How Kickin' it Country hit 50 locations in six months

How Kickin' it Country hit 50 locations in six months

Having worked in the events industry for two decades - from starting in student nightlife across Scotland to running his own events, learning to DJ, and working with brands like Yellow Elephant and Bingo Loco - Gregg Wilson has now built a brand that is making waves across the UK.

Since launching in late 2023, Kickin' it Country has hosted events nationwide - from Inverness to Cornwall - selling thousands of tickets and earning devoted fans of all ages along the way.

We spoke to Gregg about the brand's rapid rise, how they tailor their events to attract a diverse audience, and how they've used FIXR's features to maximise the success of their events.

How was Kickin' it Country born, and what has the journey been like to get to where you are today?

It’s been an adventure. Kickin' it Country started with me running a night in Glasgow with a close friend. An operator for a venue in Aberdeen asked us whether we could tour the event, but because that was an in-house brand for the venue, we came up with something separate. That's where Kickin’ it Country was born.

Within six months, we were in about 50 locations. Average capacity is 400-500, but we have venues ranging from 250 to 1000+ across the country.

It’s been a very quick journey! It wasn’t really planned, it was just born out of a mutual love of country music and an opportunity to tour something that’s never been toured.

What was your introduction to FIXR?

I've been working with FIXR since 2016 after being recommended the platform by a friend in the event industry, and we’ve been with you guys ever since.

It's so easy to set up a new event and make edits. It’s all very user-friendly which suits us down to a tee. We like to keep things as simple as possible.

We’ve always had really good account management; that’s one of the big reasons we’ve been with FIXR for so long.

FIXR has been growing as we’ve been growing, but if ever there's something we need to discuss, it’s always so easy and quick to get somebody by email or on the phone.

Photo: Engine Rooms Southampton

Your growth has coincided with a real cultural moment for country music, was Kickin' it Country inspired by that growing enthusiasm?

We ran that first event in Glasgow about two and a half or three years ago, and we always knew there was that love for country music.

You see it with events like C2C Festival selling out every time, way in advance. So there was definitely already a scene. But with country music hitting the charts it’s nice to see the genre getting the recognition it deserves.

Tell us about the audience for your events, it seems like they appeal to a broad demographic.

They certainly do. We look at these events as having something for everyone, but our core audience is 25 to 45 years old.

We're trying to mirror that by doing slightly earlier events, so you can have an amazing party but still get the last train home, or make work the next day. We’re trying to be more accommodating with the events we do.

We play a massive mix of older classic country and newer, modern stuff. We’ve got 18-year-olds and 80-year-olds that come to the events!

Photo: Kickin' it Country

Is that something that you've been able to explore using FIXR's demographics analytics?

The attendees and breakdown of demographics is definitely one of the things we use the most, it's one of the handiest tools on the platform.

It helps us in our conversations with our partner venues; being able to give them the gender split and average age of attendees, as well as the total numbers. That can shape decisions on staffing, security and which drinks to stock up on.

Having that insight into demographics means we can run a more seamless event and make the guest experience the best it can be.

It also helps us tailor what our marketing ads look like. With Meta marketing, the more specific you are with targeting, the better the impact those adverts have.

Was the move towards earlier club nights a deliberate response to a trend in who's buying tickets to events, and what they are looking for?

Definitely. I think the nightlife industry has been geared heavily towards young people and student culture for so many years and it’s a nice shift. It feels good to get everybody in one room.

Country music helps with that as well. Our crowds are just lovely, and it’s a great atmosphere having big groups singing along. It’s crazy how many young people know the classics and get involved.

It's so expensive now for hotels in city centres and for transport. Anything we can do to bring down the cost of a night out for our guests is a bonus. If you can get home directly from the event using public transport, it helps a lot. And it means people then have that revenue to purchase tickets.

Photo: Kickin' it Country

Does that influence decisions on venues for future events?

We have criteria that we look at for every venue, and we need to be strategic in where we go. What we are trying to do is not just look at your usual big hitters in terms of location. We’re seeing massive success in places like Newquay for example, or places like Falkirk or Ayr.

Traditionally I think it would just be assumed that if you’re doing an event up here you would just look at Glasgow. But we had an event in Ayr that sold out in about 16 minutes. It shows there are opportunities outside the big cities.

How have you found using the FIXR Entry Manager app for your ticket scanning?

It’s been seamless. Giving the access tokens to the venues to log in and scan tickets, and adding guestlists and things like that. It’s been really easy.

The only thing we’d have found even more useful is the ability to see after the event how many attendees actually turned up so we can analyse our dropout rate, rather than just seeing that information on the night itself.

That’s actually something that’s been added to the platform with our recent Insights launch. You can see the percentage of tickets scanned to understand no-show rates.

Brilliant, I’m still playing about with the new Insights stuff so I’ll check it out!

Photo: Engine Rooms Southampton

Are there any other FIXR features that have been particularly useful for your events?

It has a real effect on getting the word out there.

The way FIXR integrates with our marketing has been very beneficial; FIXR works hand-in-hand with Meta marketing and our link-clink campaigns do really well.

The opt-ins for us to do email campaigns have been brilliant. In this day and age, the obligation to be GDPR compliant is obviously very important, so that takes a burden off us when it comes to helping get our email marketing out.

Likewise, the latest followers update has been great. Whenever we launch an event in a new area, our followers get notified about it.

What's the plan for growth? Bigger venues? More locations?

We’ve got a big UK map with a little sticker for everywhere that we’re running events, and there’s definitely going to be more locations in the UK to hit!

We’re also looking outside this country with a few events planned in Europe and beyond. We’ve done events in the past in Ireland and Australia, and being able to use FIXR for those events in multiple countries is really beneficial.

We just want to keep doing what we’re doing, and take over the UK one big country party at a time!

Head here to see upcoming Kickin' it Country events.

If you're interested in learning more about how FIXR can help your events business grow, don't hesitate to get in touch.