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BANDS + BRANDS 
A Guide To Experiential Activations At Music Festivals
OVERVIEW 
Music Festival Landscape 
WHY? 
Marketing Implications 
THE AUDIENCE 
Face Of The Festivalgoer 
FESTIVAL TIERS 
Large, Mid-Size and Small/Niche 
THE MATRIX 
Finding The Right Fit 
Table of Contents 
3 
4 
5 
6 
25 
KEYS TO SUCCESS 
How To Create Ideas That Stick 26
Music Festivals On The Rise 
The music industry is catching its second wind. Though record sales have 
slumped during the last dozen years, there’s been a sort of festival gold 
rush during that same period. In 2013, we saw the most new festivals 
ever, with even more festivals expected to launch in coming years. With 
artists and their labels embracing brand partnerships and festival 
appearances, it’s much easier for artists to reach their fans on a large 
scale and make a little cash, but also for brands to make a deeper 
connection with their audience. 
$1.34 
billion 
TOTAL BRAND SPEND 
ON MUSIC SPONSORSHIPS 
MSLGROUP 
{ 
Sources: 
Time, 
IEG, 
Wondering 
Sound, 
Eventbrite, 
Billboard.com, 
markeDngcharts.com 
} 
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One in ten Americans 
attended a music 
festival in the past 12 
months. 
$1.22 
billion 
$1.28 
billion 
2012 2013 2014 
The dramatic increase in buzz, ticket 
sales and attendance has made 
music festivals the perfect place for 
brands to have extended exposure 
to a (literally) captive audience. 
1 in 10 Up 34% Social media 
conversations 
around music 
festivals spiked 
34% this year 
compared to 
last. 
(In 2014)
Why Brands Should Take Notice 
Music has the unique ability to transcend age, gender and culture, 
making music festivals an ideal place for brands to interact with 
consumers, both to convert new fans and make existing ones even 
more enthusiastic. 
MS{L 
GSoRuOrcUesP: 
I|EG P, 
BAJdSA ge, 
BRAND CONSIDERATION AMONGST FESTIVALGOERS 
Nielsen, 
Havas 
Media 
} 
MOST ACTIVE CATEGORIES 
SPONSORING MUSIC IN THE U.S. 
FOOD 
4.0 
BANKS 
8.1 
TELCO 
SERVICE 
PROVIDERS 
HOTEL & 
RESORT 
CONSUMER 
ELECTRONICS 
AUTO 5.4 
4.7 
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36% 
65% 
60% 
85% 
‘More likely to buy a sponsor’s product’ 
‘Believe brands improve the festival experience’ 
‘Interact with two or more brands at festivals’ 
‘Like the brand activations visited’ 
BEER 
10.0 
SPIRITS 
9.3 
3.8 
SOFT 
DRINKS 
7.4 
RADIO 
2.6 
Festivals can be an exciting place 
for brands to activate. It can also 
be expensive. It is crucial for them 
to be strategically smart, even a 
little surprising, when engaging 
and investing at festivals. 
2.5
The Face Of The Festivalgoer 
3% 31% 45% 14% 7% 
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QUALITIES: 
TECH-SAVVY 
socially conscious 
interested in what’s new & 
Affluent 
next 
PASSIONATE 
{ 
Sources: 
SXSW.com, 
Eventbrite, 
Market 
Wired, 
Mashable, 
Nielsen, 
Iconoculture} 
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MILLENNIAL 
FAST FACTS: 
Population: 
76.6 million 
Buying Power: 
$889.3 billion 
Median Household Income: 
$57,034 
45+ 
<17 
18-24 
25-34 
35-44 
AGE
TIER 1 
Large 
Festivals 
TIER 2 
Mid-size 
Festivals 
TIER 3 
Small / Local 
Festivals 
Festival Tiers 
To dive deeper into the festival experience, we’ve created 
a system of categorizing festivals by size and type: 
100,000+ Attendees 
High-profile festivals that guarantee 
exposure to diverse audiences. 
1 
50K – 90K Attendees 
Large audiences as distinctive as the 
festivals themselves. 
2 
<30,000 Attendees 
More niche and local in nature. 3 
*Large festivals fall under Tier 1, the smallest tier, because there are 
fewer of them compared to the high amount of Small / Local festivals. 
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TIER 1 
1 
100,000+ Attendees 
High-profile festivals that guarantee 
exposure to diverse audiences. 
Organizers of Tier 1 festivals curate the overall festival 
experience to include elements for large, diverse 
audiences, such as farmer’s markets for the conscious 
consumer – and even kid-sized festival areas for 
attendees with children. For a brand, it can be hard to 
connect with these very different targets without 
adding to the other noise and clutter. Messages often 
get lost among the crowds, making it harder to reach 
festivalgoers. 
• PROS: attracts top-tier talent, possesses a robust 
social presence, offers a variety of footprints, 
upgrades (VIP elements), access to large and 
diverse audiences onsite and on social 
• CONS: high cost of entry, high risk of brand 
messaging getting lost in the masses, other brands 
may have your same “unique” assets 
TIER 1 
Large 
Festivals 
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CHICAGO, IL 
Late July – Early August (Summer) 
300K total attendance 
Duration: Three days 
Lollapalooza 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
Lollapalooza is a music experience that attracts a 
slew of loyal festival junkies to Chicago at the 
height of summer humidity. The fest started out as 
an “alternative” music event, but became more 
diverse as it has grown. Tickets are known to sell 
out in minutes, long before a single lineup 
announcement is made. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
Attendees of Lolla fall into two groups – those 
there for the music and those who go for the 
experience. Many festivalgoers blindly purchase 
passes without seeing the lineup, knowing they’ll 
be in for a party regardless of who’s playing. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
In recent years, organizers of the fest have 
become more selective with their festival 
partners. Past sponsors include Bud Light, Bed 
Head, Samsung, CamelBak, Toyota, Gap, Uber 
and f.y.e. 
Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
·∙ 
Lollapalooza 
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Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
·∙ 
Lollapalooza
AUSTIN, TX 
Early – Mid March (Spring) 
250K+ total attendance 
Duration: 10 days 
South By South West 
Credit: Lollapalooza Flickr 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
SXSW is the culmination of music, film and digital 
media events held every spring in Austin, TX. The 
city turns into a hub for creativity and chaos. 
While there are official showcases dedicated to 
the “Ideas Economy” held in the main 
conference center and venues around town, 
events and unofficial parties always pop up in 
unexpected places. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
The fest is famous for attracting entrepreneurs 
and influencers from around the world, but is still 
a destination for upcoming artists and music 
fans. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
Brands are no stranger to SXSW and are known 
to cause quite the media circus. Some of those 
brands include Oreo, Samsung, TOMS, Miller Lite, 
CNN and IFC. 
Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
·∙ 
CC 
·∙ 
Geoff 
Livingston 
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Photo 
Credit: 
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CC 
·∙ 
Kris 
Krüg
MIAMI, FL 
Late March (Spring) 
330K total attendance 
Duration: Two weekends 
ULTRA 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
The Ultra Music Festival is a massive electronic 
dance music event that draws attendees at 
record-breaking numbers. UMF stays true to its 
roots by presenting at the same level of Europe’s 
leading electronic dance festivals. Described as 
diverse, sexy, youthful and energetic, the festival 
is known to create the best rave party 
experience. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
This crowd comes to party. While the audience is 
ethnically diverse, this demo shares one great 
passion – dance. Looking around the festival 
grounds, you’ll see lots of people dressed to stand 
out. This audience is definitely not one for subtlety. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
Ultra sponsors in the past include Heineken, 
Belvedere, Absolut, SiriusXM and Red Bull. 
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Credit: 
Flickr 
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Credit: 
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CC 
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Avarty 
Photos
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 
Early August (Summer) 
200K total attendance 
Duration: Three days 
Outside Lands 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
The Outside Lands Music Festival is an event of 
music, food and art held on the western end of 
Golden Gate Park. The local foodie culture in San 
Francisco plays a role in influencing some of the 
programming, with organizers offering an array of 
culinary experiences to complement an eclectic 
musical lineup. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
The audience at OL is typically full of 
conscientious consumers, trendsetters and those 
who come prepared with herbal refreshments – if 
you catch our drift. The “local” movement is in full 
swing at the festival, with many supporters 
coming out to enjoy the experience. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
Past partners include Heineken, PayPal, Barefoot 
Refresh, Levi’s, Sierra Nevada, Vita Coco and ECO 
Products. 
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Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
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Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
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CC 
·∙ 
Daniel 
Hartwig
AUSTIN, TX 
Early – Mid October (Fall) 
225K total attendance 
Duration: Two weekends 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
Austin City Limits is a music festival that takes 
place in Zilker Park at the heart of Austin. The 
event brings together 130+ artists of all genres, but 
still maintains a friendly folk feel. Known for 
booking one of the strongest lineups in the festival 
circuit, it’s easy to see how Austin got its 
reputation as the “Live Music Capital of the 
World.” 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
The festival lineup transcends demographics and 
attracts a diverse group. Though mainly young 
Millennials, you’re bound to catch some aging 
rockers jamming out with the college crowd. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
ACL has grown at an astounding rate and is 
taking sponsorships and their brand identity to 
new heights. Past partners include Pizza Hut, 
Viacom, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Bud Light, 
Samsung and Honda. 
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Jo 
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Austin City Limits 
Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
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CC 
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Nan 
Palmero
Randall’s Island, NYC 
Early June (Summer) 
120K total attendance 
Duration: Three days 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
The Governors Ball Music Festival is a music event 
that serves up a fun-loving, rebellious attitude on 
top of a lineup that features acts across a wide 
range of genres. The New York Times called it “a 
festival with a New York heart.” In the same state 
that brought us Woodstock, Governors Ball 
manages to evoke similar vibes. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
The organizers of GovBall seem to really know 
their audience. They go out of their way to bring 
in local, small-scale and artisan food vendors to 
feed the Brooklyn foodies who flock to the 
festival. Beyond the culinary snobs, GovBall 
attracts the city’s most fashionable trendsetters. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
The festival has only been around for a few years, 
but has partnered with several top brands. Past 
partners include Gap, Honda, Miller Lite, Citi, 
PayPal, Don Julio and Camelbak. 
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Credit: 
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Governors Ball 
Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
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anax44
TIER 2 
50K – 90K Attendees 
Large audiences as distinctive as the 
festivals themselves. 
2 
Like Tier 1, these festivals attract a large audience, just 
not quite as diverse. Festivalgoers at these events are 
cut from the same cloth, often having similar interests, 
lifestyles and brand behavior. And once they’re all in 
the same place, communities form organically. The 
overall experience at these festivals tends to reflect 
the audience, which gives brands exposure to more 
specific targets. 
• PROS: attracts top-tier talent, access to large 
communities onsite and on social, upgrades (VIP 
elements) 
• CONS: high cost of entry, high risk of brand 
messaging getting lost in the masses, other brands 
may have your same “unique” assets 
TIER 2 
Mid-size 
Festivals 
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INDIO, CA 
Mid – Late April (Spring) 
90K total attendance 
Duration: Two weekends 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 
transforms the desert in Southern California into 
an oasis of music, art and harmony. Since its 
inception, the festival has offered music fans the 
ultimate playground. While the heart of the 
festival is in music, Coachella has become a 
media spectacle with much focus being put on 
“the scene.” 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
Coachella attracts crowds en masse, from 
tattooed hipsters and Hollywood stars incognito, 
to ravers and beach bums. People fly in from all 
across the world for the experience. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
Past partners include Lacoste, H&M, Heineken, 
Sony, T-Mobile and Red Bull. Activations at 
Coachella are known for their extravagance 
and VIP experiences. 
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Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
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Coachella 
Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
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CC 
·∙ 
Byron 
Gonzalez
MANCHESTER, TN 
Mid June (Summer) 
80K+ total attendance 
Duration: Four days 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
Bonnaroo gives festivalgoers a little taste of the 
South. In addition to killer musical lineups year after 
year, the festival also focuses on comedy and 
creating a premier outdoor camping experience. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
Free spirits. The audience is a friendly bunch with 
open-minds and open hearts. The experience at 
Bonnaroo bonds attendees together to create an 
enduring community. Attend Bonnaroo once, and 
you become a part of this group of wildcards who 
don’t mind getting a little dirty. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
Brands have been activating at Bonnaroo for 
years, arguably enhancing the festival experience 
for attendees in many different ways. Partners in 
the past include Xbox, Ford, Garnier Fructis, State 
Farm, Ben & Jerry’s and PayPal. After sponsoring 
once, many brands come back to activate again. 
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Bonnaroo 
Photo 
Credit: 
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Som 
Juan
DOVER, DE 
Mid June (Summer) 
80K+ total attendance 
Duration: Four days 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
The Firefly Music Festival is set amid lush wooden 
landscapes, with a little bit of everything for music 
fans of all types and genres. The evergreen setting 
and shady oak trees create a relaxed camping 
environment and evoke feelings of nostalgia for 
carefree summer days. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
Like Bonnaroo, Firefly attracts young audiences 
like moths to a flame. Firefly becomes home to a 
passionate community of people who shop at 
farmer’s markets and regularly practice yoga. 
They tend to be carefree and consider Firefly an 
escape from the chaos of everyday life. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
Firefly partners with brands that create an organic 
bond with attendees and enhance the overall 
festival experience. Dogfish Head Brewery makes 
a specially-brewed beer for the festival and TOMS 
Shoes lets you customize your own pair. 
