Austin City Limits Festival Preview

Authored by Kayla Brehm

Published on October 3, 2014

The team is a musical bunch, and leading into the two weekend extravaganza that is Austin City Limits, we thought we’d take a look at what makes a great customer service experience at a music festival.

This summer alone we’ve had attend Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, Tomorrowworld in Georgia, and a lot of the team is going to ACL this weekend or next.

We’ve broken down the six components of a festival experience starting with the ticket purchasing experience and ending with the shows themselves.

Ticket purchasing experience:
Large festivals seem to have this part of the experience highly streamlined. There may be some built in anxiety if demand is high, but overall a desirable customer experience is being able to easily buy the ticket, input the information, and receive confirmation.

Venue access:
Anticipation is good, but delay isn’t. Signs, a trip that allows for a gradual increase in excitement, and an easy arrival are the keys to having a venue that is secluded enough to feel like a different world, but not in a way that complicates the experience. Thanks to the wide openness of Zilker Park, ACL does well with this.

Crowd size:
The happy medium at festivals is crowded but with room to move. Festivals that try to optimize for profit at the expense of elbow room tend to hurt the overall experience. On the other hand, if you’re standing in an empty field, it feels like you’re missing the fun.

You’ve already ponied up triple digits to attend this event, the food might as well be decent. Is it what you’re there for? Of course not. Is it part of a great customer experience? Absolutely. ACL does a good job with this by bringing in lots of popular Austin vendors such as Salt Lick, Chi’Lantro, etc.

You’re there for the music, but being dazzled by what you see both at the shows and walking around the festival never hurts. EDC’s stages are what keeps many attendees coming back every year.

You go to festivals because you have big expectations for the acts. To truly “surprise and delight,” the musicians (many of whom you will already have high expectations for), will need to exceed your wildest dreams. This is by far the hardest to excel at for festivals because the reason you’re going in the first place is because you know it’s going to be good.

What makes a great customer experience: Getting an unexpected appearance from a favorite artist or having a great show extended by a little bit is something that takes a festival from being a lot of fun to being a cherished memory. EDC’s performances are full of such surprises, such as other singers (Matthew Koma this year) or DJs (Hardwell this year) showing up at shows they aren’t expected at and performing.

ACL is one of the best times of the year in Austin. Even if you’re not going to the festival, if you’re in Austin you’ll get to experience the influx of people and events that pour in during ACL. Enjoy the music, enjoy the food, but most of all, enjoy the people. If you see one of us, come say hi!

Tell us your story about a festival. Leave it in the comments below or @helpdotcom.

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