Every October bank holiday weekend, 1,000 musicians and 40,000 music fans flock to Cork to for the annual Guinness Cork Jazz festival. For three days, the entire city comes alive with brass bands on every corner and top acts in every pub and major venue in Cork, as well age friendly events like parades, food fairs and jazz masterclasses.
The much-loved festival would not be possible without all the dedicated volunteers, bookers, event organisers, musicians and support from our client, Diageo – so for the past few months, we’ve been working with them closely to help them deliver one of the best festivals yet.
Here’s some of what we got up to at the Guinness Cork Jazz festival.
1. Revamped look and feel
Verve designers worked closely with our client to create a brand new, fresh look for this year’s Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. A jazzed up Cork city inspired graphic was used for all festival promotions. We also designed unique variations of the graphic to depict each major venue, which the venues themselves then used to promote their own programme of events for the weekend.
2. Social media strategy
In the three month’s prior to the festival, our digital team took over the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival social channels (Facebook, Twitter and for the first time, Instagram). By creating detailed social media content schedules, we kept the pages busy with all the latest festival announcements, as well as exclusive competitions and Facebook events for all of the gigs. We also maximised reach and engagement by using Facebook and Instagram advertising to reach our target audience.
On-site during the weekend, we boosted engagement by placing Facebook followers in the centre of the action with Facebook Live videos, festival highlight reels and on-street voxpops with revelers. By providing live commentary and coverage through Twitter and Instagram, the official hashtag created for the festival ( #GuinnessCorkJazz ) went trended in Cork, ranking higher than unofficial hashtags #CorkJazz #CorkJazzFestival.
During the month of October, Guinness Cork Jazz festival reached the newsfeeds of 600,000 people on Facebook alone, while social network followers increased 20% over the three platforms.
3. Capturing the atmosphere
Whether a big act was about to hit the stage at Cork Opera House, or a marching brass band started an impromptu sing-along on Oliver Plunkett Street, our photographers and videographers roamed the streets of Cork all weekend capturing the magic of Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. This all created rich social media content that brought the festival to life online.
4. Festival Branding
For the October bank holiday weekend and the weeks preceding, Cork was taken over by the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. From the minute visitors entered Cork city, they were met with branding on bus shelters, pubs, hotels and billboards. We also provided venues with their unique Guinness Music Trail number flags, which positioned them on the Guinness Cork Jazz map. Jazz fans could also pick up a fold out pocket sized festival scheduled at a number of points around Cork City.
5. Festival Launch Event
For the first time, the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival was officially launched from an open air stage on Friday outside the Cork Opera House. To kick off the festival, Lord Mayor Des Cahill said a few words before fans were treated to a free open-air live performance from top jazz acts, as well as Irish favourites Ham Sandwich and Picture This.