US Cultural Events and Moments in October
Seven popular annual events that are scheduled for mid-to-late October that will attract the 18-34-year-old demographic include the Chicago International Film Festival, the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, the Austin Film Festival, Old City Fest, and the Lewisburg Goat Festival.
CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
- The Chicago International Film Festival is scheduled for October 16-27, 2019, and will be held in Chicago, Illinois.
- This is the 55th year for the festival.
- More than 55,000 people attend the festival on a yearly basis and 14% of attendees are between the ages of 18 and 34.
- This is the "longest running competitive film festival in North America" and showcases the best U.S. and international films of the year. In addition to showing films, there are receptions, special events, on-site activations, awards events, and educational programs.
- This event was selected because of its cultural significance in that film often mirrors and influences society. In addition, the large number of people who attend the event means it will likely be well-covered by the press and will probably trend on social media.
NEW HAMPSHIRE PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
- The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival is scheduled for October 18-19, 2019, and will be held in Laconia, New Hampshire.
- The festival is an annual event and in 2018 there were more than 40,000 attendees.
- A family-friendly event, the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival is a "community-hosted... celebration of fall and what is unique about New Hampshire. It is a celebration of artistry and creativity and all things pumpkin!" It features live music, a beer garden, and an "iconic jack-o'-lantern tower."
- This event was selected because of the numerous activities that are available from food and craft vendors, to live bands, to amusement park rides. In addition, the 40,000 attendees ensure this event will be widely covered and photographed for social media posts.
TRAILING OF THE SHEEP FESTIVAL
- The Trailing of the Sheep Festival is scheduled for October 9-13, 2019, and will be held in Hailey, Idaho.
- An annual event, this year's festival is in its 23rd year.
- In 2018, 25,000 people attended the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, with attendees coming from 49 states and 15 foreign countries.
- While the Big Sheep Parade that sees 1,500 sheep relocated from the mountains to the pastures is the biggest draw of the festival (and the reason for it), there are also plenty of other events including "multicultural performers, storytelling, culinary events and cooking classes, a Wool Festival, Championship Sheepdog Trials, [and] a Sheepherders' Ball." The festival is family friendly and contributes an estimated $4 million to the local economy.
- This event was selected because it has won numerous awards including "One of the Greatest Cultural Events in the West by Northwest Travel" and the "Idaho Governor’s Award for Cultural Heritage and Cultural Tourism." It is considered one of the most unique cultural events in the world and as such, will likely generate significant press coverage, photographs, and videos to be posted on social media.
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS MUSIC FESTIVAL
- The Austin City Limits Music Festival is scheduled for October 4-6 and October 11-13, 2019, and will be held in Austin, Texas.
- This festival was founded in 2002 and has been held annually since then, making the 2019 edition the 17th annual event.
- An estimated 450,000 people attend the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
- The main attraction of this event is the music, with the festival featuring the "year’s biggest names in contemporary pop and old rock." There are eight stages with musical performances from "genres including rock, indie, country, folk, electronic and hip hop." However, there are also other activities such as Austin Eats and the ACL Art Market that also draw thousands of attendees.
- This event was selected because of the number of attendees and the cultural aspect of music and art. With 450,000 attendees, this event undoubtedly gets significant press coverage and will trend on social media.
AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL
- The Austin Film Festival is scheduled for October 24-31, 2019, and will be held in Austin, Texas.
- This is the festival's 26th year and hosts approximately 20,000 attendees throughout the week.
- The goal of the Austin Film Festival is to further "the art and craft of storytelling by inspiring and championing the work of writers, filmmakers, and all artists who use written and visual language to tell a story." Over the eight-day festival, about 175 films are screened and the event is "recognized as one of the top film festivals in the country."
- This festival was selected because of the cultural significance of film and because the event is considered a top film festival in the United States. With 20,000 attendees, it will receive significant media coverage.
OLD CITY FEST
- Old City Fest is scheduled for October 13, 2019, and will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- A fairly new festival, 2019 will be the sixth annual celebration of Philadelphia's historic district.
- In 2018, 20,000 people attended the event, eclipsing the 15,000 mark set in 2017.
- According to its website, Old City Fest is a "celebration of art and design, fashion and food, creativity and culture on the streets of America’s most historic square mile." There will be a stage with live music, runway fashion shows, family-friendly events, "pop-up street performances," and many food and shopping opportunities.
- This event was selected because of its roots in American history, as Philadelphia is one of the United States' oldest cities. The 20,000 attendees are sure to get press coverage and with the various activities, they will likely be posting photographs and videos to social media as well.
LEWISBURG GOAT FESTIVAL
- The Lewisburg Goat Festival is scheduled for October 11-12, 2019, and will be held in Lewisburg, Tennessee.
- This is the 17th year for the Lewisburg Goat Festival and is expecting 19,000 attendees.
- What began as an event to honor the "famous fainting goats of Marshall County" has evolved into a top 20 event for October according to the Southeast Tourism Society. It features free musical entertainment, goat shows, food, arts and crafts, kids games, and the annual 5K Goat Gallop.
- This event was chosen because of its uniqueness, since fainting goats are not something people see every day. For this reason, and because of the 19,000 attendees, it is likely the festival will be captured in photographs and video to be shared on social media.
To identify seven popular annual events scheduled for mid-to-late October in the United States, we began by searching reputable and large media publishers such as Conde Nast, Country Living, BizJournals, and others to find events that draw large crowds. From there, we specifically culled the lists of events to those that expect 10,000 or more attendees and would likely be attractive to people in the 18-to-34 age group. If the event did not provide demographic information on its attendees, then we made an assumption that family-friendly events would cater to this age group since they are the most likely group to be parents. We also assumed that any event that featured live music would also attract this age group because "millennials love music festivals."
Note that we expanded the "mid-October" range to include October 11-13 because this is the weekend before the middle of the month, which falls on a Wednesday and is not a popular day of the week for festivals. We also assumed that all events that include performances of any kind or unique activities would inspire photographs and videos to be shared on social media. This is because 81% of people share their experiences on social media because they "enjoy the feeling of having others engage" and when they "see or create an image that enlivens" them, they "send it to others to give them a bit of energy and effervescence." Events such as the ones presented here are definitely full of images that will enliven the attendees. Moreover, most events are family friendly and given that millennials are of parenting age, we assumed many millennial parents would bring their children to these popular events.