Arcadia x EMC Connect Brisbane
This month EMC, Australia’s leading electronic music conference, held an EMC Connect event in Brisbane. EMC Connect is designed to engage people operating in the electronic music industry and give insight into current trends and opportunities within the industry. Arcadia was delighted to be invited to participate on this years panel. The discussion delved into something very dear to our hearts, growing communities. Arcadia founder and director Jordan was on stage to field questions at the industry event. Here are his responses.
What does community mean to you?
Community is extremely important to Arcadia. Our event grew from parties we would throw at the property where Arcadia is now held. Each event has been an extension of those parties. Year on year it seems to bring together more and more like minded people. People not just with similar music taste but also similar lifestyles and values too.
While the growth of the community has been pretty organic, it has been very important to us to ensure we are fostering a safe, friendly and creative community environment.
The community Arcadia has fostered is a reflection of ourselves and of our brand. More and more we are realising the importance of that when it comes to future planning.
We’ve also see what happens when you lose focus on the value of properly defining and cultivating your community. In the second year of the event we were struggling to sell tickets and were doing everything we could to try to move them. We ended up promoting heavily to Brisbane’s backpacker hostels, even putting on a free bus to the event. Well it worked. We sold a lot of extra tickets that way. Unfortunately that was the year four young french guys decided to absolutely destroy their own rental car and leave it on the property. As it turns out Backpackers don’t have the same investment in a community they will likely never see again. We learnt a valuable lesson in the importance of patience and diligence when it comes to community building.
In building your community, was it a conscious decision or was it more of an organic thing where you did your thing then afterwards realised that a community had grown?
Yes and no. we set out with a vision of providing a platform for up and coming artists to connect with like minded music lovers. From there however the small but passionate South-East Queensland Electronic Music scene has really embraced the event and that has made all the difference. We have provided the scaffolding, but the community has really grown itself.
That wider community is something we are pleased we have been able to tap into. Since it’s second year Arcadia has collaborated with a number of other event organisers and brands in the region which has helped further develop and solidify a wider community and audience of like minded people.
With each event, we’ve slowly put together a blue print of how we want to further define the festival. That’s dictated how we’ve gone about developing our line-up, extra curricular offerings and improving our infrastructure.
Because we started this thing without any prior experience we’ve had to grow with the community. As our community expands and matures our skills and ability to deliver a show worthy of an increasingly sophisticated and discerning community need to develop just as fast.
What role does digital and social media plays in supporting/ growing your community aside being used as a tool to promote your activities and events?
We are always trying to leverage social media to help nurture our immediate community. We only get to see everyone together once a year so it’s important to stay engaged. We try to use social media to keep people connected and maintain a sense of community pre and post event. Things like connecting people to ride share, putting the call out for lost property, getting people to share their photos and experiences with the community. Small things that go beyond lineup announcements and ticketing links.
We are also aware that part of our strength lies in the wider electronic music community of South East Queensland. As that grows and develops so will we. Because of this we really try to use our voice to raise awareness of similar events in which we support. Its a great way to build the wider community and strengthen connections with other brands and events.
Cheers for having us EMC, it was a wonderful event!
A big thank you must go to Jane Slingo for hosting such a great night.
Also, shout out to the legends at this years event doing great work in Brisbane - Shandy, Vast Yonder, Centre Source Records & Sampology.