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The Message: Boundary Brighton Festival

The Message, in partnership with I AM POP, is a new monthly insight into the latest direct message and Facebook Messenger marketing methods.

For this edition, Luke Ralph from SuperCharged Events describes how the company is using Messenger to market Boundary Brighton Festival, among other events. (Read the previous column, with MAMA Festivals’ Camella Agalbayan, here.)


Who are you and what is your role in music marketing?
My name is Luke Ralph and I run SuperCharged Events which is primarily based in Brighton. SuperCharged is an underground, bass-driven brand which has been running for over 20 years now. I came on board to run SuperCharged about 18 months ago.

You’ve been using direct messaging to reach the SuperCharged Events audience for a while now. How’s that been going?
It’s been great. It is difficult to not want to overuse it, as the results are so effective, but it does mean you can plan some effective direct messaging posts. I have used it for all major launches, but also to help smaller event launches, with a discounted ticket sale.

It’s a great feeling announcing an event and having 50 or 100 tickets sold almost straight away due to direct messaging. You just have to relay to the customer that the tickets are limited, time restricted or much cheaper than normal – a loyalty bonus, so to speak, for being part of our Messenger collective.

“It’s a great feeling announcing an event and having 50 or 100 tickets sold almost straight away due to direct messaging”

You recently oversaw the launch of the Boundary Brighton Festival Messenger channel. How did you plan the launch strategy and how did it go?
It went fantastically well. Boundary Brighton Festival is a growing festival, with good engagement on the page and other social media. I wanted to convert as many of our followers to the Messenger collective. So, I used a pre-sale sign up with a very cheap ticket price, that you had to sign up for in order to gain access.

The sign up ran for two days so the “hype” wasn’t lost when tickets went on sale, and the cheaper tickets could only be purchased for 24 hours. It was a crazy 72 hour push, but we managed 1,500+ sales on day one. This shattered all previous records and 500 of those tickets sold in less than three minutes!

What broadcast did you send out first? And what were the open rates and effects on ticket sales?
The very first broadcast was the pre-sale ticket link, where I emphasised the sign ups had been higher than we expected – tickets were limited per person to four so someone couldn’t buy 20 of the cheapest tickets to sell on, and included a short “branded tickets now on sale” gif/video with the link.

We had a 96% open rate and converted a huge 70% of those into sales in the 24-hour time period. The only way you could access these tickets was through the direct messaging channel.

“If you don’t think nearly all of the people in your Messenger collective will appreciate the message, it’s probably not worth broadcasting”

How are you planning to use the Boundary Brighton Festival channel from now on? Have you got any cool things lined up for the near future?
Just like a lot of other festivals, we will use it for key announcements (headliner announcements, line-up reveals) and also for competitions. Closer to the time of the event, we will broadcast messages with all the key information we need people to see. And, maybe, we’ll also share set times, or after party announcements.

I have discovered that adding some media to the actual message – and not just a link to an external page – is working quite well and engaging people more effectively.

Any final words of advice for people about to launch their Messenger channel for the first time?
I wouldn’t overuse or rinse the messenger channel, and really think about what you are sending out. The quality of content needs to be high. If you don’t think nearly all of the people in your Messenger collective will appreciate the message, it’s probably not worth broadcasting. Really focus on how you can drive the sign ups – competitions and giveaways are a great way of growing your collective.


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“Ridiculously big line-up” for new Boundary Brighton festival

A new one-day festival that aims to capture Brighton’s “creative energy, lust for life and generosity of spirit” will launch near the English seaside city this September.

Organised by a collective of promoters including local venues Patterns and Concorde 2, Boundary Brighton will feature a “ridiculously big line-up” comprising both live acts and DJs playing house, dub, bashment, techno, drum and bass, breaks, electronica and “even a little crazy jazz” in Stamner Park on 17 September.

Patterns and Concorde 2 will both host their own stages, as will seafront nightclub The Arch. The Arch stage will feature a line-up inspired by “the sounds of Barcelona and Ibiza mixed with a large dose of insanity, outrageous performers, confetti-filled air and crowdsurfing chickens”, while the Patterns stage (in association with a club “known for its intimate dancefloor and impeccable sound system”, says the PR) will provide “an underground edge with deeper, leftfield sounds”.

Live acts and DJs will play house, dub, bashment, techno, drum and bass, breaks, electronica and “even a little crazy jazz”

The Concorde 2 stage, meanwhile – named for the 600-capacity music venue – will “have your hands in the air all day” with a “big stage, big sounds [and] a beautiful façade and personal feel not normally found on a main stage”.

The fourth stage, a Victorian bandstand, will be perched on a hilltop overlooking the rest of the festival and feature “a fun line-up that will keep you smiling and dancing all day”.

Tickets will start at £22.50 plus a booking fee and go on sale on 26 April. No line-up has yet been announced – although how “ridiculously big” can you get for £22.50? As End of the Road’s Lauren Down said at FastForward in February: “This year we had someone saying, ‘I asked for PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem and The National,’ and I was like, ‘OK, do you want to pay £500 for a ticket?”

Watch this space (probably a future Festival Focus) for updates.