“The beauty of a festival lies not just within the music but rather the community that surrounds it.”

Music festivals have become a staple of millennial culture and we have loved and attended them for years. From the smallest gatherings of a few hundred to some colossal events upwards of 300,000 attendees there is a festival out there to fit everyone’s fancy and the experience of this often start as soon as a ticket is purchased. From group planning, to costume making, to menu selection and travel plans so much goes into the overall experience of these festivals before people even leave their driveways.

For marketer’s this represents a chance to reach festival go-ers in a variety of places before, during and after the festival. From handing out swag at the gate to sponsored after-parties, every opportunity is important. On-site activations at festivals can cost upwards of $100,000, so how can brands with smaller budgets make similarly impactful campaigns?


Idea: Food Trucks

Our Favorite Example: Hostess at Pitchfork

Where We’d Like To See It: BottleRock or FYF Fest

The parking lots and other property surrounding an event are fertile ground for brands and marketers. Partnering with a food truck is ideal as they operate with their own parking permits and through careful planning, it would be easy to coordinate a few “fuel stations” along a festival transportation route. For an app or download based brand, you could trade downloads for food from the truck’s menu or other snacks.


Idea: Charging Stations

Our Favorite Example: Pop Chips At Pitchfork

Where We’d Like To See It: Outside Lands

Pop Chips is one of our favorite brands and they showed an incredible understanding of what festival go-ers want and need with their “Rescue Hut” at Pitchfork Music Festival in 2013. The activation featured food, ipads for games and of course, charging stations. A company working on a smaller budget could go the mobile route, providing brand ambassadors with portable chargers in backpacks or suitcases to get people charged up pre and post festival.


Idea: Pre or After Party Events

Our Favorite Example: Coachella’s Many, Many Parties

Where We’d Like To See It: BottleRock


Brands and PR companies at Coachella have created some of the best pool party experiences and hotel takeovers we’ve ever seen. Where we really wouldn’t mind sitting poolside in between festival days is BottleRock. With Napa Valley as a beautiful backdrop, no shortage of vineyards to partner with and Airbnb having everything from mansions to caves available, BottleRock has so much potential for brands to host pre or after parties.


Are you planning a festival campaign this year? Let’s talk about ideas.


  • SF International Beer Fest – April 8th
  • How Weird St Faire – May 7th
  • Uncorked Wine Festival – May 2017
  • Bay To Breakers – May 21st
  • Asian Heritage St Celebration – May 21st
  • BottleRock – May 26th – May 28th
  • Carnival – May 27th & May 28th
  • Live 105 BFD – June 2017
  • Country Summer 2016 – June 16th – 18th
  • Union Street Festival – June 3rd & 4th
  • North Beach Festival – June 17th & 18th
  • SF Free Folk Festival – June 10th
  • Haight St Fair – June 11th
  • Kate Wolf Music Festival – June 23rd & 26th
  • SF Pride – June 24th & 25th
  • Stern Grove Festival – July to September
  • Oyster Fest – July 1st
  • Fillmore Jazz Festival – July 1st & 2nd
  • Outside Lands – August 11th – 13th
  • Warped Tour – August 4th
  • Superhero Street Fair – September 2017
  • Bay Area Blues Fest – September 23rd & 24th
  • Folsom St Fair – September 24th
  • SF Fleet Week – October 2nd – 9th
  • Hardly Strictly Bluegrass – October 6th-8th