The Festy

After nine years of growing pains, the Festy was becoming a token festival in the Blue Ridge Region. Frequent structural changes, however, were making it hard to establish a brand. I defined the Festy brand, created a communication campaign, and extended the brand beyond the singular festival to increase engagement in the community.


The Approach

A festival is a community. Its identity comes from the people who attend it, the music, vendors, sponsors, and activities offered during it. Digging deep into all of these elements, I defined The Festy brand.


The Festy was founded in 2010 as a collaboration between The Infamous Stringdusters (band), Devil's Backbone Brewing, and my client. By 2019 the Festy had grown into a 4,500 person festival, relocated to a bigger venue, was still unprofitable, and was solely managed by my client.

Occurring on Columbus Day Weekend every year, the Festy is perfect for families to escape to the mountains for a weekend of camping and great music.


The Festy Audience

It was important to know who the audience was that was attending. They set the vibe, identify with the brand, and are the people who need to be communicated to. Using historical demographic data, personal observation, one-on-one interviews, and a survey, the three audience segments were determined.


The Market Landscape

The Festy Experience has boasted in the past that it is more than just a music festival. Its offerings include a large local craft scene, adventure sports, and educational opportunities in the form of workshops and lectures. 

Festy is unique in the market landscape because it is the only festival that equally represents the core attributes of the community where it takes place. That is the Charlottesville community.


The Festy Brand


From my research, I determined five values that make up the core of the Festy brand.

  • World-Class Music

  • Love of the Outdoors

  • Cross-Generational Community

  • Nourishment

  • Environmental & Social Responsibility

Brand Architecture

From understanding the values that are deeply ingrained in the Festy's community, the brand purpose, brand promise, and brand architecture were uncovered.


Opportunities & Threats

Moving forward, Festy needed to communicate its values and champion its unique identity. Based on the information gathered from the stakeholder interviews and results of the survey, Festy needed to consider two important factors.

  • Environmental responsibility was the Festy's most differentiating value.

  • Lockn' Music Festival, occurring two months prior, was overshadowing the Festy's unique identity.

Communication Plan

Stemming from Festy's Brand Promise, the main message that needed to be communicated is that Festy is a place where one can get grounded. The idea of "grounded" touched on many aspects of the Festy brand. The love for the outdoors, the roots music, the craft food, the mental and physical rejuvenation, and the local feel, all are communicated through Festy's new invitation: "Get Grounded."  



Examples of the creative work all stem from the Festy's new invitation to "Get Grounded."


Logo Update

The logo was updated to present the Festy "F" as a badge where copy can be added to the ring surrounding it. This makes the logo more versatile for future Festy brands in other cities or product extensions.

Experiential Piece

This installation piece would allow for the Festy community to showcase what it is that makes them feel grounded. The installation is also great for sharing on social media or can be displayed in the city of Charlottesville after Festy.


Festy Partner Sticker

The sticker is a tactic to unite the Festy community back home in Charlottesville, specifically businesses and sponsors. Whether, it's music, brewing, food, or culture that you are rooted in, the whole community is united by it's grounding in Charlottesville.

Festy Postcards

The postcard is for local businesses and sponsors of the Festy to offer to customers. It is both an invitation and a schedule of what's to come during the Festy weekend.


The Future of Festy

One of Festy's value propositions is its smaller crowd and intimate setting. Growing the Charlottesville Festy too much would hurt the integrity of the experience. The future of Festy is having multiple festival locations all grounded in towns that can be united under the Festy brand.
Using geo-demographic segmentation data from ESRI, new locations suitable to host a Festy were discovered.

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These five segments of the Charlottesville community were identified as the most important consumer groups to the Festy community.

By overlaying the five consumer segments of where they are most populous in the United States, we can see where similar communities to those of Charlottesville exist.

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Charlottesville's unique pattern can be used to compare it's consumer population groups to other cities in the U.S.

New Festy Locations

A Franchise Business Model

Sponsors, people, artists, and vendors are what makeup music festivals. By understanding the connectedness of these elements under a common brand, one is able to replicate it. With Festy's brand defined, new markets for the festival were identified considering the locations of the brand's audience and major sponsors.

Probable Festy Markets

Asheville, Athens, Ithaca, Ann Arbor, Austin, Fort Collins, Boise, and Eugene were all identified as suitable locations for the next Festy based on consumer segmentation data.

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Expansion Recommendation

The recommended expansion plan is based on the consumer segment data, resource chain, and market saturation.

Asheville, specifically, was recommended as the next city to host a Festy because of the added value of being a shared location with the Festy's presenting sponsor: Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine.

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