Branding Music Festivals

The popularity of a music festival depends on its name. The name of a music festival essentially defines the music festival and in just a title, explains what kind of music the festival has.


The Firefly Music Festival, or Firefly for short, has a mason jar with lights inside as its logo. This logo embodies the feeling of going out at night during the summer and catching fireflies. This feeling is related to the festival itself; Firefly is held in a vast forest during late June and concerts range from the afternoon to 2 am. Its logo associates the festival with a feel-good, laid-back music festival in the summer. Firefly markets itself as a music festival in the woods of Dover, Delaware, and this separates the music festival from many others because Delaware is a tiny, relatively unknown state, whereas most music festivals are held in large cities or states in massive fields.


The Vans Warped Tour, or Warped Tour as it is known, changes its logo each year, but the only aspect of it that remains constant is the Vans logo. The shoe, skate, and clothing company owns the Warped Tour, so it latches onto the tour’s logo as a way of promotion. The main Warped Tour logo is merely the Vans logo on top of an arrow pointing right, and inside the arrow bears the name “Warped Tour”. This logo, however, is not as marketed as the logos that are attributed to each year. The changing of the logo to fit the year gives each tour series an identity because it allows Warped Tour followers to associate the logo appearance with the concerts themselves. Warped Tour, for as long as it has existed, has been marketed as a punk-rock music festival, and it has kept that brand consistent. It succeeds in separating itself from other music festivals because it has been around for 20 years, and it has built up the reputation of being one of the largest, if not the largest, traveling music festivals in the US.


The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, called ‘Coachella’ for short, has a simple logo: its name. The word ‘Coachella’ is written in all capital letters, and it looks handwritten with something like a paintbrush. This artistic title speaks to the artistic element of the music festival. Coachella has become a household name in the music world because of how popular it has become since its debut. As John Williams says in his article, “The Basics of Branding”, Coca Cola could raise its prices, but because of its popularity, customers would still pay that price for the reputable soda. This applies to Coachella. To attend both weekends of Coachella, it is $750 for general admission, and to attend one weekend (which is only 3 days), it is $375. This is more than Firefly’s final sale ticket cost, which is $330 for 4 days. Yet every year, Coachella tickets sell out within the first hour they are released. This is because of Coachella’s reputation of being arguably the most popular music festival of any genre in the entire country.

Although all 3 music festivals are marketed as music festivals, they are marketed in different ways. Firefly embraces its modest venue in the forest, named the Woodlands, because it makes the festival unique amongst all alternative music festivals in the country. Vans Warped Tour markets itself as the long-standing, punk-rock music festival that traverses the country each summer, and this image makes the tour unique to all other music festivals. Coachella’s name is recognized almost universally because of its popularity. The 3 festivals essentially parallel the branding of beverages: Firefly is kombucha, Warped Tour is Pepsi, and Coachella, of course, is Coca Cola.


Firefly logo:

Warped Tour logo:

Coachella logo:

Branding Music Festivals

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