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Flickr 
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Jeremy 
Asa 
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Firefly Music Festival 
Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
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CC 
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Jeremy 
Asa
CHICAGO, IL 
Late July (Summer) 
55K total attendance 
Duration: Three days 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
The Pitchfork Music Festival is a creation of the 
internationally recognized music website known 
for its smart, but snarky music journalism. The 
event showcases a laundry list of music’s best 
emerging indie artists and bands, while also 
serving up a selection of festival favorites. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
This is hipster-mecca. You’ll find no other place 
that has as many people who “heard it first” or 
are constantly on the lookout for the next big 
thing. If you want to mingle among the early 
adopters and trendsetters, this is definitely the 
place. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
The festival plays host to several independent 
vendors and corporate sponsors. Past partners 
include Goose Island Brewery, Ray-Ban, Chipotle, 
Whole Foods, Vans, Hostess, Heineken and 
Basecamp. 
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Pitchfork 
Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
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CC 
·∙ 
The 
Zender 
Agenda
AUSTIN, TX 
Early November (Fall) 
55K total attendance 
Duration: Three days 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
FFFFest is an independent festival renowned for its 
eclectic musical lineup, as well as its collection of 
comedy, food, action sports and poster art 
experiences. The festival is a creative, progressive 
event that curates a smattering of passion 
projects for fans of the underground. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
Freaks and Geeks. Festival co-owner James 
Moody says the fest is “for nerds, by nerds,” and 
caters to niche subcultures, which by some 
accounts is an elusive consumer audience to 
reach. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
Past partners include, Shiner Beers, Tito’s Vodka, 
Volcom, Red Bull Select, Blu Electronic Cigarettes, 
Hostess, HEB and KIND. 
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Fun Fun Fun Fest 
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Credit: 
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The 
Other 
Paper
<30,000 Attendees 
More niche and local in nature. 3 
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TIER 3 
Tier 3 festivals may be smaller in size, but the crowds 
make up for it with their enthusiasm. In smaller venues 
and more intimate settings, festivalgoers rally together 
over their shared passions. With many of the festivals 
being community driven and supported, brands have 
the opportunity to interact with leaders and 
influencers in those markets. 
• PROS: access to niche, harder-to-reach audiences 
• CONS: smaller audiences with potentially higher 
brand sensitivity 
TIER 3 
Small / Local 
Festivals
NEWPORT, RI 
Late July (Summer) 
30K total attendance 
Duration: Three days 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
The Newport Folk Festival is known to the world as 
the platform that introduced a national audience 
to artists like Joan Baez and Kris Kristofferson. The 
festival has a rich history and continues to stretch 
the boundaries of folk music today. Very much a 
family affair, the festival grounds also offer 
festivalgoers arts and crafts. This is a special fest 
for fans of folk. It’s not the biggest or flashiest, but 
people come to see how Newport is shaking up 
what you think you know about this genre. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
Among the locals and multi-generational families, 
you’ll find the most genuine souls. This audience is 
no stranger to going against the grain and look 
for brands who do the same. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
Past partners include Alex and Ani Energy, 
Squarespace, Tretorn, Laguinitas Brewing, 
Newport Storm Rhode Islands Microbrewery and 
Late July Organic. 
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Boston 
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Newport Folk Festival 
Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
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Dig 
Boston
GEORGE, WA 
Late May (Spring) 
20K total attendance 
Duration: Three days 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
The Sasquatch! Music Festival is the largest festival 
held in the Pacific Northwest, with no future plans 
of growing. Organizers want to maintain the 
intimate ambiance that is created in the natural 
amphitheater by keeping the festival on a smaller 
scale. The scene is definitely rustic and creates a 
communal experience for festivalgoers. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
Like many who live in the Pacific Northwest, the 
audience is best described as laid back, 
optimistic and a little off center. They connect 
with nature and can be found engaging in 
outdoors-y activities when not rocking out. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
Official sponsors of Sasquatch in the past include, 
Skype, Bud Light, Jack Daniel’s and several 
companies local to Washington. 
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Credit: 
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Harvey 
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Sasquatch! 
Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
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CC 
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Jess 
Sloss
BROOKLYN, NY 
Late August (Summer) 
25K total attendance 
Duration: Two days 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
The Afro Punk Festival is a unique music 
experience described by the New York Times as 
“the most multicultural festival in the US.” 
According to organizers, the word “Afropunk” 
itself has become synonymous with open minded, 
non-conforming and unconventional, placing the 
fest at the epicenter of urban culture inspired by 
music. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
The people here are smart, think boldly and love 
a good social movement. This audience 
connects with more artistic sensibilities and tends 
to be more self aware than the average 
consumer. They’re very conscious of the world 
around them. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
Past sponsors and partners include, Red Bull 
Sound Select, Doc Martens, Nubian Heritage, 
Yelp, Pantene and Perrier. 
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Credit: 
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Miles 
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Afro Punk Festival 
Photo 
Credit: 
Flickr 
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CC 
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Adrian 
Miles
DOWNTOWN BOISE, ID 
Late March (Spring) 
6K total attendance 
Duration: Five days 
ABOUT THE FEST: 
The Treefort Music Fest is a homegrown music 
experience rooted in the Boise community. The 
event is produced by a passionate staff of unpaid 
volunteers to immerse the people of Boise in art, 
entertainment, discussion and culture. Known as a 
“festival of discovery,” people are encouraged to 
submit artists to be featured during the fest. 
PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: 
Strong-willed and passionate do-gooders. These 
are the people you want for neighbors. They’re 
always on the hunt for new experiences, and 
have a natural curiosity for all things. Individuals 
within this audience try to do their part to improve 
the community they care about. 
THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: 
Festival partners in the past include, Alaska 
Airlines, New Belgium Brewing, Boise State 
University, Project Filter and countless local 
companies in the community. 
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Cecil 
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Treefort Music Fest 
Photo 
Credit: 
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Kasey 
Elliot
SMALL 
LARGE 
DIVERSE 
NICHE 
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Festival Matrix
Keys to Success 
FOCUS ON 
PASSION 
POINTS 
PROVIDE SOME 
CREATURE 
COMFORTS 
INTEGRATE 
YOUR BRAND 
THROUGHOUT 
THE ENTIRE 
FESTIVAL 
EXPERIENCE 
MAKE IT 
PERSONAL 
THINK OF 
YOUR FESTIVAL 
EXPERIENCE 
AS AN ANNUAL 
REUNION 
OF THE BRAND 
COMMUNITY 
THEY’RE 
HUMAN. 
THEY’RE 
BENEFICIAL. 
THEY’RE 
RELATABLE. 
THEY’RE 
EVERYWHERE. 
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Focus On Passion Points 
Don’t show up like you just read an article on Gen Y and 
music festivals and decided you should get in on the action. 
