Anyone passing by Manchester, Tennessee, a week in early June will see an unusual amount of people and hear an unusual amount of noise. Manchester is known by many as the home of Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, where thousands of people travel every year for four days to camp and listen to live music. Festivals have recently grown in popularity, but Bonnaroo has managed to stay well-known among the over-saturated festival market. Bonnaroo has a relative advantage over new festivals as it is about to celebrate its 17th year, but they frequently update social media sites to provide further festival recognition.
Bonnaroo prides themselves on building a community of festival-goers each year and has continued to capitalize on this feeling through a social media connection. Before purchasing my first Bonnaroo ticket I perused their website to find a video entitled “The Bonnaroo Experience” created in 2014.
If I hadn’t been sold on attending before, this video sealed the deal. It made me feel that I was not only attending a music festival, but that I would meet music-lovers like me, looking to build a “temporary community” for the weekend. It emphasized that Bonnaroo was much more than a music festival, but an opportunity to build relationships.
They have furthered this marketing tactic in many ways through their Instagram page. In 2015 Bonnaroo began a project of posting pictures of attendees next to an explanation of what Bonnaroo meant to them. This project furthered festival exposure to possible attendees and kept the connection it had built with previous festival-goers.
More recently, for years 2016, 2017, and 2018 Bonnaroo has posted hints of its line-up on their Instagram page. This encourages followers to interact with their page and guess who will be playing at the festival the upcoming summer. This among various promotions such as weekly “high five friday” posts, an ethic code while at the festival, and festival tag lines such as “radiate positivity” represent simple ways that Bonnaroo keeps consumer engagement throughout the year and reiterates the importance of festival community that differentiates them from other festivals.