Project Description

Ford Arts, Beats & Eats

Dangerous Weather Threatens Festival, Patrons Turned to Social for Answers

abe_logFor more than 15 years, Ford Arts, Beats & Eats has been one of the state’s largest end-of-summer festivals.

One summer, severe storms quickly descended upon the festival. As quickly as the thunderclouds and high winds rolled in, they departed. Event attendees instinctively turned to social channels to learn where they should take cover during the storm and then once the storm passed, to find out if the festival was going to re-open. As event staff was securing the festival and moving people to safety, media members also turned to social media in hopes of securing updates on the festival and the safety of its patrons.

Ford Arts, Beats & Eats is attended each year by roughly 100,000 people and held outside in downtown Royal Oak, Michigan.
Marx Layne team members took over manning the festival Facebook and Twitter streams via iPads, both onsite and offsite. The plan was to minimize panic of festival patrons by providing them with the information they were seeking and keep them safe. It was important to quickly handle media queries and media members worked to update their own audiences about the status of the festival.

Posts were quickly created telling festival-goers where to seek shelter. Individuals who reached out to Arts, Beats & Eats about shelter were also responded to as quickly as possible on both channels. Media queries were then address.

Once the storm cleared, our team began sharing re-opening announcements through the festival’s social channels and spent the evening responding to direct queries about the status of the festival.

The social posts were able to direct hundreds of people to shelter on the festival grounds until the storm passed. When the evening headliner, Bret Michaels, took the stage that evening, he was greeted by a packed house.