From small-town county fairs to massive multi-day festivals, people love coming together to enjoy their shared interests. Almost one-fifth of the U.S. population attends a festival of some kind each year, according to Billboard, with an estimated 32 million people going to at least one music festival a year.

Fairgrounds around North America are hopping, too, with more than 2,000 fairs held annually, according to the International Association of Fairs & Exhibitions.

Each year, thousands of festivals and fairs covering a range of interests attract millions of visitors in search of a good time. These fun-seekers are willing to travel for the experience. Nielsen reports that the average festivalgoer travels 903 miles to attend their festival of choice, which is nearly the equivalent of driving from New York City to Orlando.

Festivalgoers and fair visitors are ready to attend—and spend. atVenu, a merchandise management platform, reveals that festivalgoers spend an average of $50 per transaction on merchandise. Billboard reports that nearly a quarter (23 percent) of attendees buy merchandise onsite. 

Fans want to commemorate their experience and promotional products provide a tangible reminder of the event. Few things can extend a brand’s festival or fair footprint like promotional products. They can help amp up excitement, add to the experience and provide a lasting memento. Whether handed out at booths, offered as an incentive with pre-sale tickets or sold as memorabilia in a merchandise tent, promotional products can get your brand in front of superfans and amplify your message.


Market Snapshot

When it comes to festivals, all is … well. Wellness festivals, where attendees may participate in mindfulness sessions, embark on nature hikes and browse souk-style markets for kombucha and hemp-infused oils, are rising as a growing trend. Over the past few years, wellness festivals have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in the U.S. alone.

Almost every big city hosts an annual wellness festival, such as lululemon’s SeaWheeze festival and Weight Watchers’ MeFest. The global wellness market is worth $3.7 trillion—more than three times the worldwide pharmaceutical market—and wellness festivals comprise a significant and growing piece of this market.


Jetsetters Ready to Jam

One third of U.S. Millennials use music to choose a vacation destination,
which is higher than the global average of 18 percent for the same age group.
One in four say they would travel to a different country to see their favorite
artist in concert.



The Country’s Biggest State Fairs

Thousands of fairs across the U.S. open their gates each year. These draw the biggest crowds

  1. State Fair of Texas
    2.25 million attendees

  2. Minnesota State Fair
    2 million attendees

  3. The Big E
    1.5 million attendees 

  4. The Great New York State Fair
    1.2 million attendees

  5. Tulsa State Fair
    1.15 million attendees

  6. Arizona State Fair
    1.14 million attendees

  7. Iowa State Fair
    1.13 million attendees

  8. Wisconsin State Fair
    1.03 million attendees

  9. North Carolina State Fair
    1.01 million attendees

  10. Washington State Fair
    1 million attendees



Top 10 Industries To Sponsor Music Festivals

  1. Wine and spirits
  2. Beer
  3. Retail
  4. Food
  5. Non-alcoholic beverages
  6. Media and publishing
  7. Banks
  8. Automotive
  9. Hotels and resorts
  10. Technology

Source: IEG


These Brands Are Big-Time Music Supporters

Here’s a list of the most active sponsors of music festivals:

  • Anheuser-Busch
  • Uber
  • Brown-Forman
  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  • MillerCoors
  • PepsiCo
  • Heineken
  • Coca-Cola
  • Diageo
  • E & J Gallo
  • Deep Eddy Vodka
  • Monster Energy

Source: IEG


Fair and Festival Flashback

  • The first fair may have been held as early as 500 B.C.
  • In 1765, the first North American fair unfolded in Windsor, Nova Scotia. The fair continues today.
  • Music festivals date back 3,000 years to ancient Greece, where attendees enjoyed popular music and watched competitions in athletics, poetry and drama.
  • The first modern music festival is widely considered to be the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair in New York, which attracted nearly half a million people and sparked a pivotal moment in music history.

Sources: International Association of Fairs & Expositions;


A cropped silhouette on the Headliner Vintage Jersey Cropped T-Shirt gives it a fashionable
edge that turns it into a fan favorite. Made from a blend of cotton and polyester, this super-soft
tee is designed with double-needle stitching and a set-in ribbed neckband. 

Alternative Apparel   /   PPAI 217134  /


Whether they love a band, venue or festival, fans can show their pride every time they use the
silicone smartphone wallet. It clings to mobile devices using 3M adhesive and holds up to three

Lanco   /   PPAI 111662   /


When fairgoers enter an arena for a concert or livestock show, they’ll observe a sea of logos with
the BackSac. This split drawstring bag with a zippered front pocket features an elastic back panel
to slide over seats. 

Leed’s   /   PPAI 112361   /


Available in 50 luscious flavors such as birthday cake and root beer float, the custom design round
lip balm
makes a handy giveaway at fairs and festivals. Made in the U.S., this natural beeswax lip
balm moisturizes and soothes with vitamin E and aloe.

Webb Company   /   PPAI


Plastic lapel pins can become collectible keepsakes from festivals and fairs. This black plastic lapel
pin features two foil hot-stamped colors, including a holograph specialty foil. Choose from plastic and
metal in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. 

Knobby Krafters, Inc.   /   PPAI


The Javalina Chrome Bright is a ballpoint pen that adds a pop of fun color to any fair or festival promotion.
Pick from several vibrant neon trim colors that shine bright against platinum silver barrels. 

Hub Pen Company   /   PPAI 110772   /


The Unisex Tri-Blend Raglan Baseball Burnout Wash ¾ Sleeve T-shirt exudes a laid-back vintage style
that stands out in a festival’s merchandise tent. It’s soft and comfortable to wear all day, designed with a satin
label and rounded bottom edge.

Royal Apparel   /   PPAI 269959 /


Real-World Solutions

To ward off the winter blues, a brewery holds an annual festival and rewards the first 100 festivalgoers with a free
imprinted stein. Revelers who arrive to the festivities later can purchase the stein from the brewery’s gift shop.
Whether they receive it as a gift or buy it in the shop, recipients are reminded of the brewery every time they take
a sip.

Source: Beacon Promotions


Getting In On The Ground Floor

Festivalgoers and fair visitors face endless streams of visual and auditory stimuli. Here’s how to ensure your brand stands out.

Consider sponsoring the event.

Last year, corporations spent an estimated $936 million sponsoring festivals, fairs and annual events. This number is up 3.7 percent from 2017, according to Think about your demographic and what makes sense for your brand, whether you opt to sponsor a small local fair or add your name to the lineup at a nationally hyped festival.  

Embrace social media.

Fans are plugged into social networks and brands should be, too. Whether you’re promoting a vendor, performer or an entire fair or festival, look to social media to engage with fans. Eventbrite research shows that each share on Facebook generates $4.15 in future ticket sales and each tweet on Twitter generates $2.18 in future ticket sales.

Promote an experience.

Rather than simply handing out logoed products at a fair or festival, strive to engage attendees with fun and interactive events. More than 75 percent of Millennials and 59 percent of Baby Boomers value experiences over possessions, according to Eventbrite.



Keep The Fun Going All Year Long At These Epic Music Festivals


Audrey Sellers is a Dallas, Texas-area writer and former associate editor of PPB.