Mysteryland, the longest running electronic dance music (EDM) festival in the world, made its U.S. debut over the Memorial Day weekend at the iconic Woodstock grounds in Bethel Woods, NY, by telling attendees to "take a trip down the rabbit hole." Unlike the original Woodstock concert, attendance was strictly enforced and limited to 20,000, with ticket prices starting at $179, and VIP passes going for $299. According to The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, the EDM market is estimated to be close to $20 billion and is growing by over 10% every year.
ID&T, the festival powerhouse behind Mysteryland, hosted top acts like Kaskade, Dillon Francis, Moby, Steve Aoki, Nervo, Showtek and Fedde Le Grand on the main stage. The Boat Stage, which catered to bass-hungry fans, featured Zomboy, Flosstradamus, Big Gigantic and Bro Safari. "Sunday School," a mini festival within Mysteryland, offered three stages of the sounds of techno, tech-house and vinyl-only DJs. Hardstyle fans could throw their bodies to Coone, Noisecontrollers and Brennan Heart in the Q-Dance tent. If fans needed time to rest their feet (and ears), they could venture to the "Healing Garden" for yoga, meditation or aromatherapy. Among this eclectic mix of music, dance and art, there was also an abundance of fun branded promotional products.
One of the main sponsors of Mysteryland USA was Rekorderlig Cider from Sweden. Friendly Rekorderlig vendors decked out in red logoed polos happily offered free samples of their Strawberry-Lime, Berry or Pear flavored hard cider. They also gave soaked dancers Rekorderlig branded ponchos for the intermittent downpours throughout that Saturday afternoon. One of the promoters explained that the plastic pouch the ponchos came in could act as a waterproof case for cell phones.
A popular meeting place for separated friends was the prominent Rekorderlig hot-air balloon. One of the perks to visiting the hard cider vendor was the chance to win a balloon ride over the lush fields where, 45 years earlier, concertgoers danced to Hendrix, Santana, Joplin and other top acts.
On the trail to the main stage, attendees were greeted by another Rekorderlig booth that sold garland crowns for $20. Many of the female guests got in touch with their inner flower child and chose from a variety of colorful blossoms to be custom-fit around their heads, staying true to the Rekorderlig slogan, "Beautifully Swedish."
Aside from Rekorderlig, there was a plethora of Mysteryland merchandise, which featured the Mysteryland and/or Woodstock ’69 logos on apparel, hats and headbands. Rookie campers were also able to buy blankets, sleeping bags and other outdoor necessities. Mysteryland offered "Holy Ground" campers their own camping survival kit, with a two-person tent, airbed and sleeping bags. Festival-goers were able to purchase unique meals and snacks from Smorgasburg Food Fest. Smorgasburg is a food market held every Saturday in the hipster Brooklyn town of Williamsburg, who partnered with Mysteryland to offer organic, vegan and other food options.
Mysteryland was one of the first "cashless" U.S. music festivals. Attendees were able to put money onto their logoed wristbands either online or at stations throughout the festival grounds. Their credit changed into "birdie bucks" to pay for food, beverages, merchandise or showers throughout the weekend. The leftover money was then refunded back onto the provided credit card. The birdie bucks wristbands allowed for quicker service in the long lines for showers and food.
During the 139th Preakness Stakes in May, the Pimlico Race Course in
Baltimore not only featured some of the most renowned race horses, but
also a mini festival known as the InField Fest – a venue that bills
itself as "the people's race; the people's party."
InField Fest allowed for something more than betting on horses.
Attendees to this multi-entertainment event could visit food and
beverage vendors, and shop at the Preakness store for branded apparel,
caps, cups, bags and other logoed items. Plus, there were two stages
with music performances by top entertainers such as Nas, Switchfoot, Eli
Young Band, Sundy Best, Go Go Gadjet, Glenn Morrison and a headliner
by double Grammy-award winner Lorde.
One highlight of the festival was the Mug Club. Participants
were able to prepay for their tickets online for exclusive privileges
to the Mug Club, open to adults 21 and over. Privileges included access
to all InField Festival party areas and Mug Club areas, and all beer
was included at the Mug Club stations. Upon entering, Mug Club tickets
were exchanged for a collectible, neon orange mug. The mugs were
valuable commodities, since they could be refilled with beer at the
filling stations; however, they could not be replaced if lost or
stolen. Although the refill stations often had long lines, the keg
volunteers always filled the mugs over the brim.
The mugs were imprinted with the Preakness logo on one side
and the InField Fest logo on the other side. In addition to the logoed
mugs, one of the concert stages was colorfully branded with the
Jägermeister logo. Nearby, a giant orange Jägermeister tent offered
attendees a free photo at their booth, as well as shots of Jäger for a
The mugs, however, proved to be a star attraction. They were
so popular in fact, that even the festival's star headliner, Lorde,
wanted to be a part of the Mug Club – in the middle of her mid-day set,
she yelled, "Hey, someone throw me one of those orange mugs." A
friendly front-row fan quickly obliged. And, according to The Baltimore Sun's
review, rap star Nas, the concert's other headliner, is quoted as
saying: "Thank you, orange cups!" after performing "It Ain't Hard to
Tell," another reference to the logoed mug, which attendees "kept
raising to the sky in approval throughout his hour-long set."
When planning your next event, consider a commemorative item
to give attendees. Depending on the venue, it can be practical, like a
logoed plastic cup, or something more high-end like etched wine
bottles. Your best bet is to contact your promotional products
distributor for ideas and products that fit the bill.