Rave scene has made a comeback, transforming from subculture to mainstream in its twenty-odd dormant years. But can Vancouver’s two-day electronic dance music festival, CONTACT, rival with the likes of huge dance parties like the Electric Daisy Carnival, or create local competition for long-standing festivals, such as Shambhala? In the latest issue of Link Magazine, our writer Sarah S. explored the possibility, and argued that one of the things standing in the way of CONTACT’s popularity is the all-ages admission.
“Clubs don’t usually get busy until midnight, and DJ set times are always in the wee hours of the morning… There’s nothing wrong with teenagers… However, an EDM festival seems to be a pass for all sorts of ratchet behaviour.”
(excerpt from “Ready to Rave“)
Organizing an all-ages show has its perks though. Staying true to their generation, many CONTACT attendees took to social media to tell the world about the two-day event. According to a press release issued by Blueprint Events, this resulted in record social media user coverage, which topped all previous Vancouver events.
Numerous Instagram photos, tweets, and Facebook updates expressed the excitement – and concerns – of the crowd.
— Mr. Joe Soo (@josueaparicio) December 28, 2013
— Thisa (@mildred3000) December 28, 2013
— likeabigshot (@the1rad1) December 27, 2013
One common complaint was a long wait in line in the December cold; the outrage on Twitter was so great it even caught the attention of some traditional media sources.
— Kema (@LashesByKema) December 27, 2013
pay 125 to line up outside for half the festival what is this bullshit #CONTACT2013
— krizzle (@kristen_lacroix) December 27, 2013
— Leticia Donais (@LeticiaDonais) December 27, 2013
Organizers of CONTACT made an effort to respond to as many Twitter complaints as they could. This, as co-founder of Blueprint Alvaro Prol notes, is part of the reason for the event’s social media success.
“With these types of events, social media activity is expected. But it isn’t necessarily about how big your audience is, it’s about engagement,” Prol notes. “Our fans are the reason we put on these events, and we love connecting with them. That’s why we have a dedicated team who are committed to engaging with our fans at any of our events, around the clock.”
Organizing a dance music festival in the dead of winter, no matter how mild Vancouver climes may be, is no easy task. But perhaps Blueprint’s social media savvy and a great rapport with Vancouver’s EDM-loving crowd will make up for – and take advantage of – the long night.