O+ Festival – The local festival named after the universal blood type is a unique but simple concept that’s catching the attention of folks beyond our region. For one week, artists from near and far descend on Kingston and do paste-ups of art all over the city, kind of of like sanctioned graffiti. The festival really kicks off on Friday, when every music venue and art gallery in the area begins buzzing with activity, lasting all weekend. Like many festivals of its ilk, O+ engages the whole community.
However, the unique, cool concept behind it will blow your mind: the whole non-profit venture is built around doctors, dentists and other medical professionals trading health care to the artists and musicians in exchange for participating and performing. For one weekend, health care providers take over the Kirkland Hotel and offer a free clinic to the hundreds of O+ musicians, artists and volunteers. It’s a triage situation where those in most need of urgent care get it on site that weekend, while the rest schedule gratis appointments for after the festival.
This year, we volunteered our skills to build a really cool website for the O+ Festival based on QR code scanning. Next to artists’ paste-ups, we placed QR codes to be scanned by mobile devices. When scanned, it brings up a page with information about the artist — a portfolio of selected works, a biography, and a link to the artist’s official website. Whereas in the past visitors were left wondering who created these public works of art, now they can connect with the creator, benefiting both parties. As very enthusiastic patrons of the arts, we’re quite proud of it.
The O+ Festival takes place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Kingston, NY. We hope to see you there!
The Process: The concept for the QR code website was ours, and the O+ team embraced it enthusiastically. We started with a quick discovery meeting to hear the suggestions of the team, and then set off to make a set of wireframes to illustrate the functional specifications. Then we created designs, sliced them up and built a custom post type in WordPress to display the artist info. Once everything was up and running, we filled up the site with content by scraping artist websites before handing the site over to the O+ team to finish content population. Lastly, we printed out our QR codes and pasted them up all over town.