There are many aspects one must consider before objectively evaluating an event.
The first of those perhaps is whether it should be appraised as an event. This is pretty much the case with Roots. The festival has meant different things to different people (stakeholders if you like).
The ambiguity attached with a first time festival at first time venue by first time organizers can go either way. In the case of Roots it’s tended positive. I wouldn’t say it’s a roaring success but it’s done more on most counts than was expected when we started of just over a month before the event. It certainly has established a name for itself, so the proliferation exercise on what it is will be a lot crisper next time around as there will be advocates a plenty. It’ll certainly never merely be an event.
Roots Festival which started off as an idea to promote Football(sport) is now a People Project for development at grass root level mixed with Music/tourism/travel/culture. This makes it a distinctly entertaining experience.
As a brand, Roots has very strong independent ideals of social do good and an appearance that is rustic and idyllic.
With other things we’ll have to evaluate how we develop this for scale and scope.
over 5000 locals, about 100-150 Urban Travelers, few Italians travelling with the team made up the numbers. More importantly everyone who came fit right into our TG and was absolutely delighted with the experience.
Through direct contact or via the accepted Facebook insights, there have been no cases of dissatisfaction only testimony to how invigorating the Easter weekend in Periya was.
Did a few things right, such as:
a) Our tone of voice was always the same, untailored merry, offering a chilled out weekend. We dint just say a unique experience we sounded it all the way.
b) We delivered on what we sounded like. A bit of ambiguity allowed people to paint their own pictures of the jungle experience, but what transpired was a story that kept unfolding almost at the same pace for the organizers as the travelers.
c) On ground the Promoters of the event (Shiva Keshavan and family) were fabulous brand ambassadors. They made the idea of Roots make sense.
d) Intermittent surprises, shock value experiences – whether it was the water being served (happened to be red in color, some natural herbs added) or the Elephant that parked itself in the estate where everyone was living. The jam sessions with the band members in the tree houses,,,leather strapped wooden lockets as merchandise to take back as souvenirs .
e) Though the overall pace of the festival was leisurely it did offer enough kicks for people to keep going without being hurried. No routines or itineraries but the festival lawns were always the centre of most action.
There were surely things that went wrong (leeches not included), mostly cases where we had either underestimated the excitement or been complacent with certain parts of our preparation. The good part was, considering Roots was conceptualized only a month back we were prepared for such hiccups and as ambassadors always managed a work around.
The way ahead
1. Video (Our Videographer has recorded hours of Festival footage and would be releasing a 2 minute video of Roots Festival 2011, this one will go online and hopefully viral enough to create even more interest in the next edition)
2. Documentary (Again with the tonnage of footage, there are some plans on how one can release a little documentary on this festival – think it should have a developmental connotation)
3. Facebook Life (The FB life will have to be manged well with intermittent release of photographs which were clicked by the millions)
4. Social initiatives (there are Indo Italian engagements on lines of Medical camp, perhaps exports which will have to be stream lined)
5. Winning team going to Italy (Delivering on the promise a local Wayanad, Kerala based team must go to Italy in a journey that we can call “From Periya to Serie’”
6. Apart from extensive coverage received in Local media, Sports illustrated will be covering the Football piece in the next edition. Again quality of coverage is most important right now.
All in all massive learning experience for us thinkingRasta nothing like anything we’d done before, but maybe it was like that cuz we did it.. know.
We’ll keep coming back to finer points on twitter posts which’d probably culminate into another such post..