Festival season began in mid-March with South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and the good times continue to roll through Labor Day weekend with the annual Made in America Festival in Philadelphia (Sep. 3-4). From hip-hop and pop to genre-bending progressive rock, there’s a show and vibe for festival goers of every kind.
In addition to the main draw of any music festival (uh, the music!), people are anxiously anticipating the opportunity to don the latest fashion trends (flower crowns, cutoff shorts, you know the drill,) while experiencing the energy of headliners at these shows.
We’re taking a step back to understand how big names in fashion are inserting themselves in the festival scene, how festivals utilize innovations in technology and social media to engage fans and how they incorporate service and philanthropy into a fun-filled weekend.
Here’s a roundup of our favorite fashion, tech, and social impact trends to look out for this festival season:
Fashion ≥ Music
Big brands attend music festivals because of the opportunity to engage with their target audiences, which is usually the millennial crowd. H&M has collaborated with Coachella for the past few years to produce an exclusive Coachella collection that is sold at the festival and in stories worldwide so everyone has the opportunity to express the “Spirit of Coachella” all season long.
Smaller brands take advantage of festival season by holding associated events that cost less money than actively participating in the festivals themselves. Fashion brand Alice + Olivia hosted a Coachella themed fashion show prior to the festival beginning. Rebecca Minkoff partnered with Smashbox to host a luncheon for 40 influencers and gave away Coachella-themed pins and personalized graffiti jackets.
Tech Innovations That Audiences Love
Snapchat designed geo-filters that were customized for every band playing at Coachella and were available to Snapchat users at the festival for the duration of the band’s set time. The filters were a fun way for festivalgoers to show off where they were and who they were seeing. The exclusivity of the filters added to the uniqueness of the Coachella experience. Coachella also used their event wristbands to increase social media attention surrounding the event.
Additionally Lollapalooza (July 28-31) is going “cashless,” with festival wristbands that double as Facebook check-in devices and can even be used for monetary transactions that throughout the festivals.
The Big Giveback
Recently, Firefly’s Music Gives program benefitted St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospitals. Participants donated money towards St. Jude’s and had the opportunity to win a variety of prizes like free merchandise or VIP passes to the festival.
Electric Daisy Carnival focused on helping schools and organizations in surrounding communities through charitable giving. Money was diverted from ticket sales and guest lists and allocated towards organizations such as the Injured Police Officer’s Fund, Speedway Children’s Charity, and Global Inheritance.
Every event is bound to have something that makes it stand out from the rest. We’re looking forward to seeing how brands continue to partner with or profit from festivals and how innovations in technology continue to enhance the festival experience.