Festival Abierto 2013

part 1 - content generation and audience interaction

part 2 - onsite and results


The increase in size and scope of Festival Abierto 2013 required clearer communication in regards to orientation and rules (a lesson learned from 2012).  Along with the map, a series of informational graphics were created and shared frequently before and during the event.  The idea was to preemptively answer common questions, as well as redirect users and attendees to these visuals on FestivalAbierto.com as much as possible to act quickly and generate traffic.

Map of Festival Abierto 2012, distributed online and placed onsite (click to enlarge)

Onsite is where Instagram's ability to share directly to Facebook and Twitter shone brightest.  Being able to share information as it was developing in a visual manner was vital to driving traffic.  The ability to have multiple people working the Festival's account from different locations enabled more ground to be covered over the weekend.

Over 130 photos were shared on @FestivalAbierto on Instagram over the course of the weekend.  With over 30 sponsors and over 30 NGOs represented, as well as 2 days worth of musical performances, almost anything and everything caught on camera could be made into meaningful content with the right copywriting.  Two important lessons learned:

  • More content = more opportunities for users to ask questions; it is important that all answers come from the same place and tone.
  • Events of this size clog cell phone networks.  When handling this amount of data, the event team should have access, if possible, to dedicated WiFi.



Below is a small sample of published photographs.  If you wish to see more, please visit our Facebook albums for Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th.

Given Festival Abierto's aesthetic principles, the photography volunteers were encouraged to try and be as natural and unobtrusive as possible as a means of differentiating themselves from the usual event coverage found in Panama.  The decision to avoid posing where possible was very much an editorial one.

musical performances

Festival Abierto 2013 featured 13 musical acts between 2 days, with bands from Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, USA, Canada, and Spain sharing the stage with various local acts.

Headliner: Latin Grammy Winner Mala Rodríguez (Spain)

Mala Rodríguez (Spain)

Señor Loop

Xantos Jorge

Meat Puppets (USA)

Zeus (Canada)

Kali Mutsa (Chile)

Zopilot! (Costa Rica)

Caye Cayejera (Ecuador)

Rima Roja en Venus (Ecuador)

Los Tímidos

The Vox

Luci & The Soul Brokers

Samuel Archer


  • Attendance: 25,000 over 2 days (+15,000 from 2012)
  • OOH value: $23,300
  • Ad value: $37,000
  • PR value: $148,000

Publication / PR value breakdown

  • Newspaper: $45,000
  • TV: $459,000
  • OOH: $23,300
  • Radio: $14,560
  • Online: $3,500


Social Media / Web



  • Traffic to festivalabierto.com went up considerably from 6,023 visits between days 1-2 Festival Abierto 2012 to 13,326 visits on days 1-2 of Festival Abierto 2013 - much of the festival information was centralized at the website to redirect users to in case of questions.  Unfortunately, the website itself has changed since and litte visual record exists.
  • Trendsmap.com showed that @FestivalAbierto as the most tweeted to account in Panama on both days of Festival Abierto 2013.
  • @TrendingsPanama (Trending Topics PTY) showed that @FestivalAbierto was the most popular Twitter account in Panama on the weekend of March 23rd-24th.
  • Instragram usage from January 2013-March 2013 managed attract 800+ followers with average of 126 likes per photo.
  • The Facebook fan page grew from 2,600 likes from 2012 to 4,701 fans in 2013.
  • 1,013,163 impressions on Facebook between March 15th and 24th.  Without any promotion.

TVN's media sponsorship of Festival Abierto ran through a period just past the event dates.  The communications team quickly cut a video for a 30s TV spot to thank the attendees and drive home the point that they have a stake and ownership in Festival Abierto's success.  This was an important seed to plant for what would be coming next...