As the official Digital Music Partner of the Coachella festival in Indio, California, music streaming service Spotify has found a way to connect with the legions of fans attending the event that goes beyond the usual badging exercise.

The brand has made it possible for fans attending the event to capture their Coachella experience using the RFID wristbands that act as attendees’ ticket to the event. With a memory-challenging line-up of close to 100 bands and artists performing across two weekends, attendees could likely use the help.

After syncing their wristband via the website, users could check in at 17 points set up around the site, collecting custom playlists created for the event and existing playlists curated by luminaries like Pharrell Williams, as well as following updates from their favourite bands and artists.

The wristband also tracked their movements around the site, and, once the event itself was over, compiled a personal snapshot of each user’s Coachella experience into a digital postcard they could share with their friends – a manifestation of the campaign’s #WeWereThere strapline. Your distance travelled in footsteps, the number of artists seen and playlists collected were all aggregated into “My Coachella Story” and, the hope is, circulated well beyond the 90,000 so ticketholders attending each weekend.


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Contagious Insight

Extending the Event: A challenge facing sponsors of any big event is how to extend and intensify the experience in the hearts and minds of attendees once the occasion is over, and Spotify’s approach to Coachella offers a perfect solution. Rachel Moreno, Spotify’s global director of experiential marketing explains: “We want to connect with Coachella users so that they can relive this festival experience, which strengthens their relationship with our brand and [will]have them listening to more music.” Despite all the attention the festival attracts from the fashion press, the real draw is the music, but it’s impossible to see every act at once. By creating a way for fans to access music curated by their favourite bands, and allowing them to easily sample the work of less familiar artists, Spotify does a great job of deepening the connections between the audience, the performers and their brand.

It’s All In The Wrist: We’ve seen RFID wristbands deployed in a variety of ways at crowd-pulling events, from Coldplay’s spirit-lifting colourful synchronised LEDs to Barclaycard’s functional Paybands which allowed people attending London’s Wireless festival to go cashless. Spotify even teamed up with Last.FM a couple of years back to build anticipation around the summer’s festival schedule with a playlist generator that introduced fans to less familiar artists in advance to boost enjoyment of the event itself.

But what we love about the Coachella partnership is the use of this accessible technology to extend the lifespan of the event, and expand the attendees ability to appreciate tracks they heard at the festival along with additional suggestions from members of the bands they love. Combine that with the amplified impact created by the shareability of those digital postcards, and you have the feel-good hit of the summer on your hands.


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This is the latest in a series of midemblog posts from Contagious I/O, abespoke database of trends, inspiration, insight and analysis, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. Contagious is a midem content partner – More information here; and be sure to sign up for the Contagious newsletter here!

About Author

James Martin is Head of Social Media for Midem organisers Reed MIDEM. This includes defining and rolling out Midem's social media strategy, editing midemblog, influencer outreach, developing Midem's fanbase of 75,000+ music professionals and more.

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