Winnipeg Folk Fest

Winnipeg Folk Festival Bug

Another new Winnipeg Folk Festival friend! The live background music while this guy makes a trek across my shirt is making it a lot more dramatic than it actually is.

Ever heard of a folk festival social media team? Me neither. Well not until this year I hadn’t.

I’ve been volunteering at the Winnipeg Folk Festival for the past 5 years and my previous jobs were pretty rad, but they were nothing compared to this year. Not only does the festival hook you up with free passes, they feed you three heaping meals of nutritious goodness daily for the entire festival.

This year I joined the media crew on the social media team. I had the privilege of being able to tweet and Instagram throughout the entire festival on the Winnipegfolk accounts. My role was pretty simple, cover some of the festival stages, feature different artists and wander through the site capturing moments and meeting lots of interesting people.

Needless to say the crew and experience was pretty awesome. The one and only downside was the lack of cell and data coverage in Birds Hill Park (located about 20 minutes north of Winnipeg). The network was completely overloaded due to a 4 times increase in cellular and data traffic compared to the previous year. Not only did this kill our interaction levels (as none of the attendees could get online), I’d have to trek across the festival grounds to the media tent at the main stage to access wifi for every update. This was particularly fun when assigned to the Big Blue stage on the opposite end of the festival site.

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Coverage issues aside, it’s really awesome to see organizations like the Winnipeg Folk Festival embracing the digital age, recognizing the power of new media and social sharing. Oh, and did I mention they have a killer iPhone app too?

I’m already counting down the days until #wff2014. I’ll leave you with some of my favourite moments below in the meantime. Otherwise see you next year Winnipeg Folk Fest!

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