Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bonnaroo wants to be a lifestyle brand

Coming off its ninth year, the founders and producers of Bonnaroo know they've hit on a winning formula, but they're still working to improve the outdoor music festival held each June. It's already among the highest-grossing music festivals in North America.
In an interview with Tennessean business reporter Bonna Johnson, Rick Farman and Rich Goodstone, two of the four partners in Superfly Presents, which helped create Bonnaroo, said they plan to hold other types of events at their 700-acre field and concert hot spot in Manchester, Tenn.

The young music and marketing executives also say they hope to position Bonnaroo as a lifestyle brand that resonates with consumers long after the last band has left the stage.

What role does Superfly Presents play in putting on Bonnaroo?

RelatedPHOTOS: Highlights of Bonnaroo 2010

Farman: We're one of the co-creators of the event with AC Entertainment. We formulated the initial concept for the event and built the brand name. We oversee a wide range of areas: most of the operations, the profit centers like concession sales and VIP packages, as well as sponsorships, marketing, the website and general messaging.

How has the festival evolved?

Farman: On the operational side, a big part of the evolution has been building infrastructure on the property that we knew would improve the fans' experience — building a permanent main stage, having electricity throughout the site and having a roadway system. Those were things we didn't have at the beginning.

In doing things like that, we've been able to run things more efficiently and deal with adverse weather conditions. On the programming side, we evolved from initially being a roots, rock, jam band scene to becoming more of a great American rock festival with every type of music represented.

What do you envision in the coming years?

Farman: Bonnaroo as a physical event … we want to make it better, more efficient, easier and accessible to come to. We will achieve that by making capital improvement and investments.

The fact that we own it — we bought (the site) in 2007 — and put in infrastructure in 2008 and 2009, you've already seen investments being made. We'll continue to look at items such as bathroom facilities, RV-hookup facilities, different road configurations to ease traffic flow, drainage and landscaping.

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