LOS ANGELES—If anyone understands the power of face-to-face connections, it’s a dating app. So it’s appropriate that as in-person events return, Tinder debuted its new “Festival Mode” feature on April 14.
The new offering, created in partnership with Live Nation, allows users to select which live music events and festivals they’ll be attending, and connect with others who plan to attend the same event. The feature currently lets users choose between 20 festivals from around the world, ranging from Bonnaroo and the Governors Ball to Lollapalooza Paris and Australia’s Splendor in the Grass.
To preview the new feature for a select group of editors and influencers, Tinder hosted the Festival Mode Launch Party in Los Angeles on March 31. The design-forward event, headlined by pop star Charli XCX, drew about 130 guests, primarily media and key influencers in the music, fashion, tech, and lifestyle fields. It was produced by M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment North America’s new internal events division.
“The focus of the Festival Mode kick-off party was to engage with critical editors and influencers while showcasing the new elements of the mode IRL ahead of festival season,” explained Amanda Dawson, a senior producer at M&C Saatchi. “By experiencing the event, our guests were able to make new human connections and dive into the unique functions of Festival Mode.”
Appropriately, the event took on a festival-inspired theme, which included custom scenic builds and staging, along with futuristic LED and lighting effects. Highlights included a nail station with Natalie Minerva, the nail artist on Euphoria, along with a tattoo station from Mark Mahoney’s Shamrock Social Club Tattoos, as well as La Bananita, which was offering custom-made, hand-dyed attire. Of course, there were also custom portrait sessions, where guests could capture new pictures for their Tinder profiles.
“We thought about some of the most memorable moments that we’ve collectively experienced while attending festivals—and then one up-ed them," Dawson said.
The launch party was one of the first gatherings from M&C Saatchi’s brand-new internal event division, which provides full-scale event and experiential production services. “In this post-pandemic world, the emphasis on creating intimate in-person moments to drive meaningful connections between brands and consumers is more important than ever,” said Steph Lund, CEO of M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment North America, about the company's decision to launch the offering, which she called a "natural evolution" for the communications agency.
"It will allow end-to-end campaign development, from research and insight through to ideation and execution," Lund added. "This new division will work seamlessly with the existing layers of the agency to deliver expanded, top-tier creative communications services, strengthening the integration and sharpening effectiveness.”
Scroll down for a closer look inside the event.