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case study

Republic Live buses in 8,644 fans to rock with The Rolling Stones

The challenge

With the largest outdoor event space in Canada, Republic Live was able to host the country’s only show in the Rolling Stones’ No Filter Tour. But with tens of thousands of attendees and limited parking, the company needed a cost-effective way to bring fans to the venue — and it had to arrange everything with only 40 days’ notice.

The solution

Republic Live partnered with Bus.com to provide shuttles to the event from more than ten cities. With Bus.com’s advanced booking solution, vehicle requirements were automatically updated based on demand, ensuring that Republic Live only paid for the buses it needed.

The results

In spite of the short notice, Republic Live was able to help customers across Canada reach the festival in comfort and at a great price. Chartering vehicles through Bus.com minimized the cost and risk of delivering such a large-scale shuttle service, and having a single point of contact for all bus logistics massively streamlined transport management.

Highlights

  • Bus.com provided 113 buses at 40 days’ notice
  • Detailed insight into user demand enabled Republic Live to offer travel opportunities to customers in new locations
  • Shuttle service aligned with Republic Live’s brand image, providing a premium customer experience

Organizing a Rolling Stones show with 40 days’ notice

Since it was founded in 2011, Republic Live has grown to become one of Canada’s leading live entertainment companies, and it operates the country’s largest outdoor event space: Burl’s Creek. When The Rolling Stones brought their wildly popular No Filter Tour to North America, the immense size of Burl’s Creek — spanning more than 600 acres and with capacity for over 100,000 people — made it the perfect venue. And so Republic Live was chosen to host the tour’s only Canadian show.

Canada Rocks With The Rolling Stones was scheduled to take place on the Saturday of Canada Day Weekend. However, the show was temporarily postponed, and then brought back to the original date at only 40 days’ notice. Republic Live had just a few weeks to plan one of its biggest events ever, and transportation quickly emerged as a major challenge.

 

Brooke Dunford, Manager of Marketing & Brand Strategy at Republic Live, explains: “In the past, our events at Burl’s Creek had largely been multi-day camping festivals where the majority of visitors had stayed on-site. But because of the scale of this show, and because it was a day-event, we had to hold back most of the camping grounds for parking – and even then, parking space was limited. 

“Not everyone could camp, not everyone could drive, and public transit doesn’t come to the venue, so we needed another way to transport visitors to and from Burl’s Creek. The solution had to be cost-effective and available at short notice, while also delivering an outstanding customer experience.”

End-to-end travel management

Republic Live considered working with the nearby City of Barrie to utilize its public transport network, but it was impossible to navigate the lengthy approval process at such short notice. Another option would have been for Republic Live to own the shuttle service itself. Yet renting the buses, communicating with the drivers, and selling the tickets would have been immensely costly and time-consuming. What’s more, with no historical data for this kind of event, it would have been difficult for the company to predict how many vehicles it would need.

Rather than take on the risk and hassle of managing transport in-house, Republic Live decided to leave the travel logistics to the experts and turned to its trusted partner, Bus.com.

The tight time-frame was no issue for Bus.com. It took care of everything from vehicle sourcing and scheduling, to ticket sales and on-site coordination, enabling Republic Live to offer a comprehensive shuttle service from more than ten cities across Canada.

“Bus.com was the perfect solution,” says Brooke Dunford. “Their booking platform automatically filled up buses and added more as they were needed. That meant there was no risk of over or underestimating demand, and we were able to send the buses exactly where they were needed – including some locations we couldn’t otherwise have supported.

“And the partnership wasn’t just about the logistical elements. Bus.com wanted to promote the bus program just as much as we did. They took the initiative to market the service on our behalf and helped us reach an even wider audience.”

And the partnership wasn’t just about the logistical elements. Bus.com wanted to promote the bus program just as much as we did. They took the initiative to market the service on our behalf and helped us reach an even wider audience.

Brooke Dunford, Manager Marketing & Brand Strategy, Republic Live

Minimizing costs without compromising customer experience

With Bus.com solving the transport challenges, Republic Live was able to tell customers that the show was back on as soon as the date was finalized. In spite of the limited parking and camping, tens of thousands of Stones fans were able to come out to Burl’s Creek and enjoy the event.

“It’s hard to find cost-effective ways of producing a festival,” comments Brooke Dunford. “So an opportunity like Bus.com is almost a no-brainer. The service itself is excellent value, not to mention the time and money we saved compared to managing travel logistics in-house. We had a single point of contact at Bus.com who took care of all the details, and they didn’t even need our staff on the day — so we were completely free to focus on the rest of the event.”

Price isn’t everything, though. Even the most cost-effective service would be useless if it did not deliver a good customer experience.

Brooke Dunford continues: “We’re always careful when using outside partners to represent us as a brand. We aim to offer customers a premium experience, so it’s important that our partners do so as well. And Bus.com never lets us down”.

“In fact, we’re looking forward to growing as partners with Bus.com. At future events, we’re excited about the potential to give shuttle users gift bags, for instance, so that the festival experience starts as soon as they get on the bus.”

About Bus.com

Our mission is to transform the charter bus industry. Working with bus operators across North America, our experts take all the complexity out of travel logistics so you can focus on your event. To learn more about our enterprise service, or to schedule your trip, connect with our booking team today.