Ikea debuts 24-hour online festival showcasing homes

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
YouTube celebrities The Scott Family are participating in the Ikea Festival.

A global furniture giant is offering a combination of virtual home tours and live musical performances as part of a daylong promotional event.

Ikea is hosting the inaugural Ikea Festival throughout the day on Thursday, Sep. 16. Over 100 homes in more than 50 countries around the world will be showcased during the free online event. Attendees will be able to see home makeovers, designers and Ikea collaborators working in their own spaces, cooking challenges from professional chefs including Pasta Queen and Paul Svensson, discussions of environmental topics, and live performances from musicians’ homes.

Specific festival sets will include city and neighborhood tours from musical performers including MØ, Kanis, Niki, and Masego; in-home sets from DJs including Kaytranada, Loraine James, and Zuli; and home visits with customers and celebrities including Ilse Crawford. In addition to MØ and Masego, musical headliners include Kaytranada, Virgil Abloh, and The Scott Family.

In addition, the event will offer livestreams from Ikea locations around the world, including a factory floor in Zbąszynek, Poland and a prototype shop in Älmhult, Sweden. There will also be a digital Ikea museum.

"This is a new kind of experience Ikea wants to offer, celebrating, connecting, and engaging around life at home,” said Erika Intiso, managing director of Ikea Marketing and Communication AB. “Home tours around the world will open doors to new experiences and new inspiration. We want to spark a conversation on the more sustainable and affordable life at home of tomorrow. And just as with any festival, you can expect a few surprises,"

"Life at home has taken on a whole new meaning for every one of us over the past year, and by being virtually connected, we can open the door to many more lives around the world – exploring how we all live, celebrating individuality and creativity,” said Olivia Ross Wilson, communications director, Ingka Group. “Our first Ikea Festival will bring people together around life at home in a new way, both online and in our stores, and will be the beginning of a longer-term movement of real homes and real lives."

Ikea has been shifting to a more digitally-focused business model since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the company began leveraging Google Cloud, among other key serverless technologies, to globally scale its business to operate in the new, pandemic-driven retail environment. The retailer empowered employees with data and digital tools, automated routine tasks, and built advanced algorithms to solve complex problems, among other cloud-enabled steps.

And in December 2020, Ikea ended publication of its annual printed catalog after 70 years, citing the increased shift to online browsing and shopping. During that year, Ikea’s online retail sales increased by 45% worldwide, and its website had more than four billion visits.

The Ikea festival is accessible at or on Thursday, Sep. 16. The event is free and no sign-up is required.

Founded in Sweden in 1943, Ikea has 375 stores in 30 countries, including 52 U.S. locations. There are several companies with different owners, working under the Ikea brand. The Ikea retail business is operated through a franchise system with franchisees that are authorized to market and sell the Ikea product range within specified geographical territories.