You should have a great understanding of what the festival 
audience is passionate about and not just rely on 
demographic information. 
Show up to the festival exactly how your target audience 
does – as a genuine fan of the artists performing and the 
community that they represent. 
Align closely with the music. Make direct associations with 
specific bands and the unique qualities of the festival you’re 
activating at – not just the general idea of them. 
By establishing your brand as an integrated part of the fan 
community, your activation becomes truly integrated in the 
experience rather than just another advertisement. 
WHO DID IT RIGHT? 
H&M 
WHERE DID THEY DO IT? 
Coachella 2012 
WHAT HAPPENED? 
H&M welcomed festivalgoers 
with an air-conditioned 
escape from the heat and a 
#KissForACause photo area 
that appealed to socially 
driven attendees. Each 
hashtagged photo earned a 
$1 donation from H&M to 
Fashion Against AIDS. 
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Keys to Success IDEAS THAT STICK 
WHO DID IT RIGHT? 
Fender 
WHERE DID THEY DO IT? 
Lollapalooza 2013 
WHAT HAPPENED? 
Fender created an exclusive 
pop-up shop giving budding 
musicians and music fans the 
opportunity to try and buy 
Fender guitars and gear, 
while also taking in live, in-store 
performances. 
Photo Credit: Label Networks 
Photo Credit: Bizbash
IDEAS THAT STICK 
Keys to Success WHO DID IT RIGHT? 
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Integrate Your Brand Throughout 
The Entire Festival Experience 
UrbanDaddy & Mini Cooper 
WHERE DID THEY DO IT? 
Lollapalooza 2013 
WHAT HAPPENED? 
Influencers, artists and 
regular festivalgoers reserved 
a Mini Cooper for their “Mini 
Night Out,” which included 
stops at various Lolla after 
parties around town. The 
celebrity-style transportation 
made guests feel like rock 
stars, even if they weren’t. 
After researching the specific conditions of your festival and 
the start-to-finish experience that attendees enjoy, brands 
should create ways to integrate themselves into every step. 
That means connecting with fans at every point of the 
experience, pre-event, during the event and post-event. 
Send out pre-event packets with people’s wristbands before 
the festival, meet your fans at the airport, interact with them 
at their hotels or lodging areas, give them opportunities to 
share their festival moments on social and make sure you’re 
there to send them back home with something special as 
they wrap up their experience. 
WHO DID IT RIGHT? 
Chipotle 
WHERE DID THEY DO IT? 
Pitchfork 2014 
WHAT HAPPENED? 
A week prior to the festival, 
Chipotle sent exclusive email 
invites to people so they could 
reserve a spot inside their 
lounge onsite. During the fest, 
these VIP attendees could 
take advantage of free tacos 
and bottled water, but walk-Photo 
Photo Credit: Co-incide.com 
Credit: Bizbash.com ins were also welcome.
Keys to Success WHO DID IT RIGHT? 
Provide Some Creature Comforts 
PayPal 
WHERE DID THEY DO IT? 
Outside Lands 2014 
WHAT HAPPENED? 
No one wants to get stuck 
carrying around heavy 
backpacks and personal 
belongings at a festival. 
Security is paramount to 
PayPal, so they provided 
festivalgoers lockers to safely 
store their stuff so they could 
Photo Credit: pbjs get back to the music. 
MSLGROUP 
| 
PBJS 
| 
2299 
IDEAS THAT STICK 
In addition to directly supporting the performers, brands 
benefit from providing valuable amenities to festivalgoers 
and by coming up with solutions to many festival pain points. 
Figure out how to tie your brand’s attributes and benefits into 
the experience so that your messaging truly resonates and 
makes a lasting impression on festivalgoers. 
Make sure you have a clear picture of the conditions at your 
chosen festival so that you can create the most comfortable, 
fun and ideal festival experience for fans. 
WHO DID IT RIGHT? 
Popchips 
WHERE DID THEY DO IT? 
Pitchfork 2013 
WHAT HAPPENED? 
Popchips eased attendees’ 
pain with their “Relief Hut,” 
where guests could purchase 
in-demand supplies like 
mobile phone chargers while 
learning about Habitat for 
Humanity, to whom the “hut” 
was later donated. 
Photo Credit: Popchips
IDEAS THAT STICK 
Keys to Success WHO DID IT RIGHT? 
Make It Personal 
Oreo 
WHERE DID THEY DO IT? 
SXSW 2014 
WHAT HAPPENED? 
Through the awesomeness of 
3D printing, Oreo created 
truly trendy snacks with 
flavors based on trending 
hashtags on Twitter. Guests 
waited in line for hours to get 
a cookie while tweeting to 
determine their chocolatey 
MSLGROUP 
| 
PBJS 
| 
3300 
Photo Credit: Maya.com destiny. 
Festivalgoers are there to make memories. 
Plenty of companies hand out swag to fans, only for it to be 
discarded at home or even onsite at the festival. However, 
brands can highlight their relevance and unique point-of-view 
by providing personalized, thoughtful mementos for 
guests to show off at the festival and beyond. 
Encourage personalization that gives fans a chance to 
engage with your product. Customization creates a huge 
value proposition that speaks to this audience’s desire to 
express their individuality. At music festivals, everyone wants 
to stand out from the crowds. 
WHO DID IT RIGHT? 
Gap 
WHERE DID THEY DO IT? 
Sasquatch 2013 
WHAT HAPPENED? 
Gap amplified the rustic 
outdoor atmosphere of 
Sasquatch by featuring a DIY 
cutoff shorts station, nostalgic 
games like cornhole and 
face painting, all while in a 
relaxed, effortlessly cool tent 
and seating area. 
Photo Credit: Uniformjournal.com
IDEAS THAT STICK 
Keys to Success WHO DID IT RIGHT? 
MSLGROUP 
| 
PBJS 
| 
31 
Think Of Your Festival Experience As An 
Annual Reunion Of The Brand Community 
Samsung 
WHERE DID THEY DO IT? 
Lollapalooza 2014 
WHAT HAPPENED? 
Samsung Galaxy owners got 
VIP privileges like fresh 
batteries and upgrades, while 
other festivalgoers got to cool 
down with champagne 
popsicles, comfy seating and 
the chance to explore phone 
features exclusive to 
Photo Credit: Bizbash Samsung. 
The best festival strategies are long-term and engage fans 
each in a way that is signature to your brand, but continually 
evolving. 
Provided that you already have an active brand community, 
the festival experience you create is a chance to engage 
your audience and reward them for their loyalty and 
participation. 
As for the people who weren’t familiar with your brand 
before your activation, don’t forget to keep in touch – you 
made all these new friends and you shouldn’t wait an entire 
year to talk to them again. Give your audience as many 
opportunities as possible to show their support for your brand 
onsite and long after they leave the festival grounds. 
