3 Cost-Effective Ways to Engage at Music Festivals

The positive energy of the crowd, the tunes in the air, and the massive amounts of people – music festivals offer a unique and fun opportunity for experiential marketing. But with sponsorship price tags in the 5, 6, or even 7 figure range, where does a smaller brand even begin?

The good news is that there are lots of creative options for activating at music festivals!

3 Cost-Effective Ways to Engage at Music Festivals 1. Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is probably the simplest of these activations to pull off, and depending on your brand, it can be very effective. In case you’re not familiar with this term, guerrilla marketing, often called street teams, is when you hand out coupons, samples, or other marketing material in a high traffic area without having a permit or an official sponsorship of an event.

We worked with a sunscreen brand at Lollapalooza, and hundreds of consumers put on the sunscreen right there. It was really the perfect time to hand them sunscreen, as many hadn’t even thought to put some on. We’ve also seen ride sharing companies promote at these events with great success.

If your product lends itself to product sampling, you can hand out samples, or even full-size bottles, to festival attendees on their way in. However, remember that most festivals won’t let attendees bring in their own drinks/snacks. So, you’ll want to consider this in your planning.

  • Is your product best suited for before or after the event?
  • Do you have smaller size options the consumer can consume while walking to the event or in the line to get in? Many consumers will decline the sample if they feel they’d be wasting a considerable part of it.

2. Pre-event Activation

Typically, there are quite a few hours each day before the first act hits the stage. This leaves several hours to connect with your music aficionados. For health-minded brands, mornings are a great time to create a zen-like experience, like a yoga session, smoothie bar, etc. We use the term “morning” loosely here. Keep in mind most of your target consumers here will have been up pretty late watching their favorite bands.

If you’re not really a zen-type brand, try creating an event to start their day off – maybe high energy hydration, a music festival clothing pop-up shop, or a photo experience. The options are endless!

3 Cost-Effective Ways to Engage at Music Festivals 3. Partner with Another Brand

This one sounds obvious, but can be tricky. It’s important to find a brand whose product and culture fit with your brand. Without both, the experiential marketing activation can fall flat…fast. The key to finding a synergistic partnership is connecting on common messaging that applies to both your companies. For example, two plant-based brands that have complimentary products could offer plant-based breakfast tacos, or veggie tots, or sliders, or…ok, you get it. Note: don’t write blogs when you’re hungry.

Coming up with a successful music festival field marketing activation isn’t easy, but with creativity, organization, and a considerable amount of work, it can be a fun and memorable way to connect with your target consumers. And if you find yourself needing help, you know where to find us!

Do you love music festivals? Tell us which is your favorite and why!


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