Socially Unacceptable: MiMOSA Pours Vodka on Downlink At Music Festival
For businesses and professionals, maintaining a positive reputation in the public eye is important. In this digitally connected world we live in, word spreads quickly and can have a major impact on our business or career. News gone viral has fuelled success stories (think Justin Beiber) - and closed doors and killed careers.
*WARNING: Some of the language provided in the examples of this post may offend readers. Please use your own discretion.
While I'm a big fan of Electronic Dance Music (or EDM), I'm an even bigger fan of online marketing. And while you might not be a fan of electronic music, this particular incident has some very valuable lessons and takeaways for any marketing or business professional.
If you've never been to a rave before, it's a truly eye-opening experience. Think of it as a modern-day version of Woodstock with people dancing around wearing crazy costumes (or the latest fashions from the Victoria Secret catalogue) and having a great time. Everyone is grooving to the hypnotic beats of electronic music being played by live DJs.
The music is blasted through powerful sound systems with so much bass you can feel it in your chest. The sets are often accompanied by visual effects including laser light shows, smoke machines and projected images - the perfect recipe for a psychedlic evening of fun.
I've listened to electronic music for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until last summer that I experienced my first rave. I'm a little older than the typical demographic of the rave culture. Generally speaking, you'd find a lot of late teens and early twenty-somethings attending raves. So needless to say I did feel a little out of place, but it was still a fun experience.
The one thing about the rave culture and EDM fans you need to know - these people are fuelled by their passion of the music and having a great time. They are a very connected community. And because of their age demographic they are very active users of social media. This is why I found the incident so fascinating.
First, the background story...
This past weekend at the Mystic Music Festival in Houston, Texas fans were treated to a spectacular show by some of the top DJs in the EDM scene. But what happened later in the evening came as a shock and surprise to most.
Oakland-based dj/producer MiMOSA became aggravated when production informed him that he was over his set time and he was to clear the stage for fellow headliner Downlink. According to witnesses, MiMOSA did not want to leave the stage. He went on to slam his microphone down on the DJ equipment and yell profanities into the microphone before finally leaving.
After dubstep pioneer Downlink took to the stage to prepare for his set, MiMOSA returned, this time with a bottle of Grey Goose vodka in hand, which he proceeded to pour onto the head of Downlink in front of the crowd. Security was quick to react and restrained MiMOSA and removed him.
So now that you have the background of the drama that took place, let's dive into the details and the impact that has since rippled through social media.
First of all Oscillator Z, a DJ who also performed at the festival gave his personal account on his Facebook page:
That night MiMOSA took to Twitter where he joked about what had just taken place, further insulting both Downlink and the music festival. He later deleted the Tweet, but not before people were able to screenshot it and share it across the web:
The fact that he went on to delete the Tweet is a sign that he realized publicly insulting a fellow DJ AND the festival, is not a wise career move. However, since people photographed the Tweet before it was deleted means it's still out there causing damage for him.
Downlink, however, stayed level-headed during the incident and let security handle the situation. But he did take to Twitter to voice his opinion:
Wow @TigranMimosa - really dude?! I've never in 14 years of djing come across this. Sorry I had to move your ableton rig to set up the decks— Downlink (@downlinkmusic) July 27, 2014
The following day amidst the onslaught of negative comments he was receiving on the social channels, MiMOSA had this to say:
LOL at all u @downlinkmusic fans— MiM0SA (@TigranMimosa) July 27, 2014
Again, probably not a wise move for the DJ career, or for his fan base. Notice the 21 retweets which means people in the EDM community are fanning the flames here by continuing to spread it around the Internet.
Later that afternoon, MiMOSA took to his Facebook page to address the incident with his fans:
But the biggest mistake here is that he lied about what really happened. According to witnesses, Downlink did not unplug his equipment at all. If that is indeed the truth then MiMOSA just royally shot himself in the foot because when it comes to social media, everyone is a reporter. While no video of the incident has surfaced as of the time of this writing, there is already a YouTube video of MiMOSA being restrained by security. (This is not confirmed to be authentic however.)
Downlink also addressed the incident with his fans the following afternoon on his Facebook page:
Another DJ who was also present at the event posted about the incident from his Facebook page:
Language aside, you can tell this DJ was pretty upset at MiMOSA's actions. Here again he's calling on the community to spread the word and boycott the DJ. I'm not saying I agree with this. My point is that this is a very real consequence that can happen to anyone. If a customer feels strongly enough that they were wronged or treated unfairly and you don't take the appropriate actions to make things right, then they most certainly will take to the the social media channels to voice their opinion. Social media is causing businesses to pull up their pants and do what's right, not what's right for the business.
As for consequences, I took a snapshot of MiMOSA's Facebook fan count roughly 24 hours before writing this post. You can see it below. At the time he had 91,136 fans. Since then he's lost over 700 fans on Facebook alone. Scrolling through his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts you can see that the EDM community has attacked him because of his antics.
Lastly, recognizing the incredible amount of buzz and activity the incident created in the EDM community, Downlink also took the opportunity to promote his record label and gain some added exposure:
I'll take this moment of unexpected publicity to shout out my record label @Uplink_Audio We have some big things in the works!!— Downlink (@downlinkmusic) July 27, 2014
What I found most interesting about this situation is how the two DJs took very opposite approaches to their PR surrounding the incident. Downlink appeared to remain pretty calm. He took the high road and instead of calling MiMOSA out he simply apologized to his fans for not performing at 100%. MiMOSA on the other hand seemed to take it all as a big joke. He publicly insulted Downlink and the music festival. He poked fun at Downlink's fans. And when he did issue an apology it was to his fans and not to Downlink.
Here are the lessons and takeaways:
- Just like entertainers and DJs, businesses and professionals are always on stage and in the spotlight. Act and behave accordingly. Every touch point people have with you is a reflection of your brand. Make it count.
- If you screw up and upset someone, accept responsibility and apologize. Do what's necessary to make it right.
- If negative comments are being posted about you online, do not add fuel to the fire by pointing fingers, or worse, insulting the other party involved.
- Always have your marketing hat on. Look for opportunities to expose your brand (or record label) to new audiences.