River & Blues Fest is a new kind of music festival, featuring a uniquely American lineup of longtime favorites and soulful up-and-comers in country and blues. Launching its inaugural year right here in the heart of Fort Worth, the River & Blues Festival needed a dynamic identity system to engage and attract music lovers and artists alike across a primarily digital landscape.
Drawing inspiration from the rhythm and the river, we turned up the volume on the ethos and the experience to allow the vision of the festival to come through. The result was a scalable brand identity that represented the heart and soul of the music itself—a perfect balance of grit and a good time. With so many moving pieces, it was important to create a system that easily blended photography, motion and print elements, but most importantly position this instantly legendary weekend as one that can’t be missed.
Launching any new brand can be a challenge and making noise about a music festival can be especially challenging in Texas. But, a clearly defined vision and a true one-of-a-kind blend of country and blues music is a fantastic experience to position. To connect with a wide audience, we needed to communicate that the River & Blues Festival is not just a blues festival, but also a country music festival, which appeals to a wide range of local music fans spanning demographics. Furthermore, we wanted to bring the river through in our messaging and identity to illustrate that the festival takes place on the Trinity River at Panther Island Pavilion in the heart of Fort Worth.
“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen. But, what no one accounted for, or could have foreseen, was the covid-19 pandemic. River & Blues Fest was meant to make its first-ever debut during the summer festival season. As it turns out, that fell right during the height of the coronavirus lockdowns. Like other big-name events, we had to shift from a traditionally communal live music experience to a socially-distant, socially-conscious festival. Which meant more than a new date to ensure the people attending, playing and working not only felt safe but participated responsibly. In addition to new precautions we needed to communicate that, while the experience might look different, the music still sounds the same. And after all this time apart, maybe sweeter.
Artists and the people who support them rely on gigs and performances to make a living. River & Blues Fest is, without a doubt, going to be a good time. But it’s also going to prop up an art form, a nearly forgotten genre that survives with every chord. More so, it supports the artists, especially the grassroots, independent and often local musicians still waiting to be discovered. We are so proud to work with a client that uplifts the local creative community and is flexible enough to adjust their brand-new music festival to be safe and socially distant. Bringing people together safely is important now more than ever.