WHO DID IT RIGHT? 
Sephora 
WHERE DID THEY DO IT? 
Coachella 2014 
WHAT HAPPENED? 
Guests were primed and 
pampered in the Sephora 
tent, where makeup artists 
gave attendees beauty tips 
and tricks, as well as coupons. 
Sephora’s Beauty Insider 
loyalty program members 
were treated to expedited 
access during the fest. Photo Credit: meetobsession.com
WANNA JAM WITH US? 
LET’S KEEP TALKING. 
CONTACT: 
Lindsay Rowe 
lindsay.rowe@pbjs.com 
375 Hudson St. 14th Floor 
New York, NY 10014 
646-500-7673 
www.pbjs.com 
ABOUT PBJS: 
PBJS is family of creative and 
production talents bonded by 
strategic thinking and a 
passion for seeing our clients 
succeed beyond their 
expectations. We conceive 
and execute ideas that stick. 
PBJS Seattle 
(206) 694-6000 
SEA@pbjs.com 
PBJS Chicago 
(312) 297-1400 
CHI@pbjs.com 
PBJS New York 
(646) 500-7600 
NYC@pbjs.com 
PBJS St. Louis 
(314) 932-5285 
STL@pbjs.com

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Bands & Brands: A Guide to Experiential Activations at Music Festivals

  • 1. BANDS + BRANDS A Guide To Experiential Activations At Music Festivals
  • 2. OVERVIEW Music Festival Landscape WHY? Marketing Implications THE AUDIENCE Face Of The Festivalgoer FESTIVAL TIERS Large, Mid-Size and Small/Niche THE MATRIX Finding The Right Fit Table of Contents 3 4 5 6 25 KEYS TO SUCCESS How To Create Ideas That Stick 26
  • 3. Music Festivals On The Rise The music industry is catching its second wind. Though record sales have slumped during the last dozen years, there’s been a sort of festival gold rush during that same period. In 2013, we saw the most new festivals ever, with even more festivals expected to launch in coming years. With artists and their labels embracing brand partnerships and festival appearances, it’s much easier for artists to reach their fans on a large scale and make a little cash, but also for brands to make a deeper connection with their audience. $1.34 billion TOTAL BRAND SPEND ON MUSIC SPONSORSHIPS MSLGROUP { Sources: Time, IEG, Wondering Sound, Eventbrite, Billboard.com, markeDngcharts.com } | PBJS | 3 One in ten Americans attended a music festival in the past 12 months. $1.22 billion $1.28 billion 2012 2013 2014 The dramatic increase in buzz, ticket sales and attendance has made music festivals the perfect place for brands to have extended exposure to a (literally) captive audience. 1 in 10 Up 34% Social media conversations around music festivals spiked 34% this year compared to last. (In 2014)
  • 4. Why Brands Should Take Notice Music has the unique ability to transcend age, gender and culture, making music festivals an ideal place for brands to interact with consumers, both to convert new fans and make existing ones even more enthusiastic. MS{L GSoRuOrcUesP: I|EG P, BAJdSA ge, BRAND CONSIDERATION AMONGST FESTIVALGOERS Nielsen, Havas Media } MOST ACTIVE CATEGORIES SPONSORING MUSIC IN THE U.S. FOOD 4.0 BANKS 8.1 TELCO SERVICE PROVIDERS HOTEL & RESORT CONSUMER ELECTRONICS AUTO 5.4 4.7 MSLGROUP | PBJS | 44 36% 65% 60% 85% ‘More likely to buy a sponsor’s product’ ‘Believe brands improve the festival experience’ ‘Interact with two or more brands at festivals’ ‘Like the brand activations visited’ BEER 10.0 SPIRITS 9.3 3.8 SOFT DRINKS 7.4 RADIO 2.6 Festivals can be an exciting place for brands to activate. It can also be expensive. It is crucial for them to be strategically smart, even a little surprising, when engaging and investing at festivals. 2.5
  • 5. The Face Of The Festivalgoer 3% 31% 45% 14% 7% MSLGROUP | PBJS QUALITIES: TECH-SAVVY socially conscious interested in what’s new & Affluent next PASSIONATE { Sources: SXSW.com, Eventbrite, Market Wired, Mashable, Nielsen, Iconoculture} MSLGROUP | PBJS | 5 MILLENNIAL FAST FACTS: Population: 76.6 million Buying Power: $889.3 billion Median Household Income: $57,034 45+ <17 18-24 25-34 35-44 AGE
  • 6. TIER 1 Large Festivals TIER 2 Mid-size Festivals TIER 3 Small / Local Festivals Festival Tiers To dive deeper into the festival experience, we’ve created a system of categorizing festivals by size and type: 100,000+ Attendees High-profile festivals that guarantee exposure to diverse audiences. 1 50K – 90K Attendees Large audiences as distinctive as the festivals themselves. 2 <30,000 Attendees More niche and local in nature. 3 *Large festivals fall under Tier 1, the smallest tier, because there are fewer of them compared to the high amount of Small / Local festivals. MSLGROUP | PBJS MSLGROUP | PBJS | 66
  • 7. TIER 1 1 100,000+ Attendees High-profile festivals that guarantee exposure to diverse audiences. Organizers of Tier 1 festivals curate the overall festival experience to include elements for large, diverse audiences, such as farmer’s markets for the conscious consumer – and even kid-sized festival areas for attendees with children. For a brand, it can be hard to connect with these very different targets without adding to the other noise and clutter. Messages often get lost among the crowds, making it harder to reach festivalgoers. • PROS: attracts top-tier talent, possesses a robust social presence, offers a variety of footprints, upgrades (VIP elements), access to large and diverse audiences onsite and on social • CONS: high cost of entry, high risk of brand messaging getting lost in the masses, other brands may have your same “unique” assets TIER 1 Large Festivals MSLGROUP | PBJS MSLGROUP | PBJS | 7
  • 8. CHICAGO, IL Late July – Early August (Summer) 300K total attendance Duration: Three days Lollapalooza ABOUT THE FEST: Lollapalooza is a music experience that attracts a slew of loyal festival junkies to Chicago at the height of summer humidity. The fest started out as an “alternative” music event, but became more diverse as it has grown. Tickets are known to sell out in minutes, long before a single lineup announcement is made. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: Attendees of Lolla fall into two groups – those there for the music and those who go for the experience. Many festivalgoers blindly purchase passes without seeing the lineup, knowing they’ll be in for a party regardless of who’s playing. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: In recent years, organizers of the fest have become more selective with their festival partners. Past sponsors include Bud Light, Bed Head, Samsung, CamelBak, Toyota, Gap, Uber and f.y.e. Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ Lollapalooza MSLGROUP | PBJS | 8 Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ Lollapalooza
  • 9. AUSTIN, TX Early – Mid March (Spring) 250K+ total attendance Duration: 10 days South By South West Credit: Lollapalooza Flickr ABOUT THE FEST: SXSW is the culmination of music, film and digital media events held every spring in Austin, TX. The city turns into a hub for creativity and chaos. While there are official showcases dedicated to the “Ideas Economy” held in the main conference center and venues around town, events and unofficial parties always pop up in unexpected places. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: The fest is famous for attracting entrepreneurs and influencers from around the world, but is still a destination for upcoming artists and music fans. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: Brands are no stranger to SXSW and are known to cause quite the media circus. Some of those brands include Oreo, Samsung, TOMS, Miller Lite, CNN and IFC. Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Geoff Livingston MSLGROUP | PBJS | 9 Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Kris Krüg
