Erin Go Bragh, indeed!

Irish Fest

Erin Go Bragh, indeed!

Hundreds of performers, 16 stages, and four days. Once a year, tens of thousands of attendees gather along the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee to dance, sing, dance, drink, dance, and revel in the spectacle that is the World’s Largest Irish Music Festival: Milwaukee Irish Fest.

Irish Challenge

DEFINING THE CHALLENGE

Milwaukee is known as the City of Festivals; alive and energized all summer long by the hundreds of cultural celebrations and gatherings that envelop the city streets and amass along Lake Michigan. These festivals include those that celebrate French, Hispanic, Italian, and Asian cultures. Our goal was to elevate Milwaukee Irish Fest as a unique, can’t-miss event in a place where festivals happen on any day that ends in the letter ‘y.’

THE SOLUTION

Irish Fest isn’t just another cultural event—it’s a massive music festival. (Known globally, some countries refer to it simply as “The Fest.”) That meant a shift in positioning and brand voice. The creative modeled the look and feel of a gig poster with messaging that likened the event to Coachella, Bonnaroo, or Lollapalooza. Emphasis was placed on the lineup, creating anticipatory energy and inviting attendees to plan their trip around performances.

WHAT’S A DOBHAR-CHÚ

A Celtic Cryptid of lore, the Dobhar-chú (pronounced Doo-war-koo) is half dog, half otter, and half fish (we know, three halves, weird, right?) and the ideal subject for an illustrated gig poster. The creature was given a name and backstory, and prominently featured in all support materials—lending itself as an avenue to promote the family-friendly nature of the event, and cultural offerings throughout the festival.

THE RESULT

In 2021—what should have been a down year—Irish Fest saw festival attendance exceed projections. Ticket sales supported by campaign creative and messaging were equally impacted. And as the first lakefront festival to return to the city post-pandemic, the event received praise for leading the charge, signaling the return of in-person events and live music in Milwaukee.

81%

Increase in ticket sales vs. 2019

45K+

Views of daily live stream

3X

More media mentions vs. 2019

100K

Average annual festival attendance

557K+

Webpage views, 6/1/21 – 8/23/21

12M+

Ad impressions (print, radio, billboard)

Milwaukee Irish Fest
Milwaukee Irish Fest

MELISSA WARD

Director of Marketing & PR and Milwaukee Irish Fest Entertainment Staff

When we set out to find a new agency to assist in our marketing and PR efforts, we were unanimously impressed by EPIC Creative. They are equipped with a fun, friendly, professional, and super creative staff. They tailor their expertise to meet our specific needs. If we say we need a fresh and unique approach to something that needs changing, they take the time to brainstorm, research, and come back with feasible options. Ultimately, EPIC works to ensure your company’s meeting its marketing goals by implementing results-driven strategies.

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