Johannesburg, the New York of Africa, the cultural heartbeat of the nation. It was without question the most significant location for South Africa’s first Red Bull Music Academy Weekender. The four-day festival saw a huge roster of African artists ascend on the city for intimate gatherings, concerts and in-depth seminars. We executed an integrated campaign to drive event attendance and reinforce Red Bull brand equity across the South African cultural scene.
The city has seen a concentration of incredible struggles, its music became an instrument of protest, a rally cry for change and a celebration of freedom. Our first challenge was to develop a visual language for the event that looked to acknowledge the impact of the city on its musical output, framed by those who rose triumphant from its past.
The power of a festival with so many artists lies in each of their audiences. We created unique pieces of content for each artist to post on their own social channels, unlocking massive attention through the combined social reach. All artists were supplied custom content while a select few headliners were given moving cinemagraphs for added impact.
Opinion leaders and the press were sent a book containing everything needed to report on the event, along with pop-up rendition of the campaign artwork to guarantee intrigue.
Out-of-home sites were chosen for their scale, with placements focused around Braamfontein to insure domination of the skyline from all access points into the area. The largest billboard towered over the bustling center of Braam, acting as a huge backdrop to the events taking place on street level over the weekend.
Red Bull goes beyond simply throwing concerts to actually supporting the local music industry itself. We looked to express these values in trade through the creation of a replica DJ booth, equipped with speakers and the ability to play music. The booth allowed us to fill valuable floor space and provided a great platform for event artwork. We then provided a WhatsApp number for fans to join a group and stand a chance of winning the ultimate RBMA Weekend.
The Note, Red Bull Music Academy’s broadsheet for the festival, has been designed by legendary studios around the world. We took great pride in our creation of Africa’s first edition. And of course had to give the cover to Black Coffee.
By extending the campaign Art Direction into the festival environment we closed the loop between communication design and the experience itself. Attendees were delivered a carefully considered environment across all 7 venues, with graphic designers, VJs and lighting technicians working together to bring a united vision to life.