Blast from the Past: A Review of Social Media Activity in the Past 4 Months

During the fall and winter months, the social media sites of all music festivals remain almost sparse. In October, Coachella, Firefly, and Warped Tour rarely posted on Facebook or Twitter. Warped Tour usually maintains a very active presence on twitter, tweeting multiple times a day, but in October and November, it tweeted only a couple times a day if not once per day. For Firefly, the festival tweeted once every few days during October and November. Coachella, on the other hand, did not tweet from May 2014-December 2014.

The social media activity for the 3 festivals always flared up around ticket sale announcements, ticket sales, and line up announcements. Coachella announced its lineup on January 6, and it not only tweeted a picture of the lineup, but also it retweeted fans and the artists announcing their participation in the festival. Unlike Coachella, Warped Tour announced its lineups once a week in groups of 5 artists. Warped Tour began announcing its bands December 3, and it has not yet announced its full lineup. Firefly has not announced its lineup at all, but it has kept its followers on Facebook suspenseful by updating its cover picture to a picture that says, “Lineup coming soon.”

Based off of the tweets and Facebook posts from the past 4 months, these festivals use social media to their advantage. Twitter and Facebook are a convenient way for fans to interact with the festivals, and these sites make it much easier for people to be aware of ticket sales. Each festival uses its social media campaign to sell its tickets and its merchandise to its fans and followers, but they also use their Twitter and Facebook pages to advertise and promote themselves to the general public. For example, this past week, Firefly released a video montage of its 2014 festival and announced a ticket giveaway on its Twitter.

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When appealing to their audiences, these festivals tend to use merchandise and ticket giveaways as well as periodical lineup announcements to keep their audiences interested. Visuals, such as advertisement videos and pictures, are also to appeal to followers. By releasing the names of 5 bands per week on its website, Twitter, and Facebook, Warped Tour gives its followers a reason to constantly check its social media sites. The pathos in Warped Tour’s tweets targets its audience’s excitement and anxiety, and this draws its followers closer to its social media campaign.

In addition to pathos, the festivals use ethos to promote their artists and themselves. Ticket sale and giveaway announcements on Firefly, Coachella, and Warped Tour’s accounts are all legitimate because these are the official accounts of the festival. Followers know that all ticket giveaways and sales announced on the festival’s social media sites are credible. In addition to ticket sales, festivals use their social media to promote their artists and increase their popularity. For example, Warped Tour often tweets about its artists’ music videos and albums. This draws attention to the artist because by using its credibility and fame, Warped Tour shows followers that a specific artist is worth listening to.

Like Warped Tour, Firefly posts images and videos, specifically its past performers and labels them “throwback Thursday” on Twitter. The pathos in Firefly’s throwback Thursday pictures draws upon the nostalgia of past attendees, and by triggering this emotion, Firefly appeals to those who have attended to the concert before. The main goal of this appeal is to draw past attendees to buy tickets again for the coming year.

Unlike Firefly and Warped Tour, Coachella occasionally tweets pictures of its venue, but its main source of social media activity takes place during lineup announcements. When Coachella retweeted the artists it booked for the festival, it sought to ignite excitement and online discussion amongst its audience and followers. By increasing social media discussion, Coachella is drawing attention to itself through its followers because followers on twitter and Facebook may use hashtags or direct tweets that can be found by other followers. Coachella recently retweeted a picture from the Twitter Music account that showed Twitter activity before, during, and after the lineup announcement.

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By announcing lineups through social media, these festivals all utilize pathos to target desire. The lineup is the main reason for why people attend the festivals to begin with, and announcing lineups via Twitter or Facebook allows followers to see the artists playing and share the list with their friends through social media.
The audience for each campaign is the general public since the social media accounts are all public. Realistically, though, the audience exists as everyone and anyone who wants to attend these festivals or is interested in the music genre of the festivals. The intended audience is clear because of the accessibility of the festivals’ Twitter and Facebook accounts, but only those who are interested in the artists playing or the alternative/indie genre itself are more likely going to follow the festivals on their social media sites.

For the festivals, Twitter and Facebook exist as outlets for advertising and selling. The purpose of each festival’s social media presence is to market their shows and promote the artists who are playing in them. By holding ticket giveaways, it is clear that the festivals’ call to action is for its followers to buy tickets. Also, by announcing ticket sales, the festivals are drawing concertgoers to purchase tickets.

In addition to announcing ticket sales, the festivals use social media to promote the bands playing in their shows. If a booked artist releases a new song, album or music video, or if they win an award, the festivals will tweet about it to draw attention to that artist and help them increase their popularity. By increasing attention for a specific artist, the festivals can bring in more people who may be interested in seeing that artist in concert. Firefly garners excitement and interest by posting its “throwback Thursday” photos of the festival. Coachella retweets the artists it books. Warped Tour remains extremely active in tweeting music videos from the artists that will play on the tour. For example, this past week during its lineup announcement, Warped Tour tweeted the name of the bands playing and included links to their music videos.

In addition to tweeting the names and videos of bands playing, Warped Tour tweets about the charities that appear on its tour. Warped Tour has a long history of letting an array of charities and organizations onto the tour to spread their messages and raise awareness for their causes. On its Twitter, Warped Tour helps raise awareness for the charities and organizations on its tour by retweeting certain announcements from said charities. For example, on January 11, 2015, Warped Tour retweeted Music Saves Lives, a charity that has long been part of the festival. Music Saves Lives tweeted, “If you want to donate for VIP at Vans Warped Tour and other concerts this year, keep watching and following us…”, and the clear call to action was for Warped Tour fans and followers of the charity in general to continue following its activity. By retweeting Music Saves Lives, Warped Tour helped to draw attention to the charity and to raise awareness for its cause.

In looking at the social media activity of my 3 festivals over the past 4 months, I noticed that during the fall, especially October and November, the festivals rarely post updates. This is mainly due to the proximity to the conclusion of all the festivals. Yet during December and January, ticket sales and ticket and lineup announcements begin, thus causing an upward spike in social media activity by the three festivals. This is a result of the festivals’ dependences on social media to promote themselves, promote their artists, and sell their products.

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Blast from the Past: A Review of Social Media Activity in the Past 4 Months

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