Summer is upon us, and we’re well into festival season. Music lovers across the country gather in venues big and small for days at a time providing brands a concentrated target audience to engage. 


Summer is coming (though its arrival is very slow for most of the country). It’s a time for food, music and fun – all of which come together during a perennial summer activity … music festivals. And while some people see headliners and rock stars, brands see opportunity and engagement.

Music festival attendees are primarily comprised of that golden egg of a target audience – millennials. They come in groups to hear their favorite bands, enjoy the warm weather and experience the atmosphere as a collective. The audience is primed to make an emotional connection and they are open to trying new things, which creates new opportunities. 

As the music plays and they enjoy time with friends, it’s the perfect time to offer them a new product, provide some helpful information or ask for their opinions. Your music festival activation can make all of these things happen. But, there are some things to keep in mind when preparing to make your mark at a festival:

  • The types of audiences you might encounter will vary with the types of festivals you attend. Make sure to tailor your approach, sample type and requests to those individuals with whom you’re speaking. Knowing your audience and the product will allow your staff to create meaningful connections between your brand and your target.  
  • Having one point of contact with the venue is ideal on both sides. There are many things to coordinate, and keeping them clear is essential to a smooth activation. These could include:
    • Access passes
    • Necessary credentials
    • Power drop/electricity
    • Storage/space for back of house operations
  • The days are long … and your ambassadors are exposed to the elements. Whether it’s sunny and hot or cold and rainy, make sure your staff is appropriately attired and protected with sunscreen. These brand ambassadors represent many people’s first one-on-one interaction with your brand, service or product. Their comfort – or discomfort – comes across to your audience. Take care of them. Make sure their uniforms are comfortable enough to wear 15 hours straight. Ensure they get appropriate water and food breaks. And ideally, give them the opportunity to enjoy the experience.  
  • Create a true value exchange. As brands, we’re asking festival-goers to give their time and personal data. When determining what kinds of samples or premium items to distribute, consider what their time and information is worth to you. Provide the audience something of equal value that will get their attention.  
  • No matter the city, venue or tour, the crowds will be out in full force. Have a plan in place to manage traffic flow and capacity. Keeping your area organized and easy to maneuver through can attract visitors as much as any hand out you’re providing.

Best of luck to the road warriors hitting the festival circuit this summer – we’ll see you at the shows!

To learn more about activating at music festivals, please contact Karen Bailey at