What Do Music Fests Like Austin City Limits And Coachella Have In Common With Nordstrom And Urban Outfitters?

Foursquare finds some surprising shopping attributes between music festival goers and brands like Nordstrom, REI, Urban Outfitters, and others.

Summer music festivals have featured advanced uses of app-based geofencing, mobile payment, and proximity/beacon marketing since their relatively captive audiences tend to be comprised of the groups brands desperately want to reach: young, mobile, and engaged.

While the affinities between certain kinds of musical lineups and shops would seem pretty clear cut, Foursquare’s look at the location data associated with music festivals Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Outside Lands, Governors Ball, Ultra, and Essence showed some interesting intersections. (Check out Foursquare’s animated video for more details.)

For example, Foursquare connected the dots between the top stores festival attendees visit the week prior to going to the show:

  • Austin City Limits: Nordstrom
  • Bonnaroo: REI
  • Coachella: Urban Outfitters
  • Outside Lands: Nordstrom
  • Governors Ball: Urban Outfitters
  • Ultra: Forever 21
  • Essence: TJ Maxx

And while it’s fairly obvious that “crunchy” Coachella audiences are 121 percent more likely to visit a Whole Foods in the week before a show, Foursquare’s US panel found that the California musical fest’s fans were 350 percent more likely to go to In-N-Out Burger.

Outside Lands fest foursquareLastly, Coachella fans — perhaps after overdoing it at In-N-Out? — are 8x more likely to check in at SoulCycle during the lead up to the live performances.

It’s also not much of a shock that the alt-rock and hip hop fans who attended last week’s Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco were 25x more likely to be at one of the 10 Super Duper Burgers — think upscale and “artisanal” fast food — in the Bay Area.

Looking across the country, the people who go to New York’s well-known indie rock and hip hop acts at the Governors Ball in early June appear to be more fashion-focused versus food. The Governors Ball-goers are 7x more likely to shop at Bloomingdale’s and 9x more likely to shop at Urban Outfitters.

Aside from retail, Governors Ball audiences are also attracted to bagel shops, salad purveyors, and cycle studios. They’re also well-represented at advertising agencies, speakeasies, gay bars, and NYU.

There’s considerable overlap between the less edgy, more pop-oriented Bonnaroo, whose attendees are 130 percent more likely to get their gear at REI and are 161 percent more likely to workout at Crunch. Still, it’s not all about the great outdoors and staying fit: The people who head to Tennessee for Bonnaroo are also 160 percent more likely to eat at Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits.

These fests are also major attractions for international travelers as well. When it comes to the major outdoor music gatherings, the electronica-obsessed Ultra has the largest international attendance with 37 percent of attendees coming from outside the U.S.

Global music fans also go to Coachella (17 percent of the audience is made up of international fans), followed by Austin City Limits (13 percent). Conversely, Outside Lands and Governors Ball attract the most local audiences, with over 80 percent of attendees living in the same region as the show.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.