Coachella Goes Digital

For those of you who don’t know, Cochella is an annual weekend long music festival in Indio, California. It takes place over two weekends, and is thought to be one of the best music festivals in the U.S. The headliners this year included OutKast, Muse, and Arcade Fire, while the general lineup had big names such as Zedd and Pharrell Williams.

One of the main points of interest for this year’s festival was the use of technology to make the entire experience more engaging. The entire festival was sponsored by Spotify, which even put up a 150 relaxation booths on the Cochella grounds. What was even cooler was the wristbands received by festival attendees. The wristbands included RFID  (radio-frequency identification) chips, so that when guests entered a stage area, they could touch their wristbands to a check-in board, and they would be checked in. This was Spotify’s #WeWereThere initiative. They want people to “connect, collect, and share,” and by checking in, people were able to sync is to, saving a map of wherever they went and even unlocking custom Cochella playlists. All this information was then saved and shared via Spotify profiles.

Another step towards being completely open was that all three days of Cochella were broadcasted for free via YouTube. Although this is becoming a trend with EDM (electronic dance music) festivals around the world such as Ultra and TomorrowLand, this is one of the first times Cochella was available for people to watch for free while the festival itself was going on. Having said that, digital social media has really changed the way music festivals advertise themselves. Cochella has been leveraging the power of social networks such as Instagram and Facebook not only to show off the beautiful space in which the festival takes place, but also to get people engaged with the brand. It almost feels like a marketing stunt; although it costs them a bit more, it’ll drive up demand for their concert next year, and so on.

One of the other awesome things about Cochella is that it occurs over two weekends. TomorrowLand is the only other EDM festival to offer two weekends of music, but given the surge of interest in EDM this was a logical step. Not only do the festivals make more money, but more people have the chance to go for an awesome three day long EDM festival!