An Ongoing Partnership in Design

A regional musical celebration gets a fully responsive facelift: Blend’s five-year partnership with Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues.


  • Sioux Falls JazzFest

A Half Million JazzFest Fans Can’t Be Wrong

Its rare to get even a dozen people to show up at an event. And then theres the annual Sioux Falls JazzFest — an event that manages to draw more than 100 thousand attendees over three days. Every year. Like clockwork.

For the past five years (that’s nearly 500,000 attendees worth), Blend has been helping Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues by implementing design updates and keeping the festivals web presence up and moving. And this year, we took it one step further with a full-out redesign and content model overhaul, allowing editors to make quick updates and keep their mind on more important things: like being front row for the biggest show of the year.

The Redesign

The redesign focused on the two things that an event site should focus on: easy access to the schedule, and easy access to amenities.

It started with Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues reworking of the site map, freeing up some of the bloat that happened over the years and focusing specifically on what concert attendees need. The lineup was the biggest improvement, organizing the acts by date and time (rather than stage) while still allowing site users to filter by stage.

Furthermore, by making the site responsive, Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues is able to serve site content to mobile-bound concert-goers in two different ways: via the Sioux Falls JazzFest app, and through the site itself.

The newly designed and totally remodeled JazzFest home page.

Making It Custom

Even with a simple design, updates can be a pain. This was the case the last few years, as the sites graphics and content needs began to outpace the sites functional abilities.

Beyond moving the site toward a responsive, structured design, we worked with Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues to provide an added level of flexibility. As a non-profit organization with limited staff, it was key to build something that could be bold and useful without making it too complex and cost-prohibitive in the future.

For example, color schemes on the site can be adjusted to match future branding — allowing their small team to make site-wide style changes without having to hire a formal web designer (and without forcing the organization to make complex code changes).

Additionally, all images, logos, and even the footer map are 100% editor-managed, which allows for subtle changes in font and major changes in graphic design — the perfect mix to keep a year-over-year site fresh and vibrant. Its like jazz itself: structured, yet with the freedom to noodle around a bit.

Finally, sponsors are served as their own content type, which makes reusability (and site-wide updates) so much easier. Instead of manually attaching a sponsor to an artist, JazzFest can make widespread changes to a sponsor logo, add a sponsor to multiple areas, and remove a sponsor quickly if they back out over time.

A Guide. A Schedule. A Lot of Fun.

Sioux Falls’ biggest concert of the year needs more than just a few flyers and a poster at Guitar Center — it needs a guide, a schedule, and a bold declaration of great music.

The JazzFest schedule, filtered by main stage, showing only the relevant information, including sponsors.

From the opening press conference announcing the year’s lineup to the final hours of the show itself, the Sioux Falls JazzFest site is a key communication tool. It has to show excitement. It has to convey order. It has to be fun. And Blend is thrilled to help out every year.

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