As some of you may know, FaveQuest developed the brand new Ottawa Bluesfest site for 2010. Many of you have expressed interest in the numbers we have been seeing on the site …. many of them are stunning. This post is part 1 … I'll share more if you're interested. I'd suggest registering to the blog if you're interested in this type of stuff.
If you are a festival organizer, this should leave little doubt regarding the importance fans place on your website. People use your website to make important purchasing decisions, and if designed properly, share that with their friends.
A Bit of Context
The Ottawa Bluesfest ran from July 6 to July 18 2010 and included over 250 shows. Total attendance was in the hundreds of thousands making this festival one of the biggest in North America. Some of the headliners for 2010 were Iron Maiden, The Flaming Lips, Arcade Fire, Roger Hodgson, Rush, Santana, Weezer, Drake and many more. It is a big deal.
I'm not at liberty to share exact numbers but will give you the rough scale of some of the typical numbers people look at. Not all these numbers are a measure of the success of the site but they will give you a sense for the scale of traffic.
Some Numbers (all approximate)
Launch Day April 21:
We launched in the middle of the night and the site started getting visits right away. People are rabid at this time of year waiting for the band announcements. It is actually kind of crazy. Here are some launch day numbers:
- Visits: 100k
- Uniques: 75k
- Pageviews: 600k
- Videos/bios viewed: 30k
- Avg. Time on site: over 6 minutes
The majority of people were spending time checking out the Lineup and watching videos and even starting to build their own calendars. Much of the traffic came between 10am and 1pm so it was very spiky. Even though we did tons of load testing ahead of time, we didn't anticipate how spiky the traffic would be.
Luckily we had decided to host the site on Amazon cloud (AWS) and used a separate Content Distribution Network to serve up graphics. The site got slow around 10am and we found ourselves having to quickly bump up the memory associated with the database, bumped up the size of the server and even added a second large front end server. The site quickly stabilized and we were off to the races. Now we know exactly what is needed for next year.
Overall (April 21 – July 18)
- Visits: over 1 million
- Uniques: over 500k
- Pageviews: over 6M
- Videos/bios viewed: over 300k
- Number of total events added to "my calendar": over 250k
- Avg. Time on site: ~ 5 minutes
The scale of overall numbers from site launch to the end of the festival are pretty stunning. This really demonstrates how heavily people use the web to explore festivals.
I'm happy to share more data within reason so please let me know what else you want to know … lots more important stats. For example, we have a share button that allows people to share events on Facebook, twitter or by email. Are you curious to know what the breakdown is between them? Wondering about mobile browser breakdown? Happy to share that too.
Also, we give people the opportunity to log in to the site using an existing account such as Facebook, Google, Twitter or Yahoo or create an account directly on the site. Interested in the breakdown? Results might surprise you.