When it comes to lineup announcements, Firefly does it best. The Delaware Music Festival obliterated its competition this past week when it dropped its anticipated lineup in the form of a YouTube video posted on its Facebook, shortly followed by a picture of all the artists’ names. Warped Tour and Coachella could not compete with the attention that Firefly commanded this past week, for they lagged farther behind than last week in their social media campaigns.
For starters, Warped Tour decreased its number of bands announced from 5 to 4 names per week. Although this decrease may seem like a flaw in the campaign, it potentially signals that the lineup announcements are slowly coming to an end. This means that the last few artists are being announced, and soon, the entire lineup will be released. It would help, though, if Warped Tour indicated that its full lineup would be released soon because it would draw more attention to its social media accounts and its tour in general.
In addition to its lineup announcement, Warped Tour tweeted about its “Warped Tour Kick Off Party”. On February 20, Warped Tour tweeted “Announcing the 2015 Vans Warped Tour Kick Off Party with performances by Crossfaith, New Beat Fund, and more!” The tone in this tweet is one of excitement, and the purpose of the excited tweeted is an appeal to followers’ enthusiasm and desire to attend this concert. Also, the use of “and more” in the tweet links to the call to action: click on the link to see the whole lineup. By including a link and only naming 2 performers, Warped Tour is directing followers to the link and appealing to their sense of curiosity.
The lineup and concert announcement, however, was not enough to overtake Firefly. Like it does every year with its announcement, Firefly released a YouTube video showing all the names of the performers with clips of past Firefly concerts in the background. For the music, Firefly used a mash-up of songs by the big-name artists on the lineup. Along with the video, Firefly released a picture of all of the artists, but one of the headliner’s name was blurred out. The purpose of this censorship was to keep attention on the music festival between now and its occurrence. By censoring the name of one of the headliners, Firefly is targeting the speculation and curiosity of its followers, leaving them to try to figure out who the remaining headliner. This strategic advertising move allows Firefly to make another important announcement aside from its last round of ticket sales between now and June 18th, the first day of the concert.
Along with its lineup, Firefly released playlist on Spotify with all of its artists from the lineup. On Spotfiy, there are numerous Firefly playlists, but followers know that the one that Firefly tweeted about is the official one. The ethos in this tweet stems from Firefly’s twitter account’s legitimacy as a verified account. Out of all the playlists for Firefly on Spotify, followers know that the one tweeted by Firefly is the legitimate one; therefore Firefly brings in more attention on both social media and music sharing platforms.
While Firefly shined bright, Coachella’s social media activity posed the question, “How is this festival so popular?” Between last week and today, Coachella tweeted twice; one tweet about one of its performers and another about an app. The app that Coachella tweeted about, however, did have some importance because it was an app that allowed Coachella attendees organize their concert schedule. The tweet about the app exists as a way for Coachella to market itself because it is calling on its attendees to download an app that helps them organize a concert schedule. Yet the tweet only affects those attending Coachella; therefore it is alienating its followers who are not attending the festival this year.
Coachella, unfortunately, has earned the title of the festival with the weakest social media campaign. It rarely tweets and posts on its social media outlets, and it sparsely communicates with its followers. Its tweets often have no excitement in them, and most of them do not engage with its followers. For example, its tweet about its venue was captioned simply as “Fresh cut” and it included a picture of freshly mowed grass. Although this may excite followers about the concert, it does not effectively excite its followers the same way Firefly does with its own. Unlike Firefly, Coachella composes tweets and Facebook posts with a very neutral tone. If Coachella is not excited about itself, how can its followers be excited, too?
Excitement exists as a key element in social media campaigns for concerts and music festivals. Pathos is a main weapon in music festivals’ arsenals because it is through targeting their followers’ excitement that they can advertise ticket sales and themselves. Since Firefly has done an incredibly effective job of promoting itself on social media, it has greatly increased its size every year while Warped Tour and Coachella have remained consistent in their sizes.