The notion of a VIP experience has been shackled to the image of extravagant party goers who want nothing more than premium champagne and a bird’s eye view of the action above everyone else. Vegas, Miami, and Ibiza hold the golden standard for this kind of party option, with clubs around the globe following suit to whatever trends they establish. The question is, where does this leave festivals in which the traditional VIP doesn’t quite fit?
Insomniac’s headliners are less inclined to accept a ticket that just separates them from the loads of like minded people they came to surround themselves with. The SoCal Company’s VIP team is a powerful force in the work being done to bestow a better value on the journey of those who decide to purchase the higher tier ticket. We got a chance to have a conversation with them about the steps the team has taken to separate Insomniac from the world yet again.
With the coming EDC season, these individuals built the mission to make you think differently about how the program is perceived. “A lot of times “VIP” can come with a negative connotation in the rave community because they see it as people who try to separate or exclude themselves, which would be counterintuitive to what our culture is,” They note. “We want to take away that intimidation factor in terms of what it means in the rest of the world and turn it around into something that people are excited for.”
We spoke about what aspects of a VIP experience that may be a bit strange to see in a festival environment, and what EDC can do to demonstrate a different direction. “Our VIP and GA demographic is a younger crowd than a majority of festivals, so it’s all about getting the value of what you’re spending.”
In a lot of instances you’re paying a lot because festivals are gearing it towards this older crowd that allegedly has all this money, but then you’re not getting too much with that additional spending other than a separate viewing area, private bathrooms, and expensive drinks. So while our price would still be considered expensive by some, what we are trying to cultivate is additional experiences and that’s what will separate us from the rest.
The team has meetings on meetings to get everything in motion and incorporates the brains of multiple departments to develop these programs. “We have a Production side of the VIP team and the Art Department, who are responsible for building and designing, and then there’s my own crew who works with operations, sales, and marketing.” The think tank environment of these meetings is an involved one, accepting any and all ideas for consideration. There are plenty of amazing concepts thrown on the table, and the only reason they can’t all be executed is because some may cost a bit more than the budget allows.
We have special, signature Uber-VIP Insomniac things that are very exclusive like a Front of House VIP Table, but $1,000,000 seems a little excessive!
We also do a survey in the VIP area; it’s a simple survey but we value the feedback we engage them to find out what they like, what they didn’t like, and what they wanted to get more of. Through that we got a lot of positive response, so it was cool that they knew that we cared. We found through this survey that a lot of people wanted a separate water station in VIP, so that’s a staple now.
When we were thinking about what the identity of each stage was, and based on what we know about the demographic who would go to that stage, we decided to create a lounge within Neon Garden. We’re going to specifically include daybeds, arcade games, and a chess board. We’re even including a fresh juice station, an exclusive food menu, craft cocktails, and craft beers just to have a chill hangout spot that encourages dancing and more engagement. Neon Garden is a stage where people might stay the whole day, so we want to make sure there’s enough to do the whole time.