  • 10. MIAMI, FL Late March (Spring) 330K total attendance Duration: Two weekends ULTRA ABOUT THE FEST: The Ultra Music Festival is a massive electronic dance music event that draws attendees at record-breaking numbers. UMF stays true to its roots by presenting at the same level of Europe’s leading electronic dance festivals. Described as diverse, sexy, youthful and energetic, the festival is known to create the best rave party experience. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: This crowd comes to party. While the audience is ethnically diverse, this demo shares one great passion – dance. Looking around the festival grounds, you’ll see lots of people dressed to stand out. This audience is definitely not one for subtlety. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: Ultra sponsors in the past include Heineken, Belvedere, Absolut, SiriusXM and Red Bull. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Avarty Photos | PBJS | 10 Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Avarty Photos
  • 11. SAN FRANCISCO, CA Early August (Summer) 200K total attendance Duration: Three days Outside Lands ABOUT THE FEST: The Outside Lands Music Festival is an event of music, food and art held on the western end of Golden Gate Park. The local foodie culture in San Francisco plays a role in influencing some of the programming, with organizers offering an array of culinary experiences to complement an eclectic musical lineup. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: The audience at OL is typically full of conscientious consumers, trendsetters and those who come prepared with herbal refreshments – if you catch our drift. The “local” movement is in full swing at the festival, with many supporters coming out to enjoy the experience. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: Past partners include Heineken, PayPal, Barefoot Refresh, Levi’s, Sierra Nevada, Vita Coco and ECO Products. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Emma Sparks | PBJS | 11 Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Daniel Hartwig
  • 12. AUSTIN, TX Early – Mid October (Fall) 225K total attendance Duration: Two weekends ABOUT THE FEST: Austin City Limits is a music festival that takes place in Zilker Park at the heart of Austin. The event brings together 130+ artists of all genres, but still maintains a friendly folk feel. Known for booking one of the strongest lineups in the festival circuit, it’s easy to see how Austin got its reputation as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: The festival lineup transcends demographics and attracts a diverse group. Though mainly young Millennials, you’re bound to catch some aging rockers jamming out with the college crowd. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: ACL has grown at an astounding rate and is taking sponsorships and their brand identity to new heights. Past partners include Pizza Hut, Viacom, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Bud Light, Samsung and Honda. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Roxanne Jo Mitchell | PBJS | 12 Austin City Limits Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Nan Palmero
  • 13. Randall’s Island, NYC Early June (Summer) 120K total attendance Duration: Three days ABOUT THE FEST: The Governors Ball Music Festival is a music event that serves up a fun-loving, rebellious attitude on top of a lineup that features acts across a wide range of genres. The New York Times called it “a festival with a New York heart.” In the same state that brought us Woodstock, Governors Ball manages to evoke similar vibes. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: The organizers of GovBall seem to really know their audience. They go out of their way to bring in local, small-scale and artisan food vendors to feed the Brooklyn foodies who flock to the festival. Beyond the culinary snobs, GovBall attracts the city’s most fashionable trendsetters. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: The festival has only been around for a few years, but has partnered with several top brands. Past partners include Gap, Honda, Miller Lite, Citi, PayPal, Don Julio and Camelbak. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ anax44 | PBJS | 13 Governors Ball Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ anax44
  • 14. TIER 2 50K – 90K Attendees Large audiences as distinctive as the festivals themselves. 2 Like Tier 1, these festivals attract a large audience, just not quite as diverse. Festivalgoers at these events are cut from the same cloth, often having similar interests, lifestyles and brand behavior. And once they’re all in the same place, communities form organically. The overall experience at these festivals tends to reflect the audience, which gives brands exposure to more specific targets. • PROS: attracts top-tier talent, access to large communities onsite and on social, upgrades (VIP elements) • CONS: high cost of entry, high risk of brand messaging getting lost in the masses, other brands may have your same “unique” assets TIER 2 Mid-size Festivals MSLGROUP | PBJS MSLGROUP | PBJS | 14
  • 15. INDIO, CA Mid – Late April (Spring) 90K total attendance Duration: Two weekends ABOUT THE FEST: The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival transforms the desert in Southern California into an oasis of music, art and harmony. Since its inception, the festival has offered music fans the ultimate playground. While the heart of the festival is in music, Coachella has become a media spectacle with much focus being put on “the scene.” PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: Coachella attracts crowds en masse, from tattooed hipsters and Hollywood stars incognito, to ravers and beach bums. People fly in from all across the world for the experience. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: Past partners include Lacoste, H&M, Heineken, Sony, T-Mobile and Red Bull. Activations at Coachella are known for their extravagance and VIP experiences. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Shawn Ahmed | PBJS | 15 Coachella Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Byron Gonzalez
  • 16. MANCHESTER, TN Mid June (Summer) 80K+ total attendance Duration: Four days ABOUT THE FEST: Bonnaroo gives festivalgoers a little taste of the South. In addition to killer musical lineups year after year, the festival also focuses on comedy and creating a premier outdoor camping experience. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: Free spirits. The audience is a friendly bunch with open-minds and open hearts. The experience at Bonnaroo bonds attendees together to create an enduring community. Attend Bonnaroo once, and you become a part of this group of wildcards who don’t mind getting a little dirty. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: Brands have been activating at Bonnaroo for years, arguably enhancing the festival experience for attendees in many different ways. Partners in the past include Xbox, Ford, Garnier Fructis, State Farm, Ben & Jerry’s and PayPal. After sponsoring once, many brands come back to activate again. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Lindsay Turner | PBJS | 16 Bonnaroo Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Som Juan
  • 17. DOVER, DE Mid June (Summer) 80K+ total attendance Duration: Four days ABOUT THE FEST: The Firefly Music Festival is set amid lush wooden landscapes, with a little bit of everything for music fans of all types and genres. The evergreen setting and shady oak trees create a relaxed camping environment and evoke feelings of nostalgia for carefree summer days. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: Like Bonnaroo, Firefly attracts young audiences like moths to a flame. Firefly becomes home to a passionate community of people who shop at farmer’s markets and regularly practice yoga. They tend to be carefree and consider Firefly an escape from the chaos of everyday life. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: Firefly partners with brands that create an organic bond with attendees and enhance the overall festival experience. Dogfish Head Brewery makes a specially-brewed beer for the festival and TOMS Shoes lets you customize your own pair. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Jeremy Asa | PBJS | 17 Firefly Music Festival Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Jeremy Asa
