Neil Boorman wrote a piece in this weeks Time Out (page 123) about the nature of corporate sponsors and there behaviour having matured over recent years. (he also plugged his brand burning event, which i'll skip but Russell Davis does that proud here) Neil is right most festivals this year were pretty full on 'brand experiences' BUT they had (on the whole) cleaner loos/better security and managed capacity compared to five years ago. A few other thoughts.
Most brands still do little to really imbed there values with the audience they have spent so much money attracting. The exception is Innocents Fruitstock where every detail reinforced the attitude of the brand. -Including leaving 'thankyou' tags on peoples bikes.
Southern Comfort had pretty much the same event presence as previous years (Big Chill/Bestival) but ran with some great new ads and promotions in the run up.
Carlings Reading/Leeds events caught the mood of the year with out any technology or branding gimmicks, For them an added bonus was Muse playing out of there skins at Reading, causing a mini stamped the following week to ebay for the bootlegs. Compared with the ham-fisted V festival Virgin brand antics, I imagine the Carling boys are feeling pretty smug.
Ben & Jerry's had a second go at there Sundae event, which with a £5 ticket price was always going to be oversubscribed. They did host an extra day to cover demand, but value is a precious thing and with such cheap tickets most punters had had enough mellowness and were heading for the bright lights of Clapham High Street long before the end.