Want to make this summer your brand’s best one yet? We’ve got just the ticket.


Want to make this summer your brand’s best one yet? We’ve got just the ticket.

As the sunny season approaches, it brings with it one of the most powerful spaces for brands to connect with audiences: the great british festival. In fact, research shows a whopping 80% of festival goers said they’re more likely to purchase from brands that activate at, or associate with, festivals*.


From epic 60 stage events spanning over 1000 acres, to boutique little one day fests with a hyper-defined demographic – festivals offer a golden opportunity for brands to connect with their audience when they’re in the sunniest of moods. So if a brand does it right, and finds a way to stand out amidst the glitter, tassels, mud, sweat and beers – you can forge a connection that lasts long beyond the bad tan lines. You can inspire your audience to forever associate your brand with the highlights of their summertime.


So, how can your brand’s activation upstage others at a festival?

It’s hard enough finding your OWN tent amidst a sea of tee-pees. The last thing a brand wants to do is blur into the background. We’ve used our 25 years of creating uniquely engaging brand experiences, combined with fresh audience insights, and upcoming trends to compile the ultimate festival checklist for brands who want to activate.


Step 1: Finding the PERFECT festival fit

We’re not talking about how best to style a cowboy hat. This is about finding a festival that your brand just naturally fits with. A metal band wouldn’t want to rock up at a Jazz festival. And a fun young fast fashion brand wouldn’t get the right reception at an eco-first family festival.


Based on your brand’s personality, its product or service, its target audience, its ethos and your brand ambitions for the year ahead, you can narrow the loooong list of UK festivals to the ones you might want to activate at.

Then, it’s time to weigh up the various festival’s sizes, audience demographics, music styles, “vibes”, and other brand sponsors that could compliment or clash with what you want to bring…  

Step 2: Standing out while fitting in

In a busy festival line-up, you don’t want to do something that feels completely out of place, but you need to cut through the noise to be memorable.


So what could your brand bring to the mix? A moment of calm and relaxation amidst the mayhem? An experience that builds on the hype? Or something practical – wrapped up in a fresh and ownable way?


Whether you want your audience to try, share, or buy – WARC’s 2022 marketing trend report showed that a positive brand experience compels 92% of visitors into action. So, what makes a festival brand experience “positive”?


Your aim should be to create a unique activation, executed beautifully and staffed expertly – offering something that feels as relevant to your brand as it does to your audience’s festival experience. Achieve that and you can do more than assimilate into a festival’s temporary utopia. You can add real value, converting music fans to become fans of your brand.


Step 3: Tapping into the trends

Festivals are a place where trends take off. Hot styles take their first steps. Fresh food fusions take a bite out of the market. Cool new bands launch themselves into the culture. And your brand could be right there with them – doing something truly innovative or hyper-relevant. We’ve identified three key trends for you to consider leveraging if you choose to activate at a festival this summer.


Technology talks

From AR to AI – there are endless ways brands can use tech to immerse and impress festival-goers.

Last summer, Snapchat created an AR compass for Reading Festival, directing people to their favourite stages and helping them refind their friends. Rather than tech for tech’s sake, here Snapchat used tech to solve a genuine problem and gave their brand a starring role in people’s festival joy. What role could tech play in your brand’s activation?


Wellness wins

Once upon a time, festivals were filled with folks drinking too much, sleeping too little and partying too hard. But times have changed. Spanning health, sleep, nutrition, fitness, appearance and mindfulness – the global wellbeing industry is worth a whopping $1.8 trillion in 2024. Definitely it’s a trend worth aligning with.


For Coachella 2022, Spotify’s Desert Kick-back transformed from a bar with DJs in the evenings into a day-time wellness bar serving up fresh juices and coconut water, with sunscreen, portable chargers and eucalyptus soaked towels for festival goers to cool off. Are wellbeing, relaxation or selfcare things that your brand authentically offer?


Sustainability grows

The pressure’s on for festivals to clean up their act. And that goes for brands too. To reflect Glastonbury’s ban on single-use drinks bottles, in 2021 Chilly’s created a pop-up shop to sell their reusable water bottles with limited edition bottles, live mural painting, T-shirts, sticker packs and – of course – a chilled water refill point.


While sustainability might not be an outward objective of your brand experience, you can still control the behind-the-scenes environmental impact of your activation. Offsetting your impact, adopting green practices and using only recycled or recyclable materials are all actions worth exploring.


Wellies at the ready? Let’s activate.

From fast-and-furious mass-sampling, to exclusive FOMO-inducing brand immersion. From big budget bespoke builds on European tours, to modest budget pop-ups with ambitious ROIs. Haygarth has been there, done that, and bought the bucket hat. We can create, build, staff and run an experience uniquely designed to connect your brand to your audience at a festival.


Interested? Get in contact and we’ll set up a free hour-long festival brand experience workshop with a team of our top planners, creatives and BX leaders to help your brand really shine this summer.



*According to the annual Survey of Consumers & Brands on the Impact of Event and Experiential Marketing carried out by Event Track (eventmarketer.com) **According to WARC’s Seven brand experience trends for 2022 **According to WARC’s The business case for brand experience, 2022