The coronavirus crisis had a huge impact on culture and music festivals. Many festivals had to cancel their 2020 edition unfortunately, leaving millions of people disappointed and sad of not having had the chance to waddle through the parks and plains this year. Some organizers found themselves really innovative in suggesting new concepts in the COVID 19 age.
Tomorrowland Around the World
Tomorrowland (July 25-26, 2020), the electronic music festival master offered its festival-goers a new digital experience: Tomorrowland Around The World.
Described as "an exceptional 3D experience bringing together the world's best technologies in gaming, 3D design, video production and special effects", the Belgian festival brought together 8 different stages with more than 60 artists renowned on the electro scene, as well as interactive experiences - webinars, games, workshops... and all in a 3D universe. Brand new and magical experience as the image of the festival itself. More than a million viewers were able to experience the pleasures of Tomorrowland in digital format but also paid more than 12 euros minimum to access the experience. All the live performances were recorded in studios around the world and some artists, like Katy Perry, went even farther as they recorded a full live concert in the studio.
Let's rock with Hellfest & Download Festival
With another genre, the metal giant Hellfest has also opted for the digital way to console its rockers with the "Hellfest from Home" (from June 18 to 21), a 100% virtual experience in partnership with ARTE Concert. What did the festival lovers enjoy? A live concert after a new documentary about the festival and the livestream of 45 concerts from the last editions of the Hellfest.
In the UK, the famous rock event Download Festival (June 12-14, 2020) also offered its festival-goers an online event with several exclusive contents: performances by leading artists, previously unseen and brand new broadcast performances, interviews with some artists (Iron Maiden, KISS, System Of A Down, Babymetal, Korn, Black Veil Brides...), etc. All this content was broadcast on the festival's social networks as well as on its Youtube channel.
We Love Green : eco-friendly French festival
The Parisian rendez-vous, We Love Green as a pioneer early in June, they completely replaced the physical edition for 100% digital one.
With an interactive internet platform, i-Festivalers could explore the digital version and choose the places they wanted to visit according to their tastes and moods: dancing at Greenroom, discovering tomorrow's talents on the Riffx - Crédit Mutuel stage, vibrating in front of the performances of the headliners? Festival-goers could also attend the Think Thank events organised online and enjoy some meals cooked by six Parisian chefs loyal to the festival which were delivered to them thanks to a delivery system set up especially for the event.
The artists initially on the eco-friendly festival programme had recorded performances beforehand in the Bois de Vincennes or at the artists' directly and then were streamed on on the We Love Green TV website.
This digital edition was greeted by the 7 million spectators and industry professionals. The good things with digital festivals is that you can still enjoy the artists' performances on We Love Green TV. We Love Green, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2021, has introduced French festivals to new formats and business models like virtual experience and multi-modality.
We Love Green 2020 from 3rd to 7 of June
What's the purpose?
This format avoids the complete cancellation of the festivals, where many expenses are incurred that cannot be avoided.
It is also about keeping a tradition alive, as music festivals are now an integral part of the cultural life. Every year, these events are anxiously awaited and it is so surprising and unusual not to pack your stuff this summer to go to a festival.
Finally, the digitalisation of these events allows a certain democratisation by making them accessible to everyone thanks to the Internet. From a marketing point of view, the idea is to build up loyalty among the audience and attract new spectators in the hope of seeing them again next year in the physical editions of the festivals.
Thanks to Emma, editor of the independent webzine Dust of Music for her analysis.
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