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Two years after attending Lollapalooza 2016, I still have my State Farm fanny pack and am forever grateful to Cottonelle for providing ponchos and wipes to combat the horrible weather. When done right, brands can make a lasting impression on festival attendees. While any festival will have its share of endemic partners, music labels, publications and radio promoters, non-endemics can still make a name for themselves – though they have to work harder to make their presence known. As such, brands considering festival sponsorship need to look beyond just building brand awareness and really focus on ways to raise the fan experience.

To gain insight into what’s working (and what’s not) across festivals, rEvolution conducts on-site research that provides a real-time snapshot of guests’ awareness, brand opinion and purchase intent at the event. If your brand is considering sponsoring a musical festival, here are our top three tips and tricks on how to maximize the investment.

1. Stay in it
Bud Light and Toyota have been long-standing partners of Lollapalooza, and each has carved out a signature position that has made both almost synonymous with the festival.

  • In addition to its pouring rights, Bud Light is also the presenting sponsor of one of the main stages, which makes the brand a destination. Just think how often you hear, “Meet me at the Bud Light stage!” The brand’s unaided awareness is off the charts with nearly half of the guests able to recall it.
  • Toyota has been a partner for more than a decade – I have my signature bandanas to prove it. As a result, it is among the top five recalled brands at Lollapalooza. Yes, there is a car on display, but the brand brings in talent to host DJ sets at the brand footprint, and its commemorative memento brings me back every year.

2. Extend your reach outside of the festival
Braving the elements, crowd, heat, etc., for a whole weekend is not for everyone, and many music enthusiasts are choosing to follow the festival from the comfort of their own environment. Red Bull TV does a great job expanding the festival’s reach in broadcasting and live-streaming sets. While its awareness is not as strong as Bud Light’s, the partnership gives the platform an arsenal of content that gives life to the festival well beyond its four days.

3. Create engagement that enhances rather than distracts
Samsung has been a partner of Lollapalooza in past years and has offered a variety of experiences to showcase the brand’s technology. When it came to its virtual reality (VR) experience, only a quarter of guests tried it because it took away from the real-life experience. When guests are there for the music and social atmosphere, it’s important that brands not become a barrier to these interactions.

If curious in learning more about how we can help your brand gauge its impact at festivals, sports games or other major experiential events, message me here. Rain or shine.

Source: rEvolution 2016 Lollapalooza on-site research