Coachella 2015 Ferris Wheel
Coachella, Hangout Fest, Counterpoint, EDC, Governors Ball, Ultra, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, TomorrowWorld… I can keep going if you would like.

Last year, 1 in 10 25-34-year-old Americans attended at least one music festival in the United States. Since 2012, the amount that brands spend on music sponsorship has increased from $1.22 to $1.34 billion. In order to engage tech savvy concert attendees, bands, brands and festivals have made implementing new technology that enhances the experience a top priority.

There are a few festivals that stand out among the rest as having the largest following, hottest artists, and “coolest” mobile experiences. Here are 5 examples of  brands using mobile technology to engage their audience.

Lollapalooza – Cashless Payments

For the first time last year, a music festival created a cashless payment option. Lolla Cashless embedded RFID tags, linked to concert goers credit cards, into wristbands that could be used to purchase concessions and merchandise at the festival. Sources say, the amount of revenue generated through Lollapalooza’s cashless system was 33% of total revenue. The cashless option gives food and drink vendors instant visibility into their product sales in order to ensure that they always have what the concert goers want. Not only was there rapid adoption of cashless payments, there was a 20% increase in spending when attendees used Lolla Cashless.

Mysteryland USA – Cashless Payments 2.0

Mysteryland saw what Lollapalooza did with cashless payments and wants to take it a step further. SFX Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Stephenson wants to “be able to take the interaction from the initial ticket purchase, to in-app media, to pass-the-line privileges, cashless payments, mobile wallet, wi-fi connected beacons to after festival content”. The success of Lolla Cash is pushing cashless payment providers to ensure payments even when offline.

Childish Gambino’s Dark Web App – Interaction with the stage

Childish Gambino, also known as Donald Glover, was a member of the popular website Funny or Die, one of the earliest writers on 30 Rock, a main character in the show Community, and a stand up comedian; basically, a master of connecting with millennials. During his Deep Web Tour, he had This Dark Web Tour App designed to accompany concert goers during the show. The app turned the live concert into an interactive digital experience. During the show, fans were able to interact with the stage by sending drawings, messages and answering questions. This app took engagement to new levels while creating a dialogue between the concertgoer, the artist, and the rest of the crowd.

Bonnaroo – Beacons

Ford took Beacon technology by the horns and implemented it throughout Bonnaroo’s 700-acre grounds. Using proximity based notifications for events around the festival, concertgoers were able to call a number and receive a recorded message tailored to their specific location at the event. This technology successfully brought relevant content to concert goers as they experienced and traveled around the festival.

Coachella – FOMO is no more

Kicking off the 2015 festival season, Coachella updated every feature of their app. The new app included features such as a daily line-up, a friend finder, schedule sharing, integration with social media, and push notifications. If you were not one of the 259,000 in attendance, T-mobile  provided a viewing experience for you as well. Fans were able to watch the shows via a YouTube LiveStream along with the Coachella SnapChat story. The app provided a more engaging experience for concertgoers attending the event, while the livelife stream focused on consumers not in attendance. The new wave of consumer engagement focuses on providing an experience for those at home as well as at the festival.

Music connects individuals of different ages, genders and cultures. Music festivals have become a  melting pot of all these individuals, making it an ideal place for brands to interact with concertgoers with new and innovative ways. With the festival season just taking off, we can’t wait to see what’s next.

Music festivals create a wealth of video and images. If you want to engage your audience like  a rock star check out Waterfall’s MMS eBook.


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