Fairs and festivals draw the A-list artists and energetic crowds that brands dream of. When you want to capitalize on that big event energy, it goes a little something like this: Roll out the promo and win over the revelers.

A study by AEG and Momentum Worldwide found that 93% of festival attendees appreciate the brands that sponsor the event, and 37% say they perceive the company more positively. Festivalgoers are also interested in spending with these brands, with 80% saying they’re more likely to buy from the brand after the festival.

From mega festivals like Coachella in California to niche festivals like the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, fans can’t get enough, with about a third of adults saying they have attended a music festival more than once. When it comes to getting tickets, Americans would do nearly anything, including using their tax refund (44%), taking on a part-time job (27%) and crowdfunding money for tickets (18%).

Why are people so hooked on these experiences? It’s simple – they make people feel good. Research from O2, a mass media and telecommunications company, finds that just 20 minutes at a concert can boost feelings of well-being by more than 20%, which is more than yoga (10%) and dog-walking (7%).

The benefits don’t just come from the music, but also the community. When people attend events like fairs and festivals, they feel more connected to those around them. Brands that use promo at events benefit from attendees’ positive feelings.

According to the Freeman Trust Report, 77% of people say they trust brands more after interacting with them face-to-face. The halo effect is long-lasting, with 72% of people who attended an event in the last six months saying they still have positive perceptions of the brands they saw at the event.

Fairs and festivals present prime opportunities for brands to create meaningful interactions with their target audiences. Sure, people love their merch, with about 23% of festival-goers buying artists’ products on site, but brands can use promo in all kinds of engaging ways. Treat fans to promo at VIP refreshment tents or use custom products to promote main events or smaller happenings, like face-painting sessions or livestock competitions.

Whether they’re running an interactive booth at a sprawling street fair or sponsoring a multi-day music festival, brands can use promo to stand out from the crowd and amplify their reach.


A Festival Focus On Going Green

Music festivals are becoming increasingly eco-minded. For example, at Nashville’s Deep Tropics Festival, the nation’s “greenest festival,” organizers planted 23,000 trees to try to offset the carbon the event produced. Other festivals are using revelers’ body heat to power their heating and cooling systems. Promos like eco-friendly wristbands and reusable water bottles align with these green initiatives.


Reaching Devoted Fans

Music fans are willing to go the distance to attend their favorite festivals. One in 10 fans travels 500 miles or more to attend a show, with the top destinations coming in as New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. More than 1 in 6 fans would travel to a different continent to experience an EDM, reggae or indie rock festival. When these enthusiastic fans arrive, they’re ready to have a good time. Brands can tap into that vibe with promo.


Make It Memorable

When brands want to create a spectacular experience for fans at fairs and festivals, creativity is the name of the game. According to Eventbrite’s TRNDS 2024 report, 41% of attendees say they would be enticed by different or unusual merchandise to commemorate a special experience. Just like the sea of silver-clad fans at Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour and the feather boas at Harry Styles’ concerts, promos allow brands to get creative and connect with attendees in unforgettable ways.


A Crystal-Clear Message

Is Bud Light Seltzer a beer or a seltzer? Bud Light cleared up any confusion at last year’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago. The brand distributed about 350 transparent vinyl records featuring Bud Light Backyard Stage artist Charlotte Sands. With this promo giveaway, Bud Light built some buzz around its brand while clarifying that its product is “100% hard seltzer, 0% beer.”

Bud Light Seltzer Lollapalooza clear record

IMAGE: Bud Light


Ferris Wheels, Fireworks And Promo

These are the nation’s biggest state fairs by attendance:

  • State Fair of Texas: 2.5 million
  • Minnesota State Fair: 1.8 million
  • The Big E (New England states): 1.6 million
  • Arizona State Fair: 1.38 million
  • Tulsa State Fair: 1.2 million
  • Iowa State Fair: 1.11 million
  • Wisconsin State Fair: 1 million
  • Washington State Fair: 1 million
  • North Carolina State Fair: 960,000
  • Oklahoma State Fair: 900,000

Now’s the time for brands to prepare for the upcoming state fair season. Items like custom sunglasses and bags can capture attention at booths and give brands extra visibility.


State Fairs’ Economic Impact

State fairs are big business affairs. According to Forbes, the Minnesota State Fair contributes an estimated $268 million to the Twin Cities economy. The local economies in Iowa and Oklahoma benefit from a boost in the $100 million range, while in Texas, the benefit surges to $400 million. From massive state fairs to old-fashioned county fairs, these events need seasonal workers, vendors and volunteers. Promos can help organizers attract staff members and keep them visible on site.


Campaign Collateral

woman wearing T-shirt with stripe design across chest

The super-soft Hazel Women’s Dye-Sublimated Short-Sleeve T-Shirt is the ultimate festival merch. Designed with a feminine cut and crew neck, the shirt features a customizable half-moon patch.

SnugZ USA / PPAI 112982, Platinum

branded vinyl record coaster

Delight fans with the Vintage Record Coaster, which mirrors the look of an authentic vinyl record. It’s made from PVC material, so it can withstand plenty of use. Slip these custom coasters in VIP gift bags or use them as booth giveaways.

HPG / PPAI 110772, Platinum

blue slim acrylic tumbler with straw

The Chroma Recycled Acrylic Skinny Tumbler makes a great giveaway from food and beverage vendors at fairs. It’s made from 100% recycled material and includes a notched straw that won’t get lost.

PCNA / PPAI 113079, Platinum

man wearing corduroy branded sling bag

Festivalgoers can store their stuff and keep their hands free with the Sling Corduroy Bag, which features a lined interior and a sizeable front-pocket logo area.

Numo / PPAI 112597, Gold

person wearing multicolored blanket in the desert

The Slowtide Camp Blanket comes in handy when attendees camp out at multi-day music festivals. This water-repellent polar fleece blanket is both soft and durable, making it one that recipients will reach for again and again.

Gemline / PPAI 113948, Platinum

branded non-woven shopping tote

With the Sublimated Non-Woven Shopping Tote, exhibitors and vendors at fairs can keep their name visible with each customer purchase. Reinforced handles make this bag strong enough to hold items from wellness fairs, wine festivals and more.

Evans Manufacturing / PPAI 110747, Platinum

rainbow mirrored sunglasses

The finishing touch to any festival look, these Rainbow Sunglasses protect eyes from the sun and bright stage lights. Featuring mirrored lenses and UV400 protection, festival organizers can give these glasses out at the gate.

Fields Manufacturing / PPAI 111951, Gold