Organizers of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival are excited to announce that this year’s event saw the largest integration between a live music event and social media in history. Ford, as part of its launch of the all-new Ford Escape, partnered with Bonnaroo, to provide a unique social experience for festival-goers.
In lieu of hard tickets, Bonnaroo attendees were sent RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) enabled wristbands. The technology, developed by RFID specialists Intellitix, is utilized by a variety of live events for ticketing, security, and added customer-service benefits. Charlie Jennings, Director of Operations at Bonnaroo co-producer, A.C. Entertainment, said, “Having already raised the bar by successfully integrating RFID technology with our festival operations and improving our customer’s entry experience, we were excited to take the next step and connect our patrons through social media in a totally new way.” The extent of Bonnaroo’s social RFID integration was a first.
Automaker Ford powered the roll out and drove pre-registration of RFID wristbands with a variety of incentives, including VIP tickets, exclusive content and an all new 2013 Ford Escape. These drivers lead to a 90% attendee registration rate, with nearly half of attendees opting to connect their RFID enabled wristbands to Facebook.
In connecting to Facebook, attendees were able to swipe their wristband at any of the 22 custom-built “Check In Stations” and “Photo Stations” around Bonnaroo. With each wristband swipe, a “check in” message would post to Facebook noting the attendee’s corresponding activity. For each performance at which an attendee “checked in,” the setlist would post as a Spotify playlist on the attendee’s wall, allowing Facebook friends to see and listen to the songs from the actual performance.
“The center of media has become the live event,” said Chad Issaq, EVP of Business Development for Superfly Marketing Group, the partnership agency of Bonnaroo. “Through each RFID ‘check in,’ attendees created and shared a real-time digital journal of their Bonnaroo experience.”
Over the course of the Bonnaroo weekend, attendees “Checked In” more than 250,000 times with an additional 20,000 photos posted via RFID-enabled photo kiosks. Results were astounding with over three million likes and comments on the posts, and a total audience reach of over 200 million people for Ford Escape. Each post featured a collaborative Bonnaroo/Ford Escape-branded “Check in” icon.
“This is a major leap for the live event industry,” says Intellitix co-founder Serge Grimaux. “The overwhelming response witnessed at Bonnaroo shows the enormous appetite that exists for this new form of communication.”
The RFID “Check In Stations,” powered by the all-new Ford Escape were implemented at five performance stages, The Comedy Theater, Cinema, Silent Disco and complimentary photo kiosks including locations near the Water Slide, The Fountain, and Planet Roo. On average, each post drove an additional 10 consumer engagements/interactions between likes and comments.
The all-new Ford Escape is loaded with cool, hands-free tech features that enable a consumer to connect with every aspect of their lives in a way a vehicle hasn’t been able to before. “No other festival had really tapped into the technology of RFID in such a broad social reach. This intersection of cool tech and social conversation is the heart of the Escape persona, and the perfect platform to connect the Escape to the Bonnaroo audience,” says Ginger Kasanic, Experiential Marketing Manager for Ford.