Promotional Products Agency

A look at brand participation in music festivals

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Music festivals are so much more than just a series of concerts, it’s a combination of music, art, culture, and BRANDS coming together to make an experience. In between acts there are so many things for festival goers to do from staking out food, to staking out bathrooms, to laying in the grass and finally to visit the array of sponsors/brand tents.

Brands at festivals have also transformed. It’s gone from slapping a logo on a banner to sponsorships that get a stage named after you, massive huts and elaborate tents, lounges, VIP zones, games, contests, product giveaways and so on. As a whole, brands have become part of the festival experience and have to stay ahead of the game in order to connect with the attendees.

Things to consider:

1. Know your audience

Brands need to find a way to correlate their message to the festival and it’s audience so there is no disconnect. It’s also important to find a balance with your message/product so that people aren’t feeling like they are being sold to.

2. People love free stuff

Handing out samples of your product (especially if it’s food or drink), even intangible things like air conditioning or free WiFi stations leave a great impression with festival goers.

3. Create something useful

Sure it may not be as fun to hand out water, but if you can integrate the items that people need the most like sunscreen, wipes, water, sunglasses, t-shirts etc. then that’s a good interaction for your brand. Other items that can be deemed not as useful may be thrown away or lost by the end of the day.

4. Create something that can be shared

To create an experience for the attendees there are “brand activations” which are those big tents and stations set up that include some sort of engagement with a brand. Things like photo booths with a specific hashtag, contests and interesting product can drive engagement and share-ability online.

Examples from some of this years Festivals:

Messenger @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Facebook Messenger had a “Reflecting Positivity” pavillion with hundreds of mirrors where festival goers can write positive messages. They also had postcards that can be mailed for you. Overall it was interactive and shareable with the hashtag #MessagesthatMatter.

HP @ Coachella 

The HP “Antarctic Dome” was a digitally immersive attraction that consisted a music stage, lounge and space to design product. Participants used HP products to print custom bandanas and water bottles. They could even post on their social using a 120-degree photo share. Through all this they wanted to elevate brand perception and increase purchases in HP products.

Lays @ The Governors Ball

Lays have been making the festival rounds this year with their #FlavoroftheFest campaign. At their tent, guests can taste four different flavours of chips and vote by scanning their festival wristbands. They were encouraged to share pictures and share the chips by taking pics with the campaign hashtag.

These were just a select few of hundreds of installations/brand experiences at this years festivals. In Canada we’ve got Osheaga, Boots and Hearts, Veld and many more coming up. If you’re attending any upcoming music festivals take a look around, visit these brand activations and see what cool things they are doing or giving away to make an impression on you!

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