Bringing the world (and the World Cup) to a Philly festival
In 2014, the Philadelphia band Worldtown SoundSystem decided to try something new. They wanted to host a festival in their hometown that would embody their motto: “Celebrating global culture through music and art.” The band, which comprises eight musicians and two DJs, envisioned a day of music, art, food, and entertainment with a multicultural flavor, free and open to the public. To make it happen, they turned to Indie-Life Media.
With only six weeks to prepare, Indie-Life set to work. The World Cup was fast approaching, and we knew that its international appeal would be the perfect draw for our festival. Indie-Life contracted with the Piazza at Schmidt’s, Philly’s largest open-air plaza, to host the Worldtown Festival on the first Saturday of the World Cup games in Brazil, with their huge outdoor Jumbotrons playing the games live throughout the day. Next we needed sponsors, and we found them: Verizon Fios, Puma, Sly Fox Brewing Company, Neuro Drinks, KIND Bar, Global Philadelphia and Visit Philly were only some of the the organizations involved in supporting the event. Over 30 different vendors were present at the event, showcasing everything from tacos to body art. Indie-Life developed sponsorship packages and acted as the liaison between Worldtown and the many corporate and non-profit groups interested in our festival, and we were responsible for all contracts between the venue, the artists, the vendors and the sponsors.
In the weeks leading up to the festival Indie-Life sent out press releases and did some guerrilla marketing with our loyal street team. We developed a comprehensive marketing strategy complete with original graphic designs, flyers and posters, and tapped all our contacts in local media. Our efforts culminated in a resounding success: over 5,000 people flooded the Piazza that day. Festival attendees did a lot more than watch the games–the festival offered dance lessons and yoga workshops, glitter tattoos, carnival performers, an international food truck bazaar, and an evening performance by Worldtown SoundSystem that had the whole crowd moving to global rhythms.
In addition to the hosts, there were performances by Pablo Batista and the Mambo Syndicate, the West Philadelphia Orchestra, La Luna Dance Studio, and Setu Tribe. Five percent of the proceeds from sponsors, the venue, and vendors were donated to the Philadelphia YMCA, Small But Mighty Arts, FIG Family Restoration Corporation and MAJR Magazine.