Lovebox: A Festival That Knows The Net

July 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Lovebox Festival Goer

Lovebox, the festival that took place just last weekend in London’s Victoria Park, is proving that it’s a gig that is really moving with the times.

Started in 2002 by Tom Findlay and Andy Cato (of Groove Armada), today it shows other festivals what’s what, not only in its vibe and line up but also in the way that it promotes itself. Perhaps because it receives less terrestrial TV attention than other major weekenders like Glasto and T in the Park, Lovebox has a fairly spectacular online presence.

They’ve taken the thrill of the festival and have used it to breathe life into an interactive, multimedia website for their fans that is up with the best of them.  Like few other festival websites, Lovebox’s is skilfully designed and so immersed in the progressive world of social media that you cannot fail to get caught up in the buzz.  OnTheBox investigates those intricacies that make Lovebox a leader in integration multimedia when it comes to the world of festivals.

Site design – Clean yet colourful
Lovebox.net
Like the festival itself, the site is inclusive and vibrant. From the moment you click on the homepage (which currently has a great big ‘Thankyou’ before you go through to the site), you are enveloped in a belly hug of happiness, complete with pictures, clips and friendship groups.

Wondering around Victoria Park on the Saturday of the fest, we nabbed a few from the crowd to ask them if they used the site. “Yeah, actually. I think its great.? Said one bopping raver with a pair of heart shaped sunnies. “Its really well designed. Easy.?

Actually, this is a big part of what makes Lovebox a leader in multimedia. The actual design of the site, which is not only clean and easy to navigate, also has that summery, hippyish kind of vibe to it that Lovebox is proud to give off.  More than a functional ticket-buying portal, it encourages potential festival-goers and regular attendees alike to immerse themselves in the space.  Its only real competitor is the Warwickshire festival, Global Gathering, which has an uncannily similar feel to their website.  However, it takes so bl**dy long to load all the images that by the time you can use the site you’ve lost interest.  Lovebox.net’s  simplicity beats it hands down.

The Lovebox mainstage in Victoria Park, London.

Lovebox

No ads – total immersion in the festival

A theme from festival goers who we asked about the site was that people really appreciate the lack of advertising on Lovebox’s website. A graphic designer, Sarah, who certainly seems to know her stuff when it comes to multimedia, expressed it exactly right. What’s pretty interesting about Lovebox’s site is that they don’t encourage us to leave by putting those ridiculously distracting adverts on the website.  There’s nothing flashing in my face putting me off.?

It’s true, Lovebox welcomes us with open arms and a will to entertain with pure Loveboxness.  Whether flashing in our faces or enticing us to other places on the web, the site just doesn’t tolerate this kind of blatant commercialism.  While, there are areas within the festival weekend itself that are obviously sponsored by brands ie. The Metro market, and the Boost Juice Bars Bash, Lovebox leaves that to the actual event, enabling the site to retain the purity of festival hedonism and sociability.

The Boost Juice Bars Bash gets the fruit flying.

Boost Juice

Social media gives fans a chance to interact and keep the festival’s message alive

It is this hedonism that the Lovebox website uses to keep the festival’s overall message of inclusivity and variety alive. Links to Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and Last.fm mean that users can upload photos and videos and interact with other fans.  Not only this, but they are free to bookmark what they like via sites like Reddit, Delicious, Digg and Stumbleupon to spread the Lovebox word.

The sun sets over the festival

Lovebox Fans

More than this, having a site like this goes so far as to blur the line between when one event ends and the other begins.  There are many Lovebox episodes that take place throughout the year.  After last weekend’s London jaunt, the gig is off to Dublin, then Ibiza.   The site strengthens Lovebox the movement, rather than just a succession of events.

Groove Armada lights up the Lovebox main stage

Groove Armada Light up the Lovebox Stage

Whether it is innovation by necessity or fun, the fact is, the Lovebox.net site creates a comprehensive experience that brings users as close as you can get to the festival without actually being there. Features like a gallery of photos submitted by festival goers make you feel like you are an integral part of the festival itself. You are not just a passive audience but part of the great freewheeling ethos machine that is Lovebox. This, ultimately, is what makes people such passionate fans of this festival. It’s hard to find a more embracing, enjoyable music scene to be a part of.

Feeling the festival vibe! 

Lovebox

Unluckily, you’ve missed London’s Lovebox for 2008, but fear not because the Dublin edition is on August 23rd.

See the site for yourself at www.lovebox.net