Wednesday, 5 August 2009

It's Festival Time!

I’ve just arrived in Denmark where I’ll be spending most of the next 7 days in a field. Let me explain.

Smukfest is one of a plethora of great festivals that Europe has to offer over the summer. A place called Skanderborg on the island of Jutland (about 3 hours drive west from Copenhagen) will be transformed into a mini tented city as hundreds of thousands of lovely Danes enjoy one big party, entertained by the likes of Kylie Minogue, Fatboy Slim, The Streets, Editors and also the finest Danish bands currently on offer. And Aqua.

Radio 100FM (where I’m Consultant Programme Director) will be presenting over 22 hours of live coverage of the festival and bringing listeners across Denmark the music, action and vibe of Smukfest 2009. ‘Smuk’ means ‘beautiful’ in Danish, and the setting is precisely that... beautiful. Acres of gorgeous woodland topped off with an idyllic lake, opposite which our OB wagons are being set up.

And why are we going to such lengths? Why do radio stations cover music festivals?

It’s important for your brand to be seen, especially in the right places. A well planned and highly visible OB acts as a huge 3D billboard for you radio station if executed correctly

Music Image
All stations need to constantly reinforce their music image, and this can be effectively done by positioning the radio station alongside the right kind of event, both in attitudinally and musically. If you play a lot of Coldplay, being at a festival where they are appearing is probably a good idea. Your P1’s will see this as confirmation they’re with the right radio station for their tastes.

Music festivals provide hours of great content for both on-air and online. If you’ve tied up the rights correctly, you can have exclusive performances from core artists to your station recorded from the main stages, interviews with some big stars, acoustic sessions and live shows that offer a real point of difference

Listener Engagement
Radio stations are often guilty of ‘hiding’ in their industrial estates or beautiful media style offices in the cool part of town, and as a result, the staff don’t get to speak to listeners enough. Having an opportunity to talk to and ‘touch’ listeners is a very powerful tool

Sponsorship Opportunity
Commercial stations can create a unique opportunity for a sponsor to be associated with the on air-coverage of a really cool event. Build in ticket giveaways, ‘best of’ shows, online coverage etc, and the value of the package can be quite substantial and deliver a welcome boost to revenue

There are plenty of other reasons to be there, but these are some of the main motivating factors that drove me to plan this Outside Broadcast. I’ve got a fantastic team of around 18 people working on the production, so it’s a large piece of activity to stage, but I’m confident that we’ll produce some quality radio for our listeners.

As the event unfolds from Thursday onwards, I’ll try and blog some updates with from the OB, and share with you how my vision for the coverage for Smukfest 2009 is turning into a reality.

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