  • 18. CHICAGO, IL Late July (Summer) 55K total attendance Duration: Three days ABOUT THE FEST: The Pitchfork Music Festival is a creation of the internationally recognized music website known for its smart, but snarky music journalism. The event showcases a laundry list of music’s best emerging indie artists and bands, while also serving up a selection of festival favorites. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: This is hipster-mecca. You’ll find no other place that has as many people who “heard it first” or are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing. If you want to mingle among the early adopters and trendsetters, this is definitely the place. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: The festival plays host to several independent vendors and corporate sponsors. Past partners include Goose Island Brewery, Ray-Ban, Chipotle, Whole Foods, Vans, Hostess, Heineken and Basecamp. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Incase | PBJS | 18 Pitchfork Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ The Zender Agenda
  • 19. AUSTIN, TX Early November (Fall) 55K total attendance Duration: Three days ABOUT THE FEST: FFFFest is an independent festival renowned for its eclectic musical lineup, as well as its collection of comedy, food, action sports and poster art experiences. The festival is a creative, progressive event that curates a smattering of passion projects for fans of the underground. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: Freaks and Geeks. Festival co-owner James Moody says the fest is “for nerds, by nerds,” and caters to niche subcultures, which by some accounts is an elusive consumer audience to reach. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: Past partners include, Shiner Beers, Tito’s Vodka, Volcom, Red Bull Select, Blu Electronic Cigarettes, Hostess, HEB and KIND. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Nash Cook | PBJS | 19 Fun Fun Fun Fest Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ The Other Paper
  • 20. <30,000 Attendees More niche and local in nature. 3 MSLGROUP MSLGROUP | PBJS | PBJS | 20 TIER 3 Tier 3 festivals may be smaller in size, but the crowds make up for it with their enthusiasm. In smaller venues and more intimate settings, festivalgoers rally together over their shared passions. With many of the festivals being community driven and supported, brands have the opportunity to interact with leaders and influencers in those markets. • PROS: access to niche, harder-to-reach audiences • CONS: smaller audiences with potentially higher brand sensitivity TIER 3 Small / Local Festivals
  • 21. NEWPORT, RI Late July (Summer) 30K total attendance Duration: Three days ABOUT THE FEST: The Newport Folk Festival is known to the world as the platform that introduced a national audience to artists like Joan Baez and Kris Kristofferson. The festival has a rich history and continues to stretch the boundaries of folk music today. Very much a family affair, the festival grounds also offer festivalgoers arts and crafts. This is a special fest for fans of folk. It’s not the biggest or flashiest, but people come to see how Newport is shaking up what you think you know about this genre. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: Among the locals and multi-generational families, you’ll find the most genuine souls. This audience is no stranger to going against the grain and look for brands who do the same. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: Past partners include Alex and Ani Energy, Squarespace, Tretorn, Laguinitas Brewing, Newport Storm Rhode Islands Microbrewery and Late July Organic. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Dig Boston | PBJS | 21 Newport Folk Festival Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Dig Boston
  • 22. GEORGE, WA Late May (Spring) 20K total attendance Duration: Three days ABOUT THE FEST: The Sasquatch! Music Festival is the largest festival held in the Pacific Northwest, with no future plans of growing. Organizers want to maintain the intimate ambiance that is created in the natural amphitheater by keeping the festival on a smaller scale. The scene is definitely rustic and creates a communal experience for festivalgoers. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: Like many who live in the Pacific Northwest, the audience is best described as laid back, optimistic and a little off center. They connect with nature and can be found engaging in outdoors-y activities when not rocking out. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: Official sponsors of Sasquatch in the past include, Skype, Bud Light, Jack Daniel’s and several companies local to Washington. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Ryan Harvey | PBJS | 22 Sasquatch! Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Jess Sloss
  • 23. BROOKLYN, NY Late August (Summer) 25K total attendance Duration: Two days ABOUT THE FEST: The Afro Punk Festival is a unique music experience described by the New York Times as “the most multicultural festival in the US.” According to organizers, the word “Afropunk” itself has become synonymous with open minded, non-conforming and unconventional, placing the fest at the epicenter of urban culture inspired by music. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: The people here are smart, think boldly and love a good social movement. This audience connects with more artistic sensibilities and tends to be more self aware than the average consumer. They’re very conscious of the world around them. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: Past sponsors and partners include, Red Bull Sound Select, Doc Martens, Nubian Heritage, Yelp, Pantene and Perrier. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Adrian Miles | PBJS | 23 Afro Punk Festival Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Adrian Miles
  • 24. DOWNTOWN BOISE, ID Late March (Spring) 6K total attendance Duration: Five days ABOUT THE FEST: The Treefort Music Fest is a homegrown music experience rooted in the Boise community. The event is produced by a passionate staff of unpaid volunteers to immerse the people of Boise in art, entertainment, discussion and culture. Known as a “festival of discovery,” people are encouraged to submit artists to be featured during the fest. PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET: Strong-willed and passionate do-gooders. These are the people you want for neighbors. They’re always on the hunt for new experiences, and have a natural curiosity for all things. Individuals within this audience try to do their part to improve the community they care about. THE COMPANY YOU’D KEEP: Festival partners in the past include, Alaska Airlines, New Belgium Brewing, Boise State University, Project Filter and countless local companies in the community. MSLGROUP Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Erin Cecil | PBJS | 24 Treefort Music Fest Photo Credit: Flickr ·∙ CC ·∙ Kasey Elliot
  • 25. SMALL LARGE DIVERSE NICHE MSLGROUP | PBJS | 25 Festival Matrix
