitter to coordinate locations and ask festival staff technical questions (Jamison-Powell et. al., 2014, p. 2).
My friend Erica's hilarious reaction to Ultra's social media content -- can't say I disagree with her though!

My friend Erica’s hilarious reaction to Ultra’s social media content — can’t say I disagree with her though!

Cons:

  • Ultra’s social media “voice” could use some work.
  • Looking at Ultra’s Twitter, they do engage and reply to some followers, but overall, it is not as responsive.  Ultra does, however, retweet users quite frequently.  During the music festival, Ultra should be retweeting and responding to attendees since festival attendees often use social media to “mediate and support their experiences” (Jamison-Powell et. al., 2014, p.4).
  • Its content can often get repetitive and almost stale.  One can only see so many pictures of a stage with crazy lights and caption like: “Let the lights do the talking…”
  • There were no signs or announcements to tag photos or tweets with a specific hashtag (i.e. #Ultra2015).

All of this being said, I attended Ultra this year so I was able to witness all of this firsthand.  When I had a question about something, I did not once turn to social media to ask festival organizers a question.  Besides the weak content, the music festival could really work on its day of show social media plan.

Overall score (1-10, 10 being the best): 7  Ultra’s lack of engagement and response really take away from its score.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Jamison-Powell, S., Mahoney, J., Bennett, L., & Lawson, S. (2014, February). Understanding in-situ social media at music festivals. Paper presented at 17th ACM conference.

Lollapalooza Snapchat

Lollapalooza?  More like Lollapawinna!

This comes as perfect timing since my last blog post was about Snapchat.  Along with Insomniac Events, I follow various different music festivals and production companies on Snapchat.  Since about a year ago, I began following a Lollapalooza Snapchat account since I wanted to see if they would post exclusive content similar to Insomniac Events.  Also, because I had major FOMO and wanted to imagine I was there.  However, I never got any updates via @Lollapalooza since the music festival had its own “Live Story” on Snapchat.  So almost a full year later, you can imagine my confusion as I saw multiple “Story” updates on @Lollapalooza yesterday.

So obviously DJ Mustard!

So obviously DJ Mustard!

Money Sucks, Friends Rule = Dillon Francis' new album

Money Sucks, Friends Rule = Dillon Francis’ new album

The War on Drugs -- LOL this one gives me a kick.

The War on Drugs — LOL this one gives me a kick.

 

The “Story” snaps didn’t make any sense to me.  At one point there was a line of various pens, a printer printing out a picture of Italy with a section of it highlighted, and then a bunch of twigs scattered against a blue background.  After three weirdly confusing snaps, I realized that Lolla might be revealing their lineup via Snapchat clues!  I looked on their official Twitter and Facebook for signs of an announcement that they would be revealing their lineup via Snapchat, but I saw nothing.  I wasn’t event sure if @Lollapalooza was the music festival’s official Snapchat account.  I did some more digging and found a thread on Reddit that was being updated every time a new snap was sent out — it all made sense.  The user pointed out that the printer printing a picture of Italy was supposed to be Florence & the Machine.  The pens?  There were 21 pilot pens — Twenty One Pilots.  The twigs — FKA Twigs.

I had no idea if this was actually part of the lineup or not until I saw the official lineup today.  After a quick scan, it looks like all of the artists revealed via Snapchat are listed on the official lineup.  Well played, Lolla, well played!

Lolla Official Lineup

 

There was still no mention of the early Snapchat clues so I guess we’ll never know for sure if @Lollapalooza is officially affiliated with the music festival, especially since Snapchat is the only social media not listed at the bottom of the Lollapalooza website.  Nonetheless, I’m a fan of lineup reveals via Snapchat — the fact that you have to be following them to get the updates AND the clues are fleeting add up to make Snapchat clues really cool and innovative.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne