Sonisphere Takes It To The Streets

The English version of Sonisphere has recruited 300 rock fans to promote the event throughout the UK.

They were selected from more than 3,000 applicants and will be rewarded with the chance to get free tickets and merchandise if they achieve ticket referral targets. They’ll also get commission on any tickets they sell.

Building on the success that saw the international touring rock event sell its 1 millionth ticket in just its second year, Sonisphere has unveiled a number of groundbreaking new marketing initiatives that allow fans to get more closely involved with the third round of festivals.

Those not fortunate enough to be among the 300 chosen for the Sonisphere City Ambassador Scheme can still help the festival fly the flag and earn free tickets via a tie-up with social ticketing website, which allows people to sell tickets to their friends with a similar incentive programme.

Fans who would prefer just to help “spread the word” online, rather than selling tickets, can join the new Sonisphere E-Team, where members are awarded points for generating in-bound traffic to pages on the official Sonisphere website. These points can be used to buy items from the festival’s official merchandise store.

Kilimanjaro Live, which recently won promoter of the year at the European festival awards, and its marketing team – headed by Virtual Festivals founder Steve Jenner – won “Digital Business Of The Year” in the UK’s Digital Entrepreneur Awards.

“We like to road-test our marketing initiatives in the UK initially and then, when we’re happy with them, work with our partners in the other territories to scale them up internationally,” Jenner explained.

“With consumer marketing becoming increasingly ambassador-led, blurring the boundaries between digital and offline, we are delighted to be leading the festival charge on this movement with Sonisphere, and developing even closer relations with our customers in the process.”

Jenner is also using a similar approach with Virtual Festivals, which is expanding the army of volunteer contributors it uses to cover events.

These individuals will be assigned specific events and tasked with promoting Virtual Festivals’ coverage of those events across social networks as well as generating deeper content such as lineup rumours and more detailed information.

E-Team members will score points according to performance and incentives will include the chance to upgrade their tickets to VIP.

Apart from having Sonisphere grow to the point that in 2011 it will play the UK and 11 other European countries, the event also boasts Europe’s most visited rock-focused website.

In 2010 it had 27 million page impressions accessed by more than 5 million unique users. It also has the largest festival following on Facebook with 320,000 fans.

Sonisphere returns to Knebworth Park, near London, July 8-10 and will feature the UK’s first collective appearance by what is being dubbed as the“Big Four” metal acts of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. Biffy Clyro and Slipknot are also among the headliners.

The European Sonispheres are confirmed for Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.