Where do I even start? A mix between Coachella, T in the Park, Creamfields and everything in between…I will most probabaly be the one of only a few people to say I was at Electric Avenue sober; had two hot chocolates with almond milk…welcome to my thoughts on a music festival in Christchurch…
What happened at the event?
As soon I arrive I realise I’m not wearing a ridiculous flowery shirt and I am ancient in terms of the age range. It’s 1pm and I thought let’s get their to experience the full day and immerse in the full experience. Immediately I don’t belong here because I don’t have glitter face masks as if there in a coachella and shirts that would make you feel your in a place that is totally not Hawaii. Surrounding me is a collection of university students, Christchurch Nobel music attendees and the ones who have recently been on gym programmes. Then there was me – in my favourite T-shirt with my yellow hoodie and hat covering my head from the sun and my water bottler – total Festival goer.
3 stages and a rave in the cave was the main product. With 25 artists in 12 hours this was something special for Christchurch and for me was certainly an experience like nothing I had ever experienced before.
I had been fortunate I had met the team who organise Electric Avenue earlier in the week. It was amazing to meet them and understand the product. Alannah from Team Event gave me thorough run through of everything to check out and about the event. At the end of the meeting I met Callum the owner of Team Event and also Clare who was brilliant on the day with exchanging thoughts of the event. It’s evident that this is hard work from Callam and his team that has constructed a europhical experience. Electric Avenue is New Zealand’s Coachella and is consumed similar due to many different factors. Firstly because globalisation has allowed people to feel like they should experience that and then a market is there for them.
The euroaphical experience came later on at night when the music was taken control of everyone’s bodies and the sun set. Eyes closed and phones away as Aloe Blacc, Shapshifters, Orbital and others created a transformational sesntational experience for us all to consume with our senses.
Some of the key things and learning points I gathered was…
AWOP – a cashless event meant that no bar or food unit was accepting any cash or card it was all done in the wristband. The wristband, as seen below was able to be topped up at the AWOP bank on entry. You had to top up at a bank in the event and every time you purchased something you scanned your rest.
More than music – Just for the hell of it a zebra on stilts was running through the crowd. Arts mixed in led to some quirky engagement and photo opportunities. Art adds to a musical journey because memories at festivals should not just be musical but visual memories enrich the experience.
Food and drink – was a mixed amount of some great culinary treats. I had a lovely quarter of chicken with chips and the price was very reasonable and the taste was delicious. It was exactly what I wanted while visiting Electric Avenue. And big shout out to Empire Coffee who were absolutely lovely and there hot chocolates were exactly right for the festival!
The event had a constant selection of music going which made people meander and seek out entertainment or in a lot of cases to see there favourite singer. The event was, for me at the start, I was worried. But 13 hours later – I was home and loving the fact I attended a pretty dam amazing festival!
Anything else to add?
The direction of Christchurch is for sure going in the right way. A world of opportunities are coming to this city which 8 years ago was devastated by the February 22nd earthquake. But 8 years later 15,000 people are in a park immersing with the latest global headliners. Events were the thing that brought people together when the earthquake caused heartbreak and devastation. They were the driving force to keep the focus. Now, 8 years later I stand and watch people love themselves and enjoy their time.
Electric avenue has the potential of changing a few elements operationally to enhance the customer journey. A charging unit, a distinct information point, a static interaction that would allow people to post photos and other simple items to really just add to the amazing experience.
The final thing – after I left the event I took the whole wrong direction. I was going in completely the whole way and thankfully just after my phone died 5 youths of Christchurch shouted Hello are you ok? By this point it’s pitch black. I have no clue. They were so kind and they took me back to my hostel street. But here’s the amazing thing – there energy, there focus on friendship and our laughter we had for probably about 50 minutes was amazing. Aashsh, Brooke, Mka, Seth and Victoria are the beacon of this city. They are the future to drive Christchurch back to a global city and to make this city a place people want to experience and be part of. So thank you for allowing me to part some knowledge and also for you making sure I didn’t get lost.
One thing to take away…
Electric Avenue has a following of fans and loyal ones at that! The package and product of Electric Avenue is there and people buy into it. It’s the growth that will now be amazing to see and understand because people will want more…that’s for sure…but it’s how the growth is controlled to be success rather than rushing straight in.