A Decade of Music Discovery

June 24, 2016



Calgary music festival Sled Island is celebrating 10 years of music, art shows, comedy sketches and films this weekend.


To commemorate the anniversary, local digital agency Critical Mass has created an experience that is the epitome of discovery, combining the Flickr and Spotify platforms.


The festival itself has a selection of upcoming and already established artists. The team works hard to create a lineup of bands that most people haven’t heard yet but will soon becomes favourites.


In the same vein, Critical Mass is getting visitors to the new "Decade of Discovery" site to stumble upon these bands and discover some pretty amazing music.


"With a very limited budget, we looked at what we had available to us and were very pleasantly surprised. For the entire life of the festival, Sled Island has activated a team of talented photographer volunteers to capture every artist, every show and just about every moment," says Stefan Smith, copywriter for Critical Mass. "Even better, they put them all up on Flickr and tagged them consistently. When we realized this, we knew we had one key component of whatever we were going to create. From there, we decided to use Spotify’s open API to attach music to the photos. This way we could present a pretty full introduction (or retrospective, depending on whether or not you were there) to the thousands of artists that have come for the festival."


The photos are accompanied by the band name, venue info and date when they played their Sled Island show. Users then can click “Discover Another” to explore thousands of bands who have played at the festival in previous years.


"Like the festival, it had to be a bit random. A bit exciting. Unknown. So, we randomly pulled a photo, found the tagging data, then went to Spotify and grabbed one of the artist’s top songs, and put it all together on our site. Every photo has our distinct design treatment added after it’s been pulled, which made the entire experience feel unified and stunning," Smith says. "Obviously music rights blow any budget, but with Spotify’s API we could have access to just about anything."


The digital effort is being promoted through social, press contacts and word of mouth.


Head to Decade of Discovery to check it out.—Shaneza Subhan



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