Summer in Ireland is hugely exciting for the first few days; St. Stephen’s Green explodes with the laughter of youth, the murmur of relaxed conversation, and the quiet swish of pages being turned. I’m from Florida, so as the heat increased I felt comfortably home. After the novelty wore off, though, everyone, including your resident Floridian, looked for something to distract from the pain of slowly melting. Having already experienced Dublin’s music scene in the three weeks I’ve been here, I decided to search for upcoming shows on Twitter. This is how I found Marlay Park’s back-to-back concerts featuring Avicii and Paolo Nutini. Avicii, who played on Friday 3 July, was accompanied by Rudimental, Clean Bandit, and The Dead Prezidents while Paolo Nutini played on Saturday 4 July with Imelda May, Alabama Shakes, and Gaz Coombes. We at Olytico have monitored hashtags including #MarlayPark, #Avicii, and #PaoloNutini to determine how Twitter and Instagram users prepared, experienced, and are remembering the weekend.
— Dublin Concerts (@DublinConcerts) July 6, 2015
We began tracking the concerts on Wednesday, July 1st, and completed the project on Monday, July 6th. Through the course of those six days, we analysed 4,300 tweets published by a total of 3,000 accounts. Altogether, these tweets generated 14.5 million potential impressions.
Tracking the event
We tracked four different hashtags and phrases including “MarlayPark,” “Marley Park,” #MarlayPark and #MarleyPark (we tracked both the hashtag of the correct spelling, Marlay Park, and the misspelling, Marley Park, because of its prevalence due to the similar pronunciation). Interestingly, the most-used hashtag of the weekend was indeed the misspelled #MarleyPark, with 663 tweets as opposed to 630 for #MarlayPark. The runner-up hashtag to those was #Avicii with a total of 371 tweets.
— Killian Hayes (@K_Hayz) July 4, 2015
Other top tags, and interesting Twitter activity
The top 25 hashtags demonstrated which bands received the most attention during the weekend: Avicii took the gold with 692 tweets (#Avicii and #WaitingforLove). Other bands which featured in Twitter conversation included Paolo Nutini with 211 tweets (#paolonutini), Rudimental with 56 (#Rudimental), and Imelda May with 41 (#imeldamay). Other popular hashtags during the weekend nod to the overall feeling of summertime excitement surrounding the concert weekend, with #summer (41 tweets), #music (37), #concert (27), and #FridayFeeling (22).
The importance of top contributors
One of the most viewed tweets was by @UniMusicIreland of @GardaTraffic’s aerial photo of the concert with 2.1 million potential impressions:
— Universal Music Irl (@UniMusicIreland) July 4, 2015
This is in large part due to Tim Berling’s (@Avicii) retweet of @UniMusicIreland’s tweet, which by itself generated a total of 1.6 million potential impressions.
The top contributor was thusly @Avicii, followed by @spin1038 (1.58 million impressions), @GardaTraffic (1.4 million), @mcd_productions (1.3 million), and @JOEdotie (771,782). Others featured in the top contributors included @98FM (718,863), @entertainmentIE (437,243), and @Warnermusicirl (354,837).
The most retweeted url
Ironically, the url with the most retweets during this weekend didn’t even pertain to the weekend’s concerts, instead promoting the upcoming Longitude music festival on July 17th to 19th. This tweet, from @mcd_productions, garnered a total of 27 retweets and 29,700 potential impressions over the weekend. Interestingly, although the original tweet occurred on May 18th, the retweets peaked on July 2nd, causing the total potential impressions to peak on July 4th. This indicates that people looking forward to the weekend concerts sparked conversation about the upcoming Longitude festival at Marlay Park; fundamentally, the weekend double-header concerts featuring Avicii and Paolo Nutini acted as advertising for Marlay Park’s next big event.
