landmark music festival

The National Mall is one of our country’s most iconic and picturesque destinations for travelers from across the country and around the world – 29 million people per year in fact. As our nation’s most visited national park, it is perceived as pristine with lush green grounds and perfectly polished monuments. Unfortunately, that’s far from reality. With crumbling monuments and poorly maintained grounds as a result of drastic underfunding, the Mall has struggled to keep up with necessary maintenance and has been unable to make much-needed upgrades.

Enter: The Trust for the National Mall – the nonprofit responsible for fixing the park’s very serious funding gap. With a goal of drawing attention to the cause through engagement of our country’s younger generation, the Trust set to bring some necessary noise to the Mall’s dire state with the first-ever Landmark Music Festival. The two-day event featured 40 artists, including headliners Drake and The Strokes, plus more.

Swanson Communications was brought on board to help the Trust elevate the cause throughout the promotion of the event – ensuring it didn’t get lost in the excitement of the festival’s impressive lineup, and bringing the National Mall’s issues to the attention of media on a more national level.

The team began by developing a comprehensive pitch that spoke to the uniqueness of the event and the dire state of the park. A targeted media list was created to ensure that the media across print, digital and television outlets were covered. This included extensive research, discovery and outreach to media members that were likely to cover the National Mall as well as the Landmark Music Festival. In addition to aggressively pitching media outlets, the team worked with media members credentialed for the event to ensure that the cause was mentioned prominently in pre and post-event stories.

The National Mall’s physical condition spoke to the significance of its needs, and the severity of its underfunding, so in lieu of a formal press conference, our team worked with the Trust to organize two media tours of the park’s grounds. This included a partnership with the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus that provided transportation for media members. Press was given a guided tour of the Mall and the bus stopped at critical points throughout the route to offer a deeper look at what additional funding could fix and bring to the iconic park.

Throughout the two-day event, our team worked to gather attendee and artist quotes that captured the essence of the event and the importance of the Mall, which were later serviced out to media for post-event stories. Aggressive pitching ensued following the event, and details of monies raised throughout the Festival were shared. Coverage secured for the event and the cause was diverse and included outlets such as Associated Press, NPR, CSPAN, The Source and more.

Photo Credit: C3 Presents