Never ones to stray away from an opportunity, best friends and professional snowboarders Danny Davis and Jack Mitrani, just completed their 5th year of producing The Annual Frendly Gathering Music Festival in Windham, VT (June 25th – 27th). The three-day music festival featured almost 30 different musical acts, combining music, camping, yoga, food, skateboarding, and some good downhome genuine “Frendship.” The group developed the projects as way to bring frends together to share a deep love for music, snowboarding and the outdoors. Since their modest beginning, their sponsors include: Burton, GoPro, Skype, Ben & Jerry’s, KIND: Healthy Snacks, Klean Kanteen, Love Your Brain, Martin & Co.)
I sat down with Jack, who was understandably decompressing after a busy couple of months, to catch up and talk about the emergence of music festivals in action sports, the potential for the industry to connect off-season with consumers, and the opportunity to build partnerships with non-endemic companies.
Tom: It seems like music and snow sports mesh pretty well together – i.e. Icelantic’s “Winter on the Rocks,” Bern’s collaboration with Wu-Tang, Burton’s collaboration with Martin Guitars, Volcom’s music label, SkiLogik and K2’s collaborations with The Grateful Dead, etc.) Why do you think that is?
Jack: If you think about it, music and action sports are parallel from a consumer standpoint. They’re both based on culture, lifestyle and entertainment. In the same way contests like the X-Games entertain and inspire people to participate and experience athletes performing in a dynamic setting, music festivals tap into that same part of the brain and offer a similar feel.
Tom: It seems like there’s potential for brands to connect with people during the off-season?
Jack: Absolutely. It gives brands a completely different platform to push their clout/name among individuals, who are either already participating/buying product or individuals who haven’t ever considered the brand. From a social media standpoint – leading up-to and during the festival – it builds interaction which is important during a time that for some people, snow isn’t on their mind.
According to SIA’s Consumer Profile Report examining snow sports participation…
- 8M+ snow sports participants are aged 18-34.
- 39% are women and 61% are men
- 75% of participants age 18-34 have a profile on a social networking site
- 97% have a mobile phone, 72% own a smartphone and 41% have made a purchase on their smartphone.
Tom: What’s next for Frendly? You guys have a lot of steam now – Is this going to be strictly a summer thing?
Jack: No way. We’ve got plans for another one maybe in Colorado and not just during the summer. It’s really important that we stay true to the overall atmosphere, number of attendees and core values for the event. Windham is a pretty self-sustaining spot now and we’ve got a really good team of people. With our new Airstream activation, the possibilities are pretty endless. It gives us a new way to connect with people year-round.
Tom: You’ve been coming to SIA’s Snow Show since the early 2000’s, right? – Why do you keep coming back?
Jack: It’s always a good time at the show. With everyone in the industry in one location, it’s like a mini reunion every year.
Tom: You play guitar, I play guitar….we should jam some time.
Jack: Yeah we should. Let’s do it.
- Reasons to market at festivals: Social Network Interaction, Strategic Partnerships, Experiential Marketing, Off-Season Interaction, Product Placements
- Keep an eye out for new SIA consumer trends research. As part of the ongoing DCIP Report, in the next few weeks, SIA’s research department will be examining consumer behavior as it relates to arts, music, food and culture