— MCD Productions (@mcd_productions) May 18, 2015
Url with the most impressions
Spin1083 posted a colorful blog piece about Avicii concert-goers’ reactions on Twitter with a total of 451,979 potential impressions. The page depicts fan-photos of the Avicii set and band, along with humorous commentaries on fans’ antics and experiences at during the concert.
— SPIN 1038 (@spin1038) July 4, 2015
What did people tweet?
The word cloud contains the Top 100 terms found in the 4,300 tweets analysed. The larger the word, the more often it appeared. Some of the key findings included:
The prominence of both Marlay Park (2,009 tweets) and Marley Park (1,320) is reflective of the fact that fans used both spellings when talking about the event.
Together with Twitter, Instagram allowed festival-goers and supporters of the occasion to share their thoughts and experiences with the world, in the form of photographs and videos. Olytico analysed the hashtag #MarlayPark to look at the numbers behind the images.
The daily volume peaked on Saturday and experienced less activity each day afterward, yet the conversation did continue as people filtered and edited photos from the past weekend.
#MarlayPark – 2,244 posts
1,575 unique publishers
Most popular photographer – Tom Flynn @flynnstomgram (9 photographs generated a collective 951 likes)
Flynn was by far the most influential Instagram user, with 5,447 more potential impressions and 100.6 more likes per post than runner-up user Amie Harding (@amiehardingx). This disparity is probably due to Harding’s use of Instagram as a personal account, featuring photographs of herself and friends during the concert. Flynn, meanwhile, is a declared photographer in his Instagram bio and posted strikingly artistic, impassioned shots of the weekend’s artists mid-show giving him a broader audience. Indeed, Flynn is quite unique in posting images of the artists; a vast majority of photographs and videos under the hashtag #MarlayPark during the weekend were selfies or depicted groups of friends at the concerts.
One of the top posts of the weekend was a gag video, posted by Mark Coughlan (@markcoughlann), with 434 likes and 861 potential impressions. The video paints a dazzlingly vivid portrait of Avivii’s set on Friday evening, the screen moving erratically as the crowd jumps with the music, then pans out to show Coughlan was only videotaping the set on his TV.
This video, which received 266 more likes than Coughlan’s six other posts, was put on Instagram Friday evening at 11 pm. The timing, hashtags, and humor all probably factored into its success.
Top hashtags on Instagram
#Marlaypark featured the most, with 2,244 posts and 46,300 likes. #Avicii came in second place (1,187/ 27,700), followed by #dublin (573/ 9,164) and #summer (378/ 6,744). The second-most mentioned band was Paolo Nutini (#PaoloNutini) with 517 posts and 6,600 likes, followed by Rudimental (#Rudimental 250/ 5,412), then Clean Bandit (#CleanBandit 161/ 4,036) and Imelda May (#ImeldaMay 95/ 1,254).
Within the top 25 posts Instagram, like Twitter, demonstrated the overall positive sentiment toward the weekend concerts with the hashtags #friends (185/ 2,936), #love (124/ 2,209), #unreal (72/ 1,588), and #fun (102/ 1,243). Interestingly, this sentiment was strongly tied to Ireland and Dublin specifically, with #Dublin featuring as the second-most popular hashtag and #Ireland garnering 165 posts and 2.441 likes.
Music has an incredible ability to bring people together — people who are different in every way possible, who each experience music in their own unique way — they bridge these differences to join in celebration of the sound and atmosphere of a concert. Through analyzing this past weekend’s social media response to the events at Marlay Park, we at Olytico have witnessed the myriad of moments and emotions captured by thousands of Twitter and Instagram users. The conversations have demonstrated not only a deep appreciation of music, but a noticeable connection between music and friendship, love, and summer. Furthermore, users have proven a fundamental tie between these motifs and Irish culture, demonstrating an underlying pride and loyalty toward Dublin and Ireland as a whole. In this way, a seemingly simple analysis of social media can act as a powerful testament to the ability of music to form and strengthen something truly important to humanity: community.