I’m With the Band: Retail Lessons from Festival Season

Music festivals – long, hot days in the great outdoors enjoying music with friends.  They can be casual and enjoyed quietly atop a blanket with a glass of your favorite red or enjoyed with tens of thousands of neon-clad screaming fans—and everything in between.  Concertgoers arrive hungry for incredible music, light shows, and memorable moments to share with their friends.

Festivals often last multiple days and draw music fans from dawn to, well, dawn, and nearly all festival fans bring their phones with them, with more than 70% using them to stay in touch with friends onsite. This creates a can’t-miss opportunity for brands to connect with a target market using mobile tech. Here are some innovative ways that brands use festivals to tie mobile and customer experience together.

Set Up Homebase

With concert grounds spreading across large areas and cell reception limited, finding friends can be tough. EXPRESS, one of Clutch’s clients, parks a retro Airstream Trailer at festivals as homebase, offering an easy place to meet and catch up with fellow festival attendees. Visitors can use a digital mirror to view some of the brand’s festival fashions on themselves and their friends. Offering free swag, geo-located Snapchat filters, and social media sharing creates FOMO for those not present, and motivates other music fans to check out the trailer.

Charging Stations

Fans are always on their phone, texting friends to meet up before the show, taking photos and video, and updating social media. A phone battery isn’t destined to last all day with this amount of usage, so why not provide fans a chance to charge their phones?  Brands can set up mobile charging stations using quick-chargers to provide a fast turnaround time for fans to get back to enjoying their favorite bands. Boost mailing lists and engagements by requiring users to opt-in to a mobile program in exchange for an uninterrupted ten minutes of charging.

Live Sweepstakes

Giant screens, banners, and posters are abundant at festivals and provide plenty of opportunities to engage participants. Brands can take advantage of prime placement and run sweepstakes advertised on the huge, visual banners, creating collateral for a text-to-win campaign spanning one to twelve hours. Prizes can range from gift cards after the event to free food and drink at the event or even VIP access. Sponsoring brands can advertise a message like “Send BRANDNAME to 123456 to win a gift card!” to engage potential customers, requiring them to enter their mobile messaging program to submit their entry.

More than 32 million fans attend summer music festivals across the country each year, and that number keeps growing. Retail brands are always seeking an engagement channel to grow their customer base outside of conventional methods, and festivals have an added cool factor over, say, enrolling in the loyalty program. And it’s practical too: Not into your festival outfit for Day 2 of your next music festival? Look around the festival grounds for a retailer to help you find your new look!

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