Once a year Smögen shines a little extra. For two days, Havsvallen's football pitch – in the middle of idyllic cliffs, boathouses and fish taverns – is transformed into an area for music, partying and community. Here, visitors from Sweden and Norway come together, but also guests from, for example, the USA, England and Switzerland. What attracts the public to Smögen? Well, there are world-renowned DJs, there are Swedish live artists and there are exuberant festival emotions. It's Amaze Festival and it's summer on the island.

Amaze Festival at Smögen. Photo: Fabian Engström.

From one to two days, and 5,000 to 8,000 daily visitors

Christian Öster, Olof Isacson and Philip Johansson. That's the name of the three founders behind Amaze Festival. With a strong connection to Smögen and an idea to mix intimate daytime party, exotic open-air nightclub and grand festival, Amaze Festival could become a reality in 2018. The festival was then only one day long and the audience came to listen to EDM artists like Steve Angello, Otto Knows and Molly Sandén. Since then, the number of days has doubled and so has the number of visitors – from one to two days and 5,000 to 8,000 daily visitors. Since December 2022, All Things Live is also a co-owner.

At the time of writing, the 2023 edition of Amaze Festival has recently taken place. A total of 14 artists and bands were on stage, where, for example, Victor Leksell, Dada Life and Daniela Rathana got the audience rocking on day one, and where Will Sparks, Steve Angello and Bolaget provided the show on day two. In total, the festival was visited by 8,000 guests per day.

– We sold out. Even before the festival had started, we could ascertain that all VIP tickets and 2-day tickets were sold out, says Åsa Johansson, Event & Social Media Manager at Amaze Festival.

Bolaget at Amaze Festival. Photo: Albin Hag.

Event & Social Media Management – an important part in the planning of Amaze Festival

As Event & Social Media Manager, Åsa is responsible for two main parts: event management and social media. As for the events part of the role, she takes care of everything that has to do with the artists from the moment they are signed: press photos, transport, hotels, backstage, riders, artist lodges and communication with managers. The event part also includes some staff responsibilities, contact with sponsors, photographers and partners, as well as time to answer emails. There are many logistical challenges to be solved.

– I have a very central role. If I'm not in a conversation with an artist manager, I'm emailing the hotels, buying things for the green room or syncing gig schedules and sound checks. No task is too big or too small, says Åsa.

When it comes to the second part of the role, Åsa is responsible for structuring and planning the content for the festival's social channels. This includes both the production of graphic material and the publication of posts, as well as marketing, advertising and interaction with followers. Here, they have invested heavily in personal content that should increase customer satisfaction. Åsa develops:

– I want our social channels to be a place for our followers to hang out. Whether I'm posting stories on Instagram, getting a DM on Facebook, or going through the mail inbox, I respond to all comments and questions. I want to build long-term relationships with our customers, and there the interaction is extremely important.

Åsa shares a special happening where she really got to bond with the festival's visitors:

– This year I received a question from a group of guys at a bachelor party, in the middle of the festival. They asked if they they could get a t-shirt signed by Bolaget. Of course I wanted to help them! I asked the guys in the band and they also thought it was a fun thing to do. As a bonus, Victor Leksell also signed after Bolaget's performance.

Victor Leksell at Amaze Festival. Photo: Caroline Svensson.

Two success factors for a successful festival: mindset and tools

As a marketer of events, Åsa believes that it is important to work smart and do more than is expected, and to use the right tools. She explains:

– When you work with an event that happens once a year, you need to be as prepared as possible. At the same time, you need to understand that anything can happen and therefore have the right mindset that everything will work out. Having good relationships, good collaborations and flexible digital tools that provide the right conditions and enable good working methods, are therefore crucial to success.

One of the tools Amaze Festival uses is MarketHype, a platform for marketing events and experiences. The industry-specific system automatically collects customer and sales data from Amaze Festival's ticketing system Tickster. The data is cleaned, supplemented with additional contact information and then visualized, so that the user can quickly increase their understanding of the customer.

– Since we have one festival per year and only get one chance, it's incredibly important that we know our audience and know who they are, what they buy and when they buy. Since we started using MarketHype, we have learned more about the customers and our sales over time, says Åsa.

Amaze Festival. Photo: Caroline Svensson.

Targeted marketing had an effect – the tickets sold out

Let's dig deeper into the fact that the last edition of Amaze Festival sold out – before the festival had even started. How can this be, when several other festivals failed to do this?

– Long before the festival took place, we set a strategy for our marketing. When will we run artist releases? How do we get our visitors to buy tickets? What day and time of the week should we talk to the customers? The fact that we sold out is really proof that the strategy worked, explains Åsa.

Åsa also says that she feels more confident in her marketing now than before, thanks to the functions that MarketHype offers.

– In MarketHype, we can see how sales are actually going, which is very nice. I have followed the sales in relation to campaigns and compared it with previous years' sales. With the system, I don't have to guess – all the data is already there, she says.

– The fact that I can see who our customers are and communicate with them, also means a great deal of security. Social media is a lot of noise, but with MarketHype I can talk directly to the customer. In addition, I can direct communication in a completely new way, Åsa adds.

Yes, the data in MarketHype is directly connected with multiple channels for marketing and communication. The system has built-in tools for sending e-mails, SMS and automations, and the segments built up in the platform can be exported to Meta's target group manager with a simple button press. In addition, the possibilities for filtering are many. The connection simply makes it easier than ever to communicate with customers and target your marketing.

So how does Amaze Festival work with targeted marketing? Among other things, they have created segments such as Early birds and Late birds in MarketHype, in order to be able to communicate directly with the right target group, in the right channel. In addition, they have used their segments for advertising on Facebook and Instagram. And yes, it worked – the tickets actually sold out.

Steve Angello at Amaze Festival. Photo: Wilhelm "Wille" Eriksson.

Now: analyze, evaluate and plan for the 2024 festival

After a successful festival, a period with a slightly slower pace awaits.

– Now I await more photos and videos from the photographers. Then I will analyze, evaluate and set new strategies for next year. Figure out what we want to develop and whether we want to test any new channels, while I continue to keep our social media warm, says Åsa.

Åsa mentions that a developed work of Amaze Festival's e-mail marketing is highly valued. More automation is also on the to-do list. In doing so, they want to benefit previous visitors, provide added value and maintain personal contact – something that will be possible thanks to MarketHype.

– I really enjoy the industry. Getting to meet all the artists, managers, visitors and collaborators is Amazing! I look forward to taking the festival further and developing more ways of working with the help of tools like MarketHype, concludes Åsa.

Daniela Rathana at Amaze Festival. Photo: Caroline Svensson.

More information about Amaze Festival

Do you want to know more about Amaze Festival? You find their website here.