How Animal Crossing became Animal Crossing.

Romanian DJs, resident DJs, graffiti and animated animals.

Animal Crossing is a collective of DJs in Manchester hosting parties in unique spaces across the city.

Ever since its first party in 2018, Animal Crossing has captured the imagination of the underground music scene across the U.K. and Europe with its line-ups, colourful artwork and animated characters.

Blueprint 17 focuses on the backstory of Animal Crossing and how it all came about.

Remember, the blueprint to success is right in front of you. You just have to look in the right places.

Animal Crossing – The Inspiration

To learn about the backstory of Animal Crossing, I listened to the Syntho Podcast with guest Olli Ryder [one of Animal Crossing’s co-founders].

“Whatever anyone else is doing, do the complete opposite.”

This is the advice Olli’s boss at The Warehouse Project told him in the car on his way to playing football.

This advice has stayed with him the whole time and helped him build the brand to what it is now.

Animal Crossing – The Branding

“When me and Joey [Jackson] sat down we said it needs to be colourful, it needs to be fun, it needs to reflect who we are because we are all a bit daft aren’t we really”.

The name and logo were inspired by The Wired [an American tech magazine] and a musical instrument [the accordion] owned by Olli’s Grandad [who passed away when he was five].

The accordion had the name Paulo Soprani on it. After Googling the name and clicking through Wikipedia, Olli and Joey came across a pink elephant that said Animal Crossing.

“It was like this eureka moment, it was mad. It was like everything just clicked and I realised this what my life is meant to be about.”

Animal Crossing – Planning a Party

Below are a series of images that shows you the transformation of The Arches – an unused outdoor space in Manchester.

The line-up was SIT (Cristi Cons b2b Vlad Caia), Priku and Herodot – three Romanian artists from the Sunrise agency.



Animal Crossing – Planning A Party

“When we approach a line-up, we always like to put that extra name in to elevate the experience. A lot of it is down to the venues as well. When we find a venue, we build a creative around it. When we did the arches, we spray painted the whole thing. When we were going to the Infuse showcase, we added the plastic film to [the windows]. It’s what we think will work in the space the best.”

Animal Crossing presents Summer Of Love

Like every events company in the world, Animal Crossing’s plans were affected by the pandemic.

However, one thing that shined through in the podcast was Olli’s positivity. Throughout the pandemic, Animal Crossing has supported mental health charities, started a record label and launched a brand new festival – The Summer Of Love – a two-day music, arts and mindful experience in the heart of Manchester City Centre.

The festival has partnered with leading underground music platforms and collectives to bring together the scene.

Below is the key static assets from the launch.

Take notes. This is outstanding.


The Blueprint – Read more about events

Thanks for reading. If you’d enjoyed the content, I’d appreciate it if you joined the email list. I share a new case study, like this one, each week.

I focus a lot on branding and events in these newsletters. If you’re new here, here are four other newsletters that you might like.

How The Warehouse Project launched REPERCUSSION
The Warehouse Project launch – Part 1
Launch an event like FUSE

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