Happy Music Festival Case Study

Happy, an exclusively new Australian music, art and culture, and music news blog came to us in 2010 with the idea of a community driven music festival based in Sydney’s inner-west. They needed to build a brand, boost their online presence and grow a loyal community of musicians, fans and supporters to ultimately showcase their vision of an ideal festival and resonate as a force within the local music industry.

Rather than focus on individual stages, we took the approach of treating Happy like a major cultural event and built the plan around that brief. We helped them develop a brief, brand and sub-brand as well as a profound mission statement for the project.

happy mission statement
Happy Musical Festival video production partner Industrie Media collaborated with us to create these video interviews with some of the festival’s earlier performers. They’re an exciting and insightful little prelude to the full blown live events which will be filmed and pushed live via their social network.

Happy currently boasts over 7000 Facebook followers and 5000 Twitter followers and as a significant community event we are always working with them to explore new social media platforms that may be leveraged to their advantage.

Although Happy’s original mission statement remains, the branding has evolved to reflect a new perspective. No longer confined to single insular shows, Happy’s transformation into a fully digital platform – to support the rapid spread of post event activity – now speaks to a wider audience on a much larger scale.

We redeveloped the mascot to literally reflect Happy’s new pixel-inspired ‘face’ in 2013.

happy branding
The original Happy Music Festivals in 2011 were a series of free shows at various bars in Sydney’s inner west. Happy needed to promote the shows and draw a crowd with minimal budget.

These retro posters were used in a guerilla style advertising campaign – on telegraph poles and in local cafes and shops to directly target local music lovers.

Happy Poster
We worked with Happy to develop the music blog in 2011, a strategy to boost online presence. Happy’s existing network of bands and musicians can now reach their full potential and target a wider audience online with interviews, music news and articles on prolific industry events such as Splendour In The Grass.

Now with over 10,000 subscribers, the blog boasts a very strong and loyal community of music lovers, 75% of which are Sydney locals.

Happy Music Blog
Part of the Happy vision is to make a significant impact on Sydney’s and ultimately Australia’s growing artistic credibility at an international level. It was obvious to us that they need a point of difference on all levels that reflected this intent.

This is an illustration we created for an interview with North Arm on the music blog, just one example of the uniqueness of the Happy concept. The outstanding social engagement from this post alone has since sparked a series of band illustrations commissioned from various artists all over the world.

North Arm
Happy returned to us in 2013 to relaunch the music festivals – this time with a much bigger infrastructure and with the same vision of a world class festival event embracing artistic and cultural diversity. Together we created the concept of Happy Campfire Sessions: secret, acoustic shows played by well known headline acts with support from local bands.

Happy Music Festival is a community driven festival who came to us to build a brand, boost their online presence and grow a loyal community of followers

We designed and built a fully responsive and dynamic website as the first stage of the campaign – allowing prospective partners, sponsors and bands to become familiar with the Happy Campfire Sessions before its launch later in 2013.

Happy Website
A major feature of the Happy Campfire Sessions is post-event online coverage, where the excitement lies in the unknown potential of viral sharing. It seemed only natural to enhance the ‘virtual world’ of the Happy Campfire Sessions to prospective sponsors.

So we created fully digital proposals including a media kit with infographics, stats, and figures. Each proposal had password protected URLs tailored to individual companies as part of the festival’s exclusive digital marketing campaign.

digital proposals
The Happy branding has evolved somewhat since its launch in 2010 to better reflect the pivots the company has made along the way. We’ve branded all elements of Happy, from it’s first logo concept right through to the most recent venture – the Happy Campfire Sessions. We’re currently helping them expand into New Zealand and Canada!

Happy Campfire Sessions
We printed these beautiful die-cut postcards and business cards so that people could take hang on to a little bit of the feeling we’re building with Happy. Even in the context of a festival that pulls together live experiences that will live on through digital distribution, tradition promotions and the affection people feel for them can’t be forgotten.

The Happy man has made his way now into dozens of bars, cafes and local hangouts in Sydney’s inner west.

Happy Print
The Happy-IYBI relationship is one we couldn’t be more proud of. Three years later the brand now boasts a huge number of music events under its belt and a successful music blog with a rapidly growing community. With the snowballing hype for the upcoming secret Campfire Sessions, there are big plans in the pipeline!

Happy also have an excellent gig guide which you should definitely check out.

Happy Statistics
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by Radi Safi

Radi Safi is the Creative Director at IYBI. In 2012 he launched Happy, a music blog and media company.
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