By Jason Epstein
Though you may not have heard of Superfly, you’ve definitely heard of their most famous event, Bonnaroo. We spoke to Superfly partner Ken Weinstein about the fans, the atmosphere and the attractions that the popular Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Googamooga festivals are known for.
SoundCtrl – Who do attendees tend to be more excited for in terms of social media and word-of-mouth activity: the next big thing or an old favorite?
Ken Weinstein – It really varies; our fans are extremely social and they love turning each other onto new music. It’s a really strong community filled with people who trust each other. But you also see Twitter and Facebook explode when the fans are blown away by seeing legends do their thing.
SC – Vibe-wise, can you describe some of the differences between the atmospheres at Googamooga, Bonnaroo and Outside Lands?
KW – Well, with Googa that’s a whole other experience because it’s a food fest first. And it’s in NY so automatically the energy is different. It’s fascinating to watch the people deal with chefs and restaurants as rock stars essentially. There is the same excitement. People just want to try everything, so they’ll get food and then eat it while waiting in the next line for more food. Outside Lands is a music festival with a strong food element. At Googa, the food is the star. At Outside Lands, the food shares the spotlight with the music. Golden Gate Park sets the tone and it’s just a tremendous vibe there. It’s so beautiful there. People are so excited to hang in the park and see these incredible bands and eat this unbelievable food and have all of Sonoma and Napa come to their front door. And Bonnaroo is a completely different world. It’s its own ecosystem. It’s not a city fest; it’s a camping festival. It’s a destination that people from all over the world come to. Fans come to live with us for 4 days on the farm. That makes it very different from all the fests. It’s a gateway to the summer. People feel very comfortable and free there. They let their hair down and just love being a part of the legendary tradition that is Bonnaroo. It’s very special.
SC – What are some of the aspects that are improved, changed or evolved for these festivals year to year? How much do attendees contribute to those enhancements?
KW – Every year we strive to update and improve. We really spend a lot of time after each event breaking it down and exploring every minute element to see how we can do it better next time. Whether that’s figuring out what attractions to add to make it a more fun experience or how much more infrastructure we can add to make the festival more comfortable, easy and functional. Our fans know we’re very open to hearing their suggestions and opinions. We take them quite seriously and weigh them all when figuring out how to improve each year.