CUstomer Story
New Zealand
Endeavour Live

Hear how Endeavour Live became a touring force powered by the Audience Republic platform

From sold-out festivals to record-breaking tours, this New Zealand company harnessed brand power, audience loyalty and fan data to become a globally-recognized success.

Audience CRM
Email Marketing
Event Insights
Paid Advertising Audiences
SMS Marketing

Congratulations on celebrating the 20th anniversary of Rhythm and Vines this year. This is a huge achievement. What do you feel has been the key to your success?

Kyle Bell (Marketing Director, Rhythm and Vines Marketing & Co-Founder, Endeavour Live): Yeah, it's great! The festival is now into its 20th anniversary; I guess it's been a roller coaster. If you look at Rhythm and Vines from its early days as a one-day concert, moving to a three-day format, it's been highs and lows. The last couple of years is what you could probably put in the low category in terms of dealing with the COVID landscape. But we also had some critical highs being able to get the go ahead in 2020.

But the key to the success of Rhythm and Vines, I guess, is just that being an experienced music festival, we got it to a point where we're selling 20,000 tickets before we even release the lineup. We put a lot of effort into that trust, the brand, so people know that they are going to get that experience.

Then we follow with a great lineup. Our programming team is one of the best in the world, in our eyes. They know what the fans are into and what they want to see, and continue to build that experience so that people keep coming back.

The other thing with the Rhythm and Vines festival is, it’s a year round business. We have the festival on New Year's Eve, it finishes on the 1st, and then two weeks later we start presale for the next year. Usually tickets sell out around July, August, and then we're into resale. So that's why our social engagement is so important, and having a constantly on-sale mindset keeps it a year round entertainment industry for us.

The COVID pandemic was an incredibly tough time for the live music industry. How did lockdown and various restrictions affect the local scene, and what helped you navigate this time?

Kyle: I mean, it was definitely a waiting game. There was a lot of planning involved and we needed to be adaptable to the constant changes in government regulations and health and safety.

It was a challenging period but we ended up doing a Twitch livestream of the 2020 festival, and had over half a million streams globally. So you know, things like that created opportunities, and the team were able to jump on new things and new technologies to launch the brand even further.

Rhythm and Vines was also recognized in the 2022 Best Design Awards. How have you positioned your design and wider brand to stand out and generate fan loyalty?

Kyle: We pride ourselves on the brand, and being an award-winning music festival. It needs to be fun and we spend a lot of time on our brand development, which plays an important part in the overall marketing mix.

"In 2020 we picked up the Long Term Marketing Excellence Award at the NZ Marketing Industry awards, up against some big budget companies. That was a huge recognition for the work we've done on the brand, from how we’ve utilized Audience Republic through to our ticketing strategies. So yeah, that was quite an amazing achievement."

The Rhythm and Vines brand is something we've done a lot of work on since 2015, when we changed direction and had a little bit of a re-scope of where the physical brand was going. Initially it was like, the second that you apply a brand, you’d do it for one year and then just move on to another theme. But the way that the emoji based branding has been used in the festival, we’ve kind of owned that for the last six years. People still find it fun and we get a lot of feedback in the comments section.

So yeah, we’ve had some fun with it. People are even getting Rhythm and Vines tattoos! You know you're on the right track when people put a permanent mark on their body with your logo. It's a fun process. We've got a talented designer within the team who leads our brand design, and has been for the last two or three years – and to be able to do it in-house, we’re pretty proud of that as well.

Gold Rush and Golden Lights were brand new festival products for you – could you take me through your launch process, and how it differed from marketing one of your more established festivals?

Kyle: Gold Rush and Golden Lights are held on January 3, 6 and 7 following Rhythm and Vines on New Year’s Eve. But what they help us do is provide stronger offers to some of these international artists instead of just flying them out for Rhythm and Vines. And now we can put them into Rhythm, plus tour them through Endeavour Live, and then provide a better lineup mix with the shows. It gives us buying power too, so that's one of the strategies behind these new events.

There are also summer hotspots of people looking for entertainment, and we also realized there was a desire for more premium, well-run events. There are two stages, you get through the gates quickly, and there’s solid music, so it’s an all-round great experience.

When you're launching a new product, you don't have a database, and you don't have a social following yet so we needed to utilize technology – that has been pivotal in getting the growth of these brands and Gold Rush off the ground.

Last year was slightly COVID affected because we announced the lineup which featured Australian acts, but at the 11th hour the Australia/New Zealand travel bubble was suspended so we had to replace those acts with New Zealand artists. We also managed to get a few good ol’ drum 'n’ bass DJs who don't mind doing a two-week quarantine, so we were able to prop up the lineup and we delivered a great show. We're on sale for this year already with the same process and we’re looking forward to The Golden Run, which is what we’ve labeled it.

The Wilkinson tour was the largest selling electronic tour in NZ history, which is an incredible feat – could you share the story of what was involved in making this happen?

Kyle: With Endeavour Live, we do physical products and Rhythm and Vines itself. Over the years, we've built relationships with agents and artists, and Wilkinson is one of those artists who was synonymous with Rhythm and Vines. His song "Afterglow" is essentially our national anthem for the festival. And so the opportunity to tour came about. We managed to get him in during the lockdown breaks in 2021 and ended up selling over 25,000 tickets across the country, which is one of the largest selling EDM tours in New Zealand.

It actually randomly put Endeavour Live as one of the Top 25 promoters in Pollstar due to the lockdowns globally, so it was a pretty weird time to be alive for us, but it was such a massive success. Wilkinson was certainly one of the ones that put us on the map for larger scale arena production tours in New Zealand.

You run a number of festivals, plus there’s the touring element of Endeavour Live. How do you manage your fan data?

Kyle: So there is the touring element of Endeavour Live, which is a mixture of the bigger artists such as Wilkinson through to Groove Armada, as well as artist development. It’s an opportunity to put new music and new talent through the country and then build them up, whether it's [for] small stages at Rhythm and Vines to eventually main stage, or Gold Rush and Spring City or any of the other festivals that we've got.

For those tours, and particularly Wilkinson, we're building quite a strong database of the drum 'n' bass genre, and we’re able to segment and target. When we're doing artist development we can say, "Hey, you enjoyed Wilkinson, do you want to see this artist?"

"And we’re getting smarter with how we're using that data. Audience Republic is quite a powerful tool that we've been using for years and getting smarter about how we use it."

See how you can supercharge your ticket sales with Audience Republic

Explore features