All posts by Jennie

Hot ticket: 2011 summer music festivals for millennials

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Believe it or not, the end of the spring semester on most college campuses is just over a month away. This means that students will be heading off for summer break, which in turn means less traffic on campus. But as marketers, we don’t have to give up on reaching this desirable target market from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The key is to bring your message to where the students are. Among the popular summer events for students are a multitude of summer music festivals. With attendance in the tens of thousands, these festivals provide great opportunities for marketers to reach large audiences.

The big four:

Coachella – April 15-17, Indio, CA.

With headliners like Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, Kanye West and The Strokes, CA’s largest festival is sure to bring a diverse crowd. It’s proximity to LA usually means a lot of celebrity guests as well. Brands can set up tents on the festival grounds themselves, or can also throw sponsored parties at nearby off-site locations.

Bonnaroo June 9-12, Manchester, TN.

Bonnaroo is essentially the only reason why I would even consider traveling to the middle of nowhere, Tennessee, especially in the midst of summer.  But this monster festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, draws quite the extensive and impressive line-up. Sponsors of the festival are required to provide free activities for attendees, so this is your chance to get creative with brand interaction.

Lollapalooza August 5-9, Chicago, IL.

Originally started in 1991 as a touring festival, Lolla is now a one-stop destination in Grant Park in Chicago. Though the official line-up hasn’t been announced yet, rumors include Eminem, Foo Fighters and Muse. Tickets for this festival are highly sought after due to its location in the heart of the Chicago-metro (versus a desert in CA or a field in TN).

Austin City LimitsSept 16-18, Austin, TX.

The annual three-day festival in Zilker Park attracts over 70,000 visitors each day.  Though this festival happens after school is back in session, that makes it even more popular for college students due to the proximity of UT Austin. Like Bonnaroo, ACL is also celebrating its 10th anniversary this fall.

Other notables:

New Orleans Jazz Fest New Orleans, LA. April 29-May 8th.

Don’t be misled by the name. This two-week festival brings a very diverse group of acts, ranging from Arcade Fire to Jimmy Buffet to Bon Jovi to Lauryn Hill.

Sasquatch –May 27-30, George, WA.

For the more indie/alt rock and folk fans, this is one of the largest festivals for the Pacific NW. This year’s headliners include Foo Fighters, Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, Wilco, Flaming Lips, The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, Bright Eyes, etc.

Vans Warped Tour –  June 24-Aug 14, Various US Locations.

Though Vans clearly has naming rights (and has since 1995) this traveling tour still draws the punk rock crowd more than any other. And it also has the advantage of being a traveling tour, so marketers hitching their brand on the wagon are able to reach many different markets.

Outside Lands –  Aug 12-14, San Francisco, CA.

One of the newer events in the festival circuit, Outside Lands is held annually in beautiful Golden Gate Park. This festival is a great fit for companies that are involved in the eco-friendly, green movement.

Glastonbury – June 22-26, Plton, England.

For those looking to travel outside of the continental US for their festival fix, there is no better stop than Glastonbury. The largest Greenfield music fest in the world is playing host to just about every alt-rock and/or indie band you can imagine. Then even have living legend Stevie Wonder playing a set.

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Beware of angry hipsters

When Canadian indie rockers Arcade Fire upset pop superstars like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Eminem by picking up the Grammy for Best Album this past Sunday, many were apparently left wondering, just “who is Arcade Fire”? Whatever you do, watch your back before asking this question out loud. Because if you don’t know, hipsters will kill you.

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Cheat sheet for new music

Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Z...
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We understand that it’s hard to keep up with all of the new music put out these days. Don’t worry, we are here to help you sort through the clutter. Based on your current musical tastes, we offer up some suggestions on which new artists are worth checking out.

If you like Passion Pit….Check out Naked and Famous. New Zealand band Naked and Famous could easily be mistaken for Passion Pit, with the high pitched vocals and electro-pop beats. The song “Young Blood” has reached #1 in their native country and the band was listed as one to watch in 2011 by BBC News, a distinction that went to Passion Pit themselves in 2009.

If you like Oracular Spectacular era MGMT….Check out Foster the People. The LA band’s “Pumped Up Kicks” was a perfect summer jam that carried me right through fall in 2010. And with hints of a full album to come, we finally have a few new tracks from Foster the People. Songs “Helena Beat” and “Houdini” both evoke the danceable, psychedelic pop of MGMT’s first album (and the side I miss most from Congratulations).

If you like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros….Check out Alexander. Even if you don’t know the name Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros , you’ve surely heard their hit song “Home” dozens of times. The lead singer of the hippie collective band, Alex Ebert, has a solo album due out March 1st under the moniker Alexander. The laidback, folky “Truth” offers us a glimpse at what’s to come. Don’t worry, all you fans of “Home” – he hasn’t ditched the whistling.


Young the Giant
Young the Giant

If you like Kings of Leon….Check out Young the Giant. This So-Cal band created buzz when they (then called the Jakes) won an online contest in 2009 to open for Kings of Leon at the House of Blues in Chicago. The renamed Young the Giant is less Southern-rock influenced than KoL, but they have an arena rock ambition about them that could put them into the same category. Lead single “My Body” is a fun, high energy example of their sound. Added bonus – they don’t seem like as big of tools as the Followill’s.

If you like Coldplay….Check out A Silent Film. Though they already have some notoriety overseas, A Silent Film are just now starting to get attention in the US. With the earnest nature of the songwriting and the texture of the songs’ production, fans of Coldplay are sure to appreciate what this band has to offer. Singles “You Will Leave a Mark” and “Driven by Their Beating Hearts” are both worth a listen.

If you like pop music with neo-soul influence….Check out Graffiti6 and Fitz and the Tantrums. If there’s anyone out there still holding their breath waiting for the return of Amy Winehouse, then Fitz and the Tantrums just may give you a reason to exhale. Songs “Moneygrabber” and “Breakin’ the Chains of Love” would be right at home in Motown of the 60s, yet still sound relevant on the charts today. And with their electro-soul sound, duo Graffiti6 are nipping on Cee-Lo’s heels with songs like “Stare Into the Sun” and “Stop Mary”.

Graffiti6 and Fitz and the Tantrums
Graffiti6 and Fitz and the Tantrums
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Video of the Week: We All Want to Be Young

Brazilian research company BOX1824’s short film “We All Want to Be Young” takes a behavioral science approach to looking at youth and Gen Y in particular, a demographic that obviously holds a special place in our heart at Campus Media. The generation of “global youth” as they are referred to here, is the first to be raised during a time of constant interaction with the internet, thus exposing them to far more outside influences than generations of youth before them. Here, the filmmakers examine what effect this environment has had on the behaviors of Gen Y and why the youth of the world continually act as a catalyst for social change.

Plus, it includes clips from some of my favorite movies and killer soundtrack (Phoenix, Radiohead, Spoon, Arcade Fire? Yes, please.).