  • 26. Keys to Success FOCUS ON PASSION POINTS PROVIDE SOME CREATURE COMFORTS INTEGRATE YOUR BRAND THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE MAKE IT PERSONAL THINK OF YOUR FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE AS AN ANNUAL REUNION OF THE BRAND COMMUNITY THEY’RE HUMAN. THEY’RE BENEFICIAL. THEY’RE RELATABLE. THEY’RE EVERYWHERE. MSLGROUP | PBJS MSLGROUP | PBJS | 2266
  • 27. Focus On Passion Points Don’t show up like you just read an article on Gen Y and music festivals and decided you should get in on the action. You should have a great understanding of what the festival audience is passionate about and not just rely on demographic information. Show up to the festival exactly how your target audience does – as a genuine fan of the artists performing and the community that they represent. Align closely with the music. Make direct associations with specific bands and the unique qualities of the festival you’re activating at – not just the general idea of them. By establishing your brand as an integrated part of the fan community, your activation becomes truly integrated in the experience rather than just another advertisement. WHO DID IT RIGHT? H&M WHERE DID THEY DO IT? Coachella 2012 WHAT HAPPENED? H&M welcomed festivalgoers with an air-conditioned escape from the heat and a #KissForACause photo area that appealed to socially driven attendees. Each hashtagged photo earned a $1 donation from H&M to Fashion Against AIDS. MSLGROUP | PBJS | 2277 Keys to Success IDEAS THAT STICK WHO DID IT RIGHT? Fender WHERE DID THEY DO IT? Lollapalooza 2013 WHAT HAPPENED? Fender created an exclusive pop-up shop giving budding musicians and music fans the opportunity to try and buy Fender guitars and gear, while also taking in live, in-store performances. Photo Credit: Label Networks Photo Credit: Bizbash
  • 28. IDEAS THAT STICK Keys to Success WHO DID IT RIGHT? MSLGROUP | PBJS | 2288 Integrate Your Brand Throughout The Entire Festival Experience UrbanDaddy & Mini Cooper WHERE DID THEY DO IT? Lollapalooza 2013 WHAT HAPPENED? Influencers, artists and regular festivalgoers reserved a Mini Cooper for their “Mini Night Out,” which included stops at various Lolla after parties around town. The celebrity-style transportation made guests feel like rock stars, even if they weren’t. After researching the specific conditions of your festival and the start-to-finish experience that attendees enjoy, brands should create ways to integrate themselves into every step. That means connecting with fans at every point of the experience, pre-event, during the event and post-event. Send out pre-event packets with people’s wristbands before the festival, meet your fans at the airport, interact with them at their hotels or lodging areas, give them opportunities to share their festival moments on social and make sure you’re there to send them back home with something special as they wrap up their experience. WHO DID IT RIGHT? Chipotle WHERE DID THEY DO IT? Pitchfork 2014 WHAT HAPPENED? A week prior to the festival, Chipotle sent exclusive email invites to people so they could reserve a spot inside their lounge onsite. During the fest, these VIP attendees could take advantage of free tacos and bottled water, but walk-Photo Photo Credit: Co-incide.com Credit: Bizbash.com ins were also welcome.
  • 29. Keys to Success WHO DID IT RIGHT? Provide Some Creature Comforts PayPal WHERE DID THEY DO IT? Outside Lands 2014 WHAT HAPPENED? No one wants to get stuck carrying around heavy backpacks and personal belongings at a festival. Security is paramount to PayPal, so they provided festivalgoers lockers to safely store their stuff so they could Photo Credit: pbjs get back to the music. MSLGROUP | PBJS | 2299 IDEAS THAT STICK In addition to directly supporting the performers, brands benefit from providing valuable amenities to festivalgoers and by coming up with solutions to many festival pain points. Figure out how to tie your brand’s attributes and benefits into the experience so that your messaging truly resonates and makes a lasting impression on festivalgoers. Make sure you have a clear picture of the conditions at your chosen festival so that you can create the most comfortable, fun and ideal festival experience for fans. WHO DID IT RIGHT? Popchips WHERE DID THEY DO IT? Pitchfork 2013 WHAT HAPPENED? Popchips eased attendees’ pain with their “Relief Hut,” where guests could purchase in-demand supplies like mobile phone chargers while learning about Habitat for Humanity, to whom the “hut” was later donated. Photo Credit: Popchips
  • 30. IDEAS THAT STICK Keys to Success WHO DID IT RIGHT? Make It Personal Oreo WHERE DID THEY DO IT? SXSW 2014 WHAT HAPPENED? Through the awesomeness of 3D printing, Oreo created truly trendy snacks with flavors based on trending hashtags on Twitter. Guests waited in line for hours to get a cookie while tweeting to determine their chocolatey MSLGROUP | PBJS | 3300 Photo Credit: Maya.com destiny. Festivalgoers are there to make memories. Plenty of companies hand out swag to fans, only for it to be discarded at home or even onsite at the festival. However, brands can highlight their relevance and unique point-of-view by providing personalized, thoughtful mementos for guests to show off at the festival and beyond. Encourage personalization that gives fans a chance to engage with your product. Customization creates a huge value proposition that speaks to this audience’s desire to express their individuality. At music festivals, everyone wants to stand out from the crowds. WHO DID IT RIGHT? Gap WHERE DID THEY DO IT? Sasquatch 2013 WHAT HAPPENED? Gap amplified the rustic outdoor atmosphere of Sasquatch by featuring a DIY cutoff shorts station, nostalgic games like cornhole and face painting, all while in a relaxed, effortlessly cool tent and seating area. Photo Credit: Uniformjournal.com
  • 31. IDEAS THAT STICK Keys to Success WHO DID IT RIGHT? MSLGROUP | PBJS | 31 Think Of Your Festival Experience As An Annual Reunion Of The Brand Community Samsung WHERE DID THEY DO IT? Lollapalooza 2014 WHAT HAPPENED? Samsung Galaxy owners got VIP privileges like fresh batteries and upgrades, while other festivalgoers got to cool down with champagne popsicles, comfy seating and the chance to explore phone features exclusive to Photo Credit: Bizbash Samsung. The best festival strategies are long-term and engage fans each in a way that is signature to your brand, but continually evolving. Provided that you already have an active brand community, the festival experience you create is a chance to engage your audience and reward them for their loyalty and participation. As for the people who weren’t familiar with your brand before your activation, don’t forget to keep in touch – you made all these new friends and you shouldn’t wait an entire year to talk to them again. Give your audience as many opportunities as possible to show their support for your brand onsite and long after they leave the festival grounds. WHO DID IT RIGHT? Sephora WHERE DID THEY DO IT? Coachella 2014 WHAT HAPPENED? Guests were primed and pampered in the Sephora tent, where makeup artists gave attendees beauty tips and tricks, as well as coupons. Sephora’s Beauty Insider loyalty program members were treated to expedited access during the fest. Photo Credit: meetobsession.com
  • 32. WANNA JAM WITH US? LET’S KEEP TALKING. CONTACT: Lindsay Rowe lindsay.rowe@pbjs.com 375 Hudson St. 14th Floor New York, NY 10014 646-500-7673 www.pbjs.com ABOUT PBJS: PBJS is family of creative and production talents bonded by strategic thinking and a passion for seeing our clients succeed beyond their expectations. We conceive and execute ideas that stick. PBJS Seattle (206) 694-6000 SEA@pbjs.com PBJS Chicago (312) 297-1400 CHI@pbjs.com PBJS New York (646) 500-7600 NYC@pbjs.com PBJS St. Louis (314) 932-5285 STL@pbjs.com