Brands Who Bumbershoot

PlayNetwork’s Marketing Coordinator Christy A. is a massive music fan and has attended every Bumbershoot since she moved to Seattle. She shares her brand + band highlights from this year’s festival experience.


Summer’s final beacon here in Seattle is the Bumbershoot festival, held every Labor Day weekend at Seattle Center. Bands large and small take over for three days of music discovery, comedy, and art. What caught my eye were brands large and small weaving their way into the festival experience, with plenty of opportunities for comfort, fun, and special perks as the weekend wore on.

PlayStation’s Road to Greatness touring truck greeted us at the main entrance, giving players the chance to test their skills at new and unreleased games, compete in live tournaments, and win prizes. Coca-Cola’s Share A Coke tour came to life with a custom kiosk, where we could personalize our own Coke mini cans with our first names. I’m not one for sipping soda all too often, but I had to step up to the plate!

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Sparking ICE gave visitors reprieve from the heat with an air conditioned giant “ice cube” where samples of their fruity concoctions were served, complete with blaring dance music to amplify the excitement. Chipotle’s mini restaurant setup tempted all those who walked by their rustically handsome booth, with highboy tables and brightly colored umbrellas (fun fact: Bumbershoot is a slang term for umbrella) to post up with while tacos are savored.

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Luden’s brought the 2014 Bumbershoot mascot to life with a life-size display which became an instant photo op for those passing through Memorial Stadium to see Schoolboy Q, The Replacements reunion (!), and The Head and the Heart. Our Bumbershoot beast’s teeth were turned into giant Luden’s cough drops and could be pulled out for a little cough surfing session during the performances!

And of course, you can’t have a Seattle festival experience without Starbucks. Gold Card members lined up to receive VIP badges and be escorted into the poshly decorated lounge where, to my complete and utter joy, espresso drinks were served up, sans charge. Double tall soy Pumpkin Spice Latte to enjoy right before the sonic musings of The Head and the Heart? By still my little heart. Outfitted with a charging station and plush seating for guests to gush about the day’s performances, Sbux asked the crowd to share their local loves for all the see on their blackboard. My contribution? Coffee.

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Music is such a huge part of many of our lives – it connects us. Aside from free swag and samples, seeing brands step out of their normal environment to share in the communal experience that is Bumbershoot–and actually make the experience more comfortable and exciting–connected me to thousands of other fans who love the same things I do. At PlayNetwork, we talk about comfort + discovery and how integral it is to usher these behaviors into the customer experience. Festivals are the perfect platform to see this action. Next summer is only 9 months away – how will you bring your brand to the masses?

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