How festival stage sponsorships can benefit your music brand

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At festivals, advertising opportunities are abundant for music brands. Whether simply hosting a small stall or sponsoring the festival and appearing on promotional materials, events are an ideal opportunity for brand exposure using a variety of methods. In the current climate it is commonplace for music labels and brands to host their own stages at major festivals in order to generate more exposure. With so much focus on leading electronic music festivals and their stage hosts, music brands now have more opportunities than ever for widespread exposure at events worldwide.

Leading festival Tomorrowland attracts a huge volume of stage hosts every single year. Now spread across two weekends, Tomorrowland invites a staggering 80+ stage hosts at each edition. With such undeniable worldwide popularity, the festival is one of the ultimate opportunities for exposure within the electronic music scene and beyond. This year some of the scene’s most illustrious labels hosted their own stages including Armin van Buuren’s A State of Trance, Axwell’s Axtone, Tiësto’s Musical Freedom, Martin Garrix’s STMPD Records, Eric Prydz’s Pryda and Afrojack’s Jacked, to name just a few. With so much focus on the festival from all over the world, it comes as no surprise that some of electronic music’s all time most powerful labels strive to host a stage at the event.

The positive outcome for labels that host their own stages at festivals like Tomorrowland is immeasurable. This is especially true if the festival itself is livestreamed, meaning that the label has the potential to be seen by millions of people around the globe. This offers labels a great deal of reach and has proven to be a great method for expanding brands. Every year, Tomorrowland livestreams sets from a number of its most popular stages and with millions of viewers tuning in, the reach is absolutely staggering. The popularity of the festival livestream is not only positive for the stage hosts themselves, but also the artists invited to perform at said stages. Being featured on the Tomorrowland livestream is an opportunity that many artists can only dream of, so it is important to utilize any opportunities that can grant you positive exposure.

It’s not only labels that stand to gain from hosting stages at major festivals, brands also have a great deal of opportunities that arise from stage hosting. There are a wide variety of brands that host stages at major festivals, from elrow to Red Bull, Samsung to Absolut. The size of these brands illustrates that even the biggest names understand the value of stage hosting and the widespread exposure that comes with it. The reach offered by hosting a stage is of far higher value to the brands than it is to the festival itself. Large brands hosting stages at festivals is becoming increasingly common, generating a positive outcome for both parties. For many smaller festivals, gaining sponsorship enables them to be even more creative with their stages and improve the experience of attendees. For the brands, being tied to a festival is always positive and is a unique yet highly rewarding advertising opportunity.

Festivals like Untold in Romania offer a variety of opportunities for brands, from hosting stages to offering brand-relevant activities to consumers. The festival site itself is abundant with stalls selling merchandise or offering opportunities to connect with brands in a variety of ways. These partnerships provide sponsorship for the festival while simultaneously providing exposure for brands to a vast number of individuals in an incredibly short period of time. Unlike television adverts, at festivals brands have the opportunity to really connect with consumers and firmly implant themselves in people’s minds. For example, at Untold festival footwear brand Converse sold shoes branded with the festival’s logo, while also offering customers the opportunity to have their shoes customized with paint on site. Even having a presence at the festival was positive for the brand, as passers by were consistently drawn to the stall, intrigued to see the customization of the shoes. By offering something that customers couldn’t get elsewhere, Converse really utilized the opportunity to the best of their ability. As well as providing great opportunities for brands, the festival offers even more variety for attendees, with more activities to take part in and more brands to enjoy. Ultimately, everyone benefits from such partnerships, from attendees to the brands themselves.

But what do artists stand to gain from stage sponsorships? If you own your own label, hosting a stage at any festival is a key marketing opportunity. Regardless of the size of the festival, hosting your own stage comes with vast video and photo opportunities as well as legitimizing your brand around the world on social media. Providing footage of your own stage across your social media channels is a great opportunity for creating a buzz online and drawing even more interest to your brand. Hosting your own stage is a true opportunity for letting your brand really shine, which is why it is so important to make the most of the platform provided.

Simultaneously, hosting a stage is a great opportunity for providing upcoming artists with more exposure. If you have upcoming talent signed to your label, providing them with a spot on your stage lineup can provide great exposure for them, equally benefiting you and your label at the same time. Particularly if you have recently released a new track by an artist, this is an ideal opportunity to invite that artist to perform at your stage, thus increasing excitement around the release itself. This is the perfect marketing opportunity for all parties, including the festival, providing great social media content with viral potential. Generating interest around upcoming artists signed to your label is always a beneficial activity, providing positive benefits for all parties involved.

Ultimately, hosting a festival stage is one of the best ways for labels to actually connect with their listeners in a more real sense. Naturally, many labels do host their own showcase events around the world, but hosting a stage means that all of the organization is already taken care of. It is a hassle free method for providing listeners with the opportunity to experience performances from artists signed to the label, and it is an ideal opportunity for allowing upcoming artists to showcase their own style and stand out from the crowd. Being present at major festivals not only draws increased attention to the label, but provides the opportunity to further legitimize the brand.

#FreedomStage doing it’s thing 😍🔮 cc: @axwell @tomorrowland

A post shared by Axtone (@axtone) on

In order to make the most of the opportunity, make sure to advertise the hosting across your social media to make sure that any fans attending the festival are aware of the stage. The more effectively you market the stage, the busier the stage is likely to be on the day. Many stage hosts choose to engage in activities in order to maximize the grand exposure gained by the event. This can be as simple as inflatable branded items being distributed into the crowd. At Tomorrowland, Martin Solveig hosted his own stage, ‘My House’. At the stage he increased crowd participation by distributing inflatables that added excitement for attendees. He also emerged onto the stage during Jax Jones’ set to sing happy birthday to him and bring a cake on stage. Memorable moments like this draw attention to the stage and have viral capabilities, therefore it is imperative to grasp every opportunity available for increased marketing potential.

As an artist, being invited to perform at a stage hosted by the label you are signed to is a positive opportunity for building an even stronger relationship with that label. The more you are seen to be working closely with the brand, the stronger the connection will become and the more that fans will associate you with the brand. Being closely connected to a major label within the electronic music industry is highly beneficial for your brand, as it acts as a mark of quality. If fans follow a specific leading label, being closely associated with that label will assure fans that you are also worth following and that your music is of a high quality. It also acts as a mark that you are in the industry for the long run and have a promising future ahead.

Stage hosting at major festivals is beneficial for all parties involved, from the artists to the label to the sponsor and even the festival itself. In marketing, widespread exposure is always the key to succeeding and expanding your brand, stage hosting is an ideal method of exposure for all those involved. As with all marketing campaigns, the most important aspect is making the most of the exposure. Every opportunity must be utilized effectively, in this case, when performing at a stage or hosting your own stage, it is vital to draw as much positive attention as possible. This is achieved by standing out from the crowd and making your own performance or stage different when compared with everything else on offer at the event. As with all aspects of your career, standing out is the most important aspect of really being noticed.

Tomorrowland in A State Of Trance 💥

A post shared by Armin van Buuren (@arminvanbuuren) on