Good Monday morning! … post 2009 Festival

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A wonderfully racous ending to this year’s version of Vancouver Island Music Fest! Thanks to Enter the Haggis for taking it out in style. (I’ve got some pics coming of the cheering, dancing crowd that are pretty blurry, but give a sense of the great energy these guys generated.)

Not sure what’s going on, but there was a sense of calm about this year’s festival. Lots of great energy. Lots of great music. Lots of great folks having a wonderful time. But no sense of craziness that often is part of the behind-the-scenes atmosphere at these kinds of things. The bits of feedback we’d been getting, via our surveys and through the video interiews (posted to YouTube here – with more uploading as I write this), is that people were having a wonderful time, that we’ve done a better job of organizing things like security, and lots of first-timers are going to be coming back. Plus, the long-timers are still getting the groove they come here for. All good news.

This was our first year of doing an active, ‘real-time’ social media campaign. It was cool to have musicians twittering before and after their appearances, audience members making comments about acts and their days via Twitter and Facebook. Some of this was immediately ‘live’ on this site. Some will be trickling in over the next few days and weeks. Lots of photographers out there. We hope you post to Flickr and tag your pics with “vimf” or “islandmusicfest.” You can find my festival fotos here on Flickr. I was working on two themes this event: “body art,” and “enjoying food.”

If you’re doing anything online that relates to the festival – blogging, twittering, Facebooking, YouTubing (did I miss something?) – PLEASE tag it. We’ve been getting feedback from folks who couldn’t attend. They were appreciating all the online, more-or-less real-time stuff being posted.

Vancouver Island Music Festival is more than a musical experience for me. One young festival goer noted (and this was echoed in many interviews I did), that VIMF is aslo about the people I’m sharing music and real-time space with. It’s a battery charger for sure. Yes, there are thousands of us on site. But it’s a very warm, relaxed group of people. Lots of space to just be, and enjoy the music, the sun, the conviviality. I may be physically exhausted this morning, but my spirits are high.

If you were on-site this year, thanks for being part of an exceptional festival experience for me. If you couldn’t make it, I hope that our social media stuff filled gave you a taste of how much fun it was – and I’m hoping you’ll be here with us next year.

Cheers… hpm

ps. To follow some of the musicians and other folks who are twittering about VIMF, check out our followers at @vimusicfest. You can also become a “friend” of VIMF and/or a “fan” of VIMF on Facebook (I know, it’s sometimes confusing; my advice about social media:just dive in; don’t be scared at the “firehose of information” that’ll hit you; pick and choose what’s important to you, and what isn’t; don’t feel like you have to “friend” or “fan” or “follow” everyone who invites you; it’s all about making real-time connections better, not about being phoney in virtual-time, or about wasting time on the screen when you want to be out and about).

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