Marketing Your Brand at the Biggest U.S. Music Festivals

We’ve gone state to state looking up the biggest annual shows from across the country, to bring you a music festival map of the United States. Some of these concerts were absolute no-brainers, like Coachella, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, names that are easily recognized from coast to coast, while others took a little bit of research. In Louisiana, for example, The New Orleans Jazz Fest, boasts an average attendance of more than 460,000 jazz lovers, but it’s the Voodoo Experience, with less than 100,000 attendants, that is far more widely recognized and buzzed about.

So why has Promotions Now created an infographic made up of the most popular and buzzworthy festivals found throughout this great musical nation? We’re going to use them to show you how businesses and organizations, both large and small, use promotional products to market themselves at massive events such as these.

Vending and marketing at a major music festival can provide you with opportunities to make money, reach new and potential customers that you would otherwise never come into contact with and build brand recognition among the masses – all while hearing some great tunes. Here’s how large and small brands are already doing it.

Bands and Stage Crews

Band Tee Shirts, Long Sleeve Tees, Hoodies and Sweatshirts are probably the most obvious and common of promotional products found at large music festivals, and with good reason. These aren’t usually given out as freebies because concert goers are more than willing to pay some serious cash for them (and then cherish them forever as mementos of a rocking good time). Moreover, they do well to promote bands, an entire show, sponsors and anything else marketers might want to squeeze into the imprint area. Fans will wear these until they practically disintegrate, all the while acting as walking billboards for every brand involved.

While they don’t exactly share the spotlight with band tees, lanyards and badge holders get their fair share of use at these grand musical events, either as identification for authorized working crews or as VIP and backstage pass holders. If you’ve ever been granted a backstage pass, you likely still have it. It is the holy grail of music festivals – and it comes complete with plenty of branding on the lanyard.


You can’t get a beer or soda at the show without seeing sponsorship logos on your drinkware. That’s because businesses who’ve sponsored these major music festivals want the attendants to know about it. The simple solution is to load up on custom printed plastic or paper cups and goods, like food trays and containers, to get plenty of brand exposure out of the munchies and refreshments served up during the show. Other common items that are tagged up by sponsors include banners, event tents and displays as well as goodies for attendees, like beach balls and foam concert hand mitts. The next time you see a crowd surfing beach ball being tossed back and forth, it might be interesting to think about all the marketing value this fun-loving activity has to offer.

Tech Companies

These would be completely alien and alarmingly futuristic at the classic music festivals from decades ago, but today they are as common as the snack stands. Mobile communications and tech companies attend music festivals looking to further grow their brand recognition as well as score some new business. From these big brands, you can expect to receive sign up specials, discounts and the occasional customized power bank or charging device. Promotional earbuds also often make their way onto the scene since music is the main focus here.

Charities and Nonprofits

Many a charitable organization will attend a music festival in the hopes of changing the world one concertgoer at a time. After all, people are more generous when they’re having a great time – and a few beers – so why not? The key to marketing charities and nonprofits at large-scale events such as these is to reach as many people as possible with promos that are low in cost. Budget and eco-friendly giveaways are often the product of choice for environmentalist and philanthropist groups, while organizations who promote support for the musical arts select contributor gifts with some musical flair, like a wooden drum stick pen, custom printed guitar pick or musical note stress shape.

Retail Vendors 

Almost every large-scale music festival includes an entire market filled with retail vendors who come to sell homemade goods and unique services to the crowd. Though they might not make every sale, this is a crucial way for them to expand their audience and get their contact information into as many hands as possible. They may choose to select a low-cost promo that is unique to their specific trade but a simple business card magnet will often do. Revelers who prefer not to make a major purchase at the show will be happy to have a web address on hand for later.

Whether you are a big time event sponsor or a little guy looking to expose and grow your business, these huge musical events can go a long way to help you achieve your marketing goals. All you need is a brand, a love of good music and the right promos.


List of Music Festivals per State:

Alabama  – Hangout Fest
Alaska  –  Anchorage Folk Festival
Arizona – Summer Ends Festival
Arkansas – Wakarusa
California  – Coachella
Colorado  – Ride Fest
Connecticut – Gathering of the Vibes
Delaware – Firefly
Florida – Ultra Music Festival
Georgia – Shaky Knees
Hawaii – The MayJah RayJah Music Festival
Idaho – Festival at Sandpoint
Illinois – Lolapalooza
Indiana – Three Rivers Festival
Iowa  – Hinterland
Kansas – Roots Festival
Kentucky – Forecastle
Louisiana – Voodoo Experience
Maine – Saltwater Celtic Music Festival
Maryland – Fells Point Fun Festival
Massachusetts –  Lowell Folk Fest
Michigan – Electric Forest
Minnesota – Bayfront Blues Festival
Mississippi  – Mississippi Delta Blues Festival
Missouri – Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival
Montana – Montana Folk Festival
Nebraska – Maha Music Festival
Nevada – Electric Daisy
New Hampshire – Great Waters Music Festival
New Jersey – Summer Jam
New Mexico – Taos Solar
New York – The Governor’s Ball
North Carolina – Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion
North Dakota – Medora Musical
Ohio – Midpoint Music Festival
Oklahoma – Backwoods
Oregon – What The Fest
Pennsylvania – Made in America
Rhode Island  – Newport Folk Fest
South Carolina – Carolina Country Music Fest
South Dakota – Sturgis
Tennessee – Bonnaroo
Texas – Austin City Limits
Utah – Sundance
Vermont – Burlington Discover Jazz Festival
Virginia – Lockn’ Music
Washington – Sasquatch
West Virginia – Mountain Music Fest
Wisconsin – Summerfest
Wyoming – Grand Teton Music Festival


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