Beats and Business

Big Day Out

A lively celebration of contemporary music, the Big Day Out travels from Sydney to the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth. The highly anticipated event has also turned into the ideal stage for businesses to market their products and connect with customers. As one of the tens of thousands of people who flocked to the 2013 Big Day Out at Sydney Olympic Park Showground, here is an inside look at the festival sponsors in all their loud and proud glory, plus more.

Drink Up

The Big Day Out is a 15 plus event that attracts teenagers and young adults as well as the young at heart. The festival has an alternative, irreverent vibe. More and more, companies are realising that the Big Day Out is the ideal place to engage with their target market on a completely new level. Businesses were promoting and selling everything on the day from virgin ice tea cocktails and gourmet food to energy drinks and bath products. Revellers were eagerly buying jewellery, temporary henna tattoos, handmade leather bags and official Big Day Out 2013 merchandise. While the Big Day Out is obviously more in tune with some companies than others, it is a great opportunity to sell products, connect with customers and distribute promotional material like catalogues, stickers, pens, and vouchers.

Some of the most anticipated acts this year were Grinspoon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers and of course the Red Hot Chili Peppers, all of whom delivered outstanding performances. None of it would have been possible without support from the Big Day Out sponsors.

Besides the music, there was one other defining part of the festival this year: coping with the scorching heat. The temperature was already over 40°C by 11 am although the previous day the Bureau of Meteorology had expected a high of 39°C. Festival goers were sweating it out in 42.7°C by 12:23 pm, and the temperature continued to climb. It equalled the previous record for Sydney of 45.3°C by 2:27 pm. In the end, it was Sydney’s hottest day on record, hitting a blistering high of 46.4°C. Revellers were having fun even if the heat slowed them down a bit. Having paid $165 for a general admission ticket, they were determined to enjoy themselves. The crowds were repeatedly urged to stay hydrated throughout the day, and in addition to existing water stations, there were two extra CamelBak water stations available to help patrons cope with the extreme temperatures. CamelBak was a very suitable event sponsor and received a lot of attention from the crowds over the course of the day.

Located close to the festival entrance was a place that just about everyone must have visited at least once during his or her day: the Lipton Ice Tea Virgin Cocktail stand. Revellers crowded around the stand drinking generously sized, free samples of the limited release drinks, with many people grabbing two cups at a time. Inspired by popular summer cocktails, these alcohol free drinks were a real crowd pleaser that everyone could enjoy. The Mojito was a refreshing blend of green tea, lime and mint flavours. An exotic mix of pineapple and coconut made for a delicious Piña Colada and the Strawberry Daiquiri was a pleasantly sweet combination of strawberry and dragonfruit. There was a second Lipton stand nestled in the grounds where young people stood pouring out cup after cup of the virgin cocktails to thirsty, sweaty festival goers. The Lipton Ice Tea Virgin Cocktail slogan is “Enjoy Irresponsibly” and with zero alcohol, the worst side effect revellers had was a sugar high. The only bad news was that these particular products from Lipton are limited release.

Sensory Overload

Red Bull, the most popular energy drink in the world, was a proud Big Day Out sponsor and the company was the perfect fit for the buzzing atmosphere. The Red Bull No Noise Nightclub intrigued me. Promoted as “A place to get lost; lost in the music, lost in your surroundings – but no loss to your hearing!” I was curious and had to check it out. Upon entering the darkened venue, I was handed a pair of metallic pink earphones and the mystery was solved. If you took the earphones off, the nightclub was silent but put them on and you would immediately tune into the music the DJ was playing to the small crowd. Some people hovered by the bars, others sat and sprawled on the floor by the walls. Everyone was grateful to be out of the heat. The Red Bull No Noise Nightclub was an unusual experience and boasted a novelty factor that made it popular all day long.

Every year the Big Day Out proves to be a sizzling hot, action packed day. Cold drinks and slushies are in demand with food businesses doing a roaring trade. Dagwood dogs, fairy floss, hot chips and all the usual festival foods were on offer but there was something a little more sophisticated available this year in Chow Town. Named after the tasty town from the sister festival of the Big Day Out, Lollapalooza in Chicago, Chow Town was a gourmet addition to the day. The precinct consisted of six pop up restaurants (Porteno BBQ, Hartsyard, Longrain, Rojo Rocket, Three Blue Ducks and The Apollo) serving dishes like Ceviche De Pescado, Ka Pow Beef and Red Hot Chili Peppers with a Killer Sauce. Some of Australia’s most famous chefs were selected to be a part of Chow Town which was a great success judging from the number of people enjoying the food.

Tune In

Creating a stall with the right image can spell the difference between having festival goers walk past or stop and look. LUSH, an international, handmade cosmetics company that is against animal testing, was among one of the many companies to have a stall. With over 700 shops in 46 countries across the world and a bold, quirky image, it was not surprising to find LUSH at the Big Day Out. The stand was a freshen-up station where people could sit down, relax and have a massage, a fresh face mask or a foot treatment applied. A basket containing the summer issue of LUSH Times, the product catalogue, sat on the grass and a selection of products were available for sale.

Tables set up in front of the LUSH stand held what little remained of an exciting new product aptly named Fun. This preservative-free 4-in-1 product can be used as soap, shampoo, bubble bath and even a malleable toy. During the first year of sales, 15 cents from the sale of every bar of Fun will go toward projects worldwide providing children living in challenging environments with fun and recreational activities. Fun was clearly a hit with revellers as all I could see were chubby figurines and brightly coloured scraps left on the table.

Rather than over-commercialising the festival, the sponsors fitted in well and added to the atmosphere. The Red Bull No Noise Nightclub is a perfect example of how a music festival can be seamlessly utilised as a marketing space. People appreciated being able to drink as many free samples of Lipton Ice Tea Virgin Cocktails as they wanted and being able to buy a full sized beverage if they wished. The people sitting down at the LUSH stand with sunburnt faces and aching feet were happy to try out a fresh face mask, foot treatment and massage. And the presence of Chow Town proves that the Big Day Out is expanding and becoming more engaging on all levels.

You don’t have to be crazy about music to have a good time at the Big Day Out (although it certainly helps) which continues to be Australia’s premier music festival with special thanks to its sponsors.

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December 16, 2018, 6:40 AM AEDT