Note: Splashy Fen one of 600 trends pulled from the Springleap Creative Insights Platform. For further information on subscribing to the platform, go to www.trends.springleap.com
Splashy Fen is one of Kwazulu Natal’s most anticipated events. Being the province’s flagship music festival (and South Africa’s oldest) it attracts crowds in the thousands every year. Splashy Fen’s grassroots heritage goes back to the inaugural festival in 1990, when farm owners Peter and Almary decided to spearhead the event.
Since then Splashy Fen has become a very popular event, drawing in the young, vibrant and energetic target markets of KZN and the rest of South Africa. Not surprisingly, the festival caters to a large crowd of university students who usually gather in the masses. However, the vibe at Splashy doesn’t doesn’t discriminate older generations; anyone whose young at heart will fit in perfectly.
This year, Splashy Fen attracted adventurers and music lovers, ready to kick back at a week long festival with some of South Africa’s favourite artists. Besides from what goes on at Splashy Fen, the youthful South African market sees these events as holidays; an excuse to forget about life for a while. Outdoor music festivals are now becoming quickfire vacations. Elements such as camping and catering to one’s own needs only amplifies the feeling of being on some kind of adventurous getaway.
Splashy Fen - Why did it Trend?
Splashy Fen’s hype is planned well in advance. Social media takes the reigns in ensuring that the masses know every detail about the event. This year was no different, and the pre-event marketing used a variety of media platforms to spread the word. Video content went viral, and Facebook and Twitter served as the voices of anticipation. Besides the organic hype, the surplus of marketing and brand communication before the festival kickstarted the excitement and buzz.
The idea of taking a long weekend to enjoy the heart of South Africa’s music scene - in the green foothills of the Drakensberg - is appealing to many South Africans. This year, popular bands like aKING, Shortstraw, Taxi Violence (and many more) headlined the festival.
Apart from the bands, Splashy Fen caters to a great deal of arts and crafts, and gives local brands a chance to engage directly with attendees. The variety of attractions, as well as the beautiful and seemingly distant locations, only pushes the idea of a mini vacation. This enables the target market to be enriched as people from around the country came to join the festivities.
Splashy Fen – Why it Matters to Brands
Like many music festivals, Splashy Fen is a thriving marketplace to bridge the gap between consumers and brands. Sponsorships are always a great way to build awareness. Splashy Fen is supported by a number of big names such as Tourism KZN, Jose Cuervo and Savanna. Events are always on the lookout for more brands for sponsorship. For brands, this could be a strategic move to ensure a connection with attendee target markets/untapped consumers. \
Since Splashy fen is viewed as more of a short holiday than a music festival, camping brands could put a name to a face - so to speak. Camp Master and Cape Union Mart could act as sponsors or collaborate with Splashy Fen to help spread relative content online. Consumers would immediately be drawn in by the rugged, adventurous brand identities of these brands. In turn, Splashy Fen would be associated with being a wild vacation as well as trendy music festival.
Splashy – Why it Matters to Agencies
Agencies should view Splashy Fen as an open canvas of experimental creativity. There is opportunity here to pitch rebrands, and transform Splashy Fen’s identity into the ultimate South African music festival and getaway experience. Digital agencies have internal expertise that could allow for Splashy Fen to continuously position itself on the top of SA’s music festival list.
As previously mentioned, viral marketing seems to organically spread through word of mouth and social media. Rocking the Daisies has brought out an annual mobile event app, and Splashy could benefit from such an investment too. Everything from on board mapping, to line-ups, an interactive map, intersting facts, points of interests could be planned out an a visually engaging, easy to use application.
To serve as the voice of Splashy Fen would be a fantastic opportunity for any agency, specialist or fullhouse. There are numerous points of contact, but one way to build hype “en-route” is to install creative billboards along travelling routes. This would engage almost every attendee, and impressive visual communication would lead to organic conversation.