Once upon a time, music festivals were few and far between. If you asked your parents’ about them, they could probably tell you something about Woodstock. If you spoke to your brother, he’d probably say how he wishes he remembered more of Steve Winwood’s set at Bonnaroo 2004. Today, however, festivals are commonplace. Mammoth gatherings like Bonnaroo and Coachella attract hundreds of thousands of attendees and showcase some of music’s best talent every summer. In 2014, there were 847 music festivals in North America. This year, there are 5 festivals taking place in Atlanta alone. In order to capitalize on this modern phenomenon, Atlanta-based startup, Festivus, launched the first all-in-one app on February 17th that serves as an digital ecosystem for festival-goers and festivals alike.
Founded by Jason McGraw (lead programmer), Brad Hobbs (data analysis), Elijah Watkins (CMO & director of operations), and Nick Lulofs (director of marketing & street team management), “Festivus is the ultimate festival app, connecting festivals, artists, and users in an exclusive ecosystem that encourages discovery and socialization. Whether it’s finding new festivals, finding/listening to what artists are playing, or connecting with friends new and old, Festivus is all things festival,” says Lulofs.
Attending plenty of festivals themselves, the founders tried some of the individual in-house apps and found a recurring pain point. While informative, they were not easy to navigate and lacked a social element, two things Lulofs and the Festivus team pride themselves on. “We’re solving several problems. Festivus allows users to make new friends at festivals, join crews to keep up to date with where their friends are and what they’re doing, and follow artists. Festivus is going to change the way people find and go to festivals. Whether it’s eliminating the need to have three different apps to communicate with friends, keeping up to date with the latest news on festivals they’re interested in, or listening to new artists, Festivus puts it all into one easy to use app,” he explains. “For festivals, we’re solving the problem of marketing towards the right demographic. Festivals will now get to spend their marketing dollars on people who actually want to go to festivals, rather than wasting money on broad marketing campaigns that have little efficiency.”
When it comes to Atlanta, the Festivus team are big fans. “Atlanta is the best place for startups, and especially great for festivals,” brags Lulofs. “We’re located in the heart of the South East, where there are a ton of festivals either in the city or a short drive away. Networking opportunities in Atlanta are ridiculous and allows us to meet people we never would have known about.”
The next step for Festivus is publicity and a continued focus on back end development. In March, the Festivus team will be hitting the road to test their app at the first festival of the year, Buku Music + Art Project in New Orleans. The Android app is 2 to 3 months away from release, but you can download the app for iOS in the App Store today.
[The Festivus Team w/ Yik Yak’s Founders, from L to R: Brad Hobbs, Nick Lulofs, Elijah Watkins, Brooks Buffington, Tyler Droll, Jason McGraw]