As the warm weather creeps in (ever so slowly) and my neighbors drag out the barbecues and patio furniture, I am reminded of a summer pastime I’ve known and loved my entire life: the tailgate. Whether for concert or sporting events, tailgating has always been a great time to socialize with friends or meet new people in a relaxed setting. Naturally, I tuned in when I heard that NBC’s The Voice has started hosting (as of this past Monday, actually) “virtual tailgates” with the stars of the show…and we’re all invited! All guests need to “attend” is the hashtag #VoiceTailgate and it will “start” 20 minutes before the show airs.

The event proved to be a hit with enthusiastic engagement from fans interacting with each other as well as with the stars of the show. It spanned across most social media venues, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, Snapchat, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Executive Producer Audrey Morrissey was quoted as saying, “The Voice prides itself on leading the way in social media engagement with its fans, making it a top priority in everything we do.” Oh, and don’t worry – they didn’t skimp on the best part of every tailgate – the food! Food blogger Siri Pinter (who also happens to be Carson Daly’s wife) will create spreads for each event and then post recipes for people to try.

I’ll be interested to see if this kind of engagement catches on within the industry or even outside it. And good for The Voice for developing a creative new take on a popular American tradition…but I think I’ll stick to the old fashioned way this summer!

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