Amnesia Rockfest is an annual music festival in Montebello, Quebec. Each year, this festival attracts 100,000 attendees per day from around the world to a town of just under 1,000 residents.
People from all over the US, Europe, and South America fly into Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa in search of a way to get to Montebello for arguably the best weekend of their summer.
In 2014, Sharethebus saw an opportunity. Getting to Rockfest is a gruelling process: you search for a ride, drive to the middle of nowhere, and sit in traffic for several hours angrily honking and cursing at the same people you’ll be partying with over the weekend. On top of that, the town just does not have enough parking for the crowd.
We decided to organize a few buses to see if we could alleviate some of the pain points. In one week over 500 people purchased tickets to ride school buses to Rockfest. These fans met at a pick-up location we’ve arranged, and adventured together to the festival.
We were on to something. A year later, we doubled down.
We wanted to do more for Rockfest and Montebello. The situation was a difficult logistical situation that reoccurred every year. Sharethebus was going to help improve the process.
Our team grew in size – developers, marketers, partnerships, and logistics personnel. Bus departures were set from Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Montreal. We built a ticketing platform dedicated to letting travellers rideshare by bus, and we encouraged people to share with promo codes. We targeted Facebook ads at those interested in the festival.
Our efforts paid off. In 2015, we saw 1,500 travellers share the bus to Rockfest.
On return trips back home, we provided water for all travellers to keep them hydrated. We made sure they got on the correct buses to avoid confusion. And we witnessed something incredibly humbling: Sharethebus travelers bonded and stayed together throughout the festival. We had built a community.
But our growth wasn’t without pain points. Our logistics team identified things that we needed to improve: sharing the location of the bus, communication with riders and drivers, and a seamless ticketing procedure for better boarding.
And here we are.
In 2016, Sharethebus travellers will know exactly when their bus will arrive and where it will park with our GPS rider app. They’ll have a digital ticket with backup authentication for the driver. And they’ll be able to share their excitement with passengers on the bus, and have any of their concerns answered directly by us.