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How SimpleCrew Helped BUKU Foster the BUKU Grassroots Community through Street Team Accountability

A photo of BUKU festival


Music Festival Marketing


New Orleans, Louisiana


Didn’t want to be boxed into other rigid solutions. Had no way to hold team members accountable.


Have systems of accountability to help with rewarding team members. Street team members have a default way of documenting their work.


The BUKU marketing team is able to justify street team spend, get more granular with rewards and remain accountable as they expand their street team into other markets.

BUKU Music + Art Project

BUKU is a two-day music and arts festival founded in 2012 by Winter Circle Productions and held annually at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans. BUKU hosts a range of genres from EDM to hip hop to indie rock with past performances like Bassnectar, Kid Cudi, Alt-J, MGMT, Travis Scott, Illenium, hundreds of others.

The BUKU marketing team runs street team campaigns in New Orleans and other markets including Denver, New York City, Chicago, Orlando and others to grow and foster the national BUKU community.

The Challenge

The team needed a way to track their street team promotions and hold their team members completely accountable for their work. The criteria they were looking for was a flexible solution that they could mold to fit their strategy.

Other solutions had more to do with ‘sending out tasks’ which isn’t necessarily for us. We give everyone the framework and then we let them do their own thing. I looked at Social Ladder, and there were a lot of moving parts in that program that emphasized certain things that we don’t need to use
Lauren Blouin
Marketing Manager at BUKU Music + Art Project
Lauren Blouin photo

When Lauren began working with BUKU, her team was already using SimpleCrew. But having worked with other street teams in the past, she noticed right away the one thing that made BUKU’s street team so unique: accountability via SimpleCrew.

We could decide what we wanted to do, and then use your program to align with that.

Ultimately, they decided to stick with using SimpleCrew.

Her past street teams were rewarding team members with free tickets, merch, meet and greets or late-night access to after-shows without any way of verifying that they actually did their work.

Team members would lie about where they posted flyers or manipulate the system because they knew their manager wouldn’t find out. This slowed campaign results and damaged trust between managers and team members.

It’s nice to be able to tell that someone is not just putting out the flyers on the same block and pretend like they put them in a million different spots.

The Solution

Lauren and her team use SimpleCrew’s photo uploads to determine the best ways to reward their street team members.

“It’s easy to go look at the Louisville or New York teams’ uploads and see what they’ve been posting. I can look at all of them and see what’s happening, but I don’t know how we would determine team rankings or team rewards without SimpleCrew because we use it to directly play into how we reward our team.

Taran Cornejo, who works closely with Lauren on BUKU, said that the accountability and photo sharing through SimpleCrew doesn’t only help the marketing team, but the team members love it too.

“A lot of our street team kids are on other street teams, and they’ve told us time and time again that this is their favorite street team. They really are just a close community.
Taran Cornejo
Senior Marketing Manager at Winter Circle Productions
Taran Cornejo photo

SimpleCrew helps Taran and Lauren provide a system where street team members can document their work and connect more deeply with their peers — which allows them to justify rewards.

I think that because we’ve been able to get so granular with what rewards we’re giving and be so specific that it really makes the team connect more with it because most other teams that I’ve seen don’t do this kind of stuff. For them, it’s literally just like ‘you sell the tickets and you get a free ticket, or you make these Facebook posts and you get a free ticket’

The Result

Lauren was even able to use SimpleCrew to correlate street team promotions with ticket sales.

“Everyone used to have their own links for tickets, but now we just do it so that everyone has their own codes. It’s not a discount code, but they’re able to use it to give credit to the street team member they got it from, which counts towards their points. Lauren: We sold over a thousand tickets just through street team promo codes,

According to Taran, building up systems of accountability and trust has allowed them to expand the street team to other geographic areas. BUKU started local in 2012 but has since expanded their marketing reach to other markets.

“We really rely on the street teams to be on the front lines in these cities that we don’t have reach to who just might be hearing about BUKU for the first time.

And in a space that’s dominated by digital marketing, BUKU — which is a boutique music festival —still really focuses on grassroots engagement along with social media. SimpleCrew helps them bring accountability into both channels.

Our social media and fan engagement online are great in general even without doing any paid advertisement, but I think our street teams are doing a great job of fostering the BUKU community.