Sundance Festival Tests Gowalla, Offers Free Flights

sundance

Cinema buffs wishing to fly for free to the Sundance Film Festival next month may want to try their luck on Gowalla.

Until Dec. 31, people checking in at airports that fly to Salt Lake City can win plane tickets for the Park City, UT-based festival. Gowalla today is announcing a co-partnership with Sundance and Southwest Airlines, which will fly 20 winners to the event.

During the 10-day Sundance festival in January, people checking in will be rewarded virtual prizes that can then be redeemed for physical items at Park City shops. Custom stamps have been created for official venues such as the Egyptian Theater, said Austin, TX-based Gowalla. And custom pins are rewards for completing the Sundance agenda on Gowalla’s “Trips” platform. Trips lets users curate a list of places by checking in while sharing them with friends. Pins can be redeemed for prizes or to gain access to Sundance events and parties. The more users check in, Gowalla says, the more likely they’ll win.

It’s the first notable partnership unveiled by Gowalla since it advanced its compatibility with Foursquare (4 million users) and Facebook Places (reportedly 30 million). Gowalla, which boasts 600,000 app users, released its 3.0 version last week and hopes to extend campaign distribution through Foursquare and Facebook.

It’s not the first time a Gowalla effort has reached out to cinema buffs. In August, it partnered with Levi’s and Alamo Drafthouse in an effort that also utilized the “Trips” platform. The national campaign encouraged people to check in while visiting scene locations for movies in the nine cities where they took place. The films included: “There Will Be Blood” (Bakersfield, CA); the first three “Rocky” films (Philadelphia); “Dirty Harry” (San Francisco); “Jackie Brown” (Torrance, CA); “Robocop” (Detroit);”On The Waterfront” (Hoboken, NJ); “The Blues Brothers” (Joliet, Illinois); “Convoy” and “Red Dawn” (Las Vegas); and “The Godfather II” (New York, NY).

The first 50 people who completed the “Trip” in each city received a VIP prize to attend a special screening of the film. For instance, winning players in Philadelphia were invited to watch the three “Rocky” films on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art – where Rocky Balboa finished his famous jog in “Rocky III.”

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