The C-Tribe Festival is taking place in November, and it will bring together some of the world’s top influencers to celebrate enlightened thinking and innovation. We have set aside a block of complimentary diversity tickets for those who need them.
We are committed to representing underrepresented voices in our community. Our current definition of diversity includes people of all gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, and religion. Having these voices attend C-Tribe allows us to grow through interaction, hearing each other’s experiences, and sharing viewpoints.
Festivals are complicated. It is not easy to understand the complexity of some of these events (also known as properties) we’ve gotten to love like South by South West (SWSW) or the Burning Man Festival, but you must give credit where it’s due. There is a certain level of organization, teamwork, execution, and the necessity to balance multiple priorities at once, and these are just a few that deliver on their promise time and time again. So why is there a graveyard list of festivals that never end up seeing the next year?
Think about the process of orchestrating the big ticket details like artist line-ups, attendee coordination, volunteer roles & responsibilities, public relations’ outreach — while not forgetting how many water bottles are needed and what will happen if not as many tickets are sold.
Okay, maybe we have not been able to sell you on the difficulty of the many pieces of hosting a festival. However, perhaps the recent downfalls of Pemberton, Mysterland, Wrecking Ball, and the Electric Daisy Carnival UKcan do the trick.
Some of the most beloved events that keep our generation ecstatic and excited are going away, or “taking some time off.” Now, there are many reasons why a festival will not succeed and by no means are we trying to remedy this with a “one solution fits all” scenario. The answer to this can be as complicated as it is simple.
Accompanied with the hustle & bustle that comes with planning an event of large-scale, the demise can boil down to one thing: the importance of COMMUNITY.
A community-centric approach should be at the heart of every decision made and the long-term goal of every festival. After all, research shows that festival attendees rely on this separation from their daily lives to provide the necessary space to re-evaluate and develop themselves. Amongst other reasons, this is just one factor that festivals have to account for to make community their priority.
This does not mean that a property’s demise happens because they failed on delivering the customer experience. At some point, every festival drops the ball and disappoints, yet some remain in business and others do not.
The difference comes down to the people. Without a community of individuals that are committed to the festival’s success, chances of succeeding and seeing the next year are significantly lowered. Without attendees that are willing to ride the wave in the early days (through the good and the bad) the festival business can be a long and dreadful road.
Communities sprout from the roots. Take for example the Fyre Festival that tried to manufacture their growth by appealing to only rich, and spoiled Millennials and Instagram stars. We do not have to dig any further to see why that ended up the way it did.
A real community is created from organic growth. They cannot (and should not) be manufactured through bribery or any other form of fabricated upbringing. As noted before, a lack of community is not the only reason why festival growth won’t occur, but it is arguably the biggest determinant for success.
During the early days of the C-Tribe Festival, there was no such thing as a marketing budget, and we had very little time to implement any PR or digital campaigns. We stuck to our guns and hit the pavement with community outreaches and door knocking. With only two and a half months until the event strike date, our community — comprised of savvy entrepreneurs, creatives, students, corporate representatives, program coordinators, investors & folks who were just generally curious about innovation — rallied behind us to create an experience that was fulfilling and memorable.
After our inaugural event was when we realized that it was the people in the room and the community that was driving the C-Tribe engine. They were quick to forgive us for mishaps that came up, and their feedback is what propelled us to take things a step further with C-Tribe 2.0.
It is this gratitude and with a little bit of luck that we are excited to grow the festival this November from one to two days of innovative-focused programming, from 13 to 24 speakers, 250 to 500 attendees, and triple the fun. None of this would be possible without the C-Tribe tribe (can we say it like that?).
“Build it and they will come” no longer has any real meaning. Instead, an invested community ensures a festival’s success — not the other way around. — Dan Law, Managing Director, Thrival Festival.