Why Millennials Like For Brands To Sponsor Music Festivals


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Billions Spent On Music Festivals By Brands

While music festivals have been around for decades, it’s no secret that the popularity of events like Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo has exploded. And, of course, with more popularity, comes more exposure, which is precisely why sponsorship dollars spent on music events in 2017 is at $1.54 billion, up 4.8% from last year - which is the average yearly rate of growth over the last several years.

Clearly, there's a lot to be gained for brands looking to market towards millennials, as this venue continues to be a gainful market to invest in.

In this blog post, we look at some of the top brands sponsoring music festivals, why their sponsorships are so successful, and why millennials like brands to sponsor music festivals. 

Blog - Music Festival Brand  Sponsor

The Who's Who

There’s a lot of appeal in music festivals because they’ve become such a societal trend. It’s no longer just your music junkies hoping to see ten of their favorite bands in one day.

It’s your fashion groupies, tech nerds, lifestyle bloggers, etc… These festivals have become a who’s who in industries across the board, which results in brand takeaways in thousands of outlets. This is because in addition to reaching the thousands of people actually attending the festival, brands also receive exposure in all of the places posting pictures and news stories about the goings on of the festival.

It’s no secret that stars like Beyoncé, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Rihanna, and Paris Hilton love attending these music gatherings, and we all know that where celebrities are, the paparazzi follow and the Polo Fields of Coachella are no different.  

Here are paparazzi shots of Rihanna drinking a Heineken, Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez enjoying their Red Bull, and Paris Hilton jamming with her Sprite. These photos were posted and reposted on everything from Instagram to Rolling Stone.


Extending The Sponsorship To Influencers

To additionally capitalize on the power of celebrity, brands can also sponsor a celebrity or social media influencer to attend a festival.

With a partnership like this, there are many opportunities for the brand to really infiltrate the celeb’s festival weekend. In the past we’ve seen brands do things like receive exclusive photos from that celebrity to post on their own social pages, have the celebrity do a page takeover of the brand’s social pages, have each of the celebrity’s posts include the brand’s hashtag and tag the brand, etc.

Here are a few posts from Gigi Hadid’s Guess-sponsored pictures from Coachella.




Style icon Danielle Berstein of We Wore What used her instagram to post pictures from her trip to Lollapalooza sponsored by Public Chicago Hotel. 



Sponsoring Pre & Post Parties

It’s obvious that being at the actual festival isn’t the only opportunity for a brand to gain exposure.

In addition to celeb sponsorships, brands can also host pre and after parties for VIP guests to come through when they’re not at the festival. The Lacoste Desert Pool Party has become a staple of Coachella. Here’s just a few of the celebs photographed with brand’s iconic alligator.


Music Is Only Growing In Popularity

With the first festival of 2016, Coachella, selling out in less than an hour, it’s clear that the popularity of these music weekends isn’t dying down anytime fast. Between exposures to festival-goers, viral paparazzi pics, celebrity partnerships, and VIP-packed parties, brands can really get a lot out of partnering with a festival. When done right, a partnership with the right festival brings brands assets that will pop up in #tbt’s for many years to come!

Check out some of the graphs below that show the growth of sponsorship spending on music tours and festivals.

spending on music chart


The most active sponsors of music festivals are all beverage based with the exception of one... Uber!  Which totally makes sense, as it's just so easy as a beverage to have on site your product to purchase and sample.  In order of sponsorship spending volume, the companies with highest spending include Anheuser-Busch, Uber, Brown-Forman, Tito's Vodka, MillerCoors, PepsiCo, Heineken, Coca-Cola, Diageo, E & J Gallo, Deep Eddy Vodka and Monster Energy.fhfhd


The most active categories sponsoring music festivals beyond Wine & Spirits and Beer include:  Retail, Food, Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Media & Publishing, Banks, Automotive, Hotel & Resort and Technology.  With regard to Hotel & Resort, a lot of those partnerships end up being partly in trade in room nights, which benefits both the event as well as the hotel sponsor.


Read our blog post on marketing opportunities at music festivals or the post on how brands best leverage these marketing opportunities!

Top Brands Sponsoring Music Festivals

According to a 2014 study, the top ten brands sponsoring music festivals are:

  1. Anheuser-Busch
  2. Pepsico, Inc.
  3. Coca-Cola Co.
  4. Heineken N.V.
  5. Millercoors, LLC
  6. Tie between... Red Bull/Brown-Forman Corp.
  7. Verizon Wireless
  8. Ford Motor Co.
  9. Toyota Motor Corp.

Given the heat and the dancing, it’s no surprise that a majority of those brands are drinks!

Why Fans Like Having Brands Sponsor Events

In another study done by AEG and Momentum Worldwide, 93% of festival goers surveyed said that they liked the brands that sponsored such events and 80% said that they were more likely to purchase a product after having had that music experience. The survey also found that 37% of the festivalers had a better overall perception of the company as a result of its integration into the festival. 


When The Music Festivals Happen

To learn more about music partnerships in brand marketing, check out a few other blogs we have on the topic...

Are you interested in learning how to get photos of celebrities with your product while also obtaining press? Download our celebrity event planning calendar to see what event options exist where you can obtain tangible assets that can be shared with consumers, media outlets, and retail distributors to impact your sales. 

Celebrity Event Planning Calendar by Hollywood Branded