The Digital Perspective of Year Round Festival Feelings

Festivals are one of the most defiant vehicles for surpassing societal conditioning. They become a space for us to share an experience and perspective on our idea of a communal gravitational pull. The hard part about it all is that the festival has to end, and move on to be part of reality’s conveyor belt of year-round engagement. SO what keeps us on our toes during winter hibernation? How does social media successfully wire us to anticipate the next festival moments, which end up being several months ahead? 

The nice thing about the 21st century’s capitalist marketing system is that despite the annoyance of some engagement tactics, we are able to maintain hubs of conversation in the comments section of Instagram posts, and continue what we see on the news in our respective Reddit threads. There is an instigator that sparks conversation on a random day of our non-Festival season work lives. Primarily, it’s the primal nature of creating community around passion. But for the many who aren’t die-hard festivals, let’s figure out where the year-round conversation comes from: 

Marketing is marketing – and we all know what that looks like. Some of us might shrug at targeted posts or even unfollow a certain festival because of how much they’ve advertised on our feeds. 

Here are a few festivals that we’re big fans of because they know exactly what they’re doing, and how could it possibly be annoying… 

#1: Portola Festival

First of all, one of the most insane electronic lineups in recent years. I mean, we’re talking DJs that are nearly too hard to catch at any other festival. And Nelly Furtado??? What are they stirring up? How could music lovers and festival heads not be curious. This is only Portola’s second year at San Francisco’s Pier 80, and I must say, every IG post or TikTok that comes up on my feed is fresh, new, exciting, and I’m guaranteed a laugh. They’re playing into the humor that we miss most – the OG Vine and meme culture. Gen Z is going nuts. It’s an alternative approach to getting the people’s attention with the ways that they want to give their attention. 

Click for Exhibit A

#2: Burning Man

It is the most surreal and anticipated of the festivals, yet the most mysterious. Burning Man is its own Area 51, and their socials touch the surface of what goes on within. The people who have not been, but are a part of their 1.4 million followers on Instagram are wowed with avant grade structures, isolated dreamlike landscapes, and creatures beyond their knowing. The social media conversation surrounding Burning Man can be credited to the influencer movement in recent years, but the truth is, Burning Man is much more powerful than that. Interviews, podcasts, Reddit groups, year-round camp meetups are all examples of how significant engagement from passion festivals exist. The more curious, the more knowledge and conversation shared. 

And this is only a fraction of a glimpse

#3: Camp Flog Gnaw

Now I know this one is a bit different from the others, but CFG is back after a 3-year hiatus. There hasn’t been much social activity on the socials in recent years which ultimately strays from conversation about the festival. But multifaceted mastermind, Tyler, the Creator, hinted at the rerun of his festival in a way that is considerably genius. Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem’s latest release “The Hillbillies” essentially became a promotional catalyst for CFG. It’s innovative, collaborative and not so in our faces that it brought his OG festival community back together to rally for the long anticipated lineup. Fans even went back into CFG’s old posts to share their excitement. And passes sold out immediately, just saying. 

Watch the sneak peak

#4: Electric Forest

This year was my first Electric Forest, but as an avid festival goer and time spent within passionate communities, EF has to be an all-time favorite. With electronic music making huge waves in pop culture, EF has been getting more attention than before, and their content lives up to their growth. Its eclectic and vibrant visual components bring a mystical lure from the distant festival community. Activities and characters so bizarre that you forget you’re in Rothbury, Michigan. Secrets and stories hidden within the Forest, are told in a sequence of cliffhangers and FOMO-filled shots from DJs and String Cheese alike. 

This is what I mean!

There are many different routes to a festival’s outreach success, but these are just a few that I appreciate for their unique approach and/or relatability. But the truth is, we are the real reason for marketing success. Whatever feelings are stirred from our festival experiences are the ones we choose to release into the greater community. Think about what makes you compelled to participate in a festival’s year-round digital presence when you haven’t even been there… 

– Rachel

Previous Post
Bonnaroo’s Bioluminescence
Next Post
Make Life a Festival With the Festisia Boarding Pass