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Amstel Light Aims to Bring Amsterdam Experience to North America With Concert Series

In its quest to bring a bit of Amsterdam across the Atlantic, Amstel Light sponsored a concert tour that brought indie rock acts—and a beer bike—to seven U.S. markets.

Amsterdam Live in San Francisco

Photo: Steve Jennings/WireImage

Amstel Light's seven-market concert tour, Amsterdam Live, wrapped up at New York's Webster Hall Wednesday, August 26, with live dance, interactive art, and a performance by the Bravery. Along for the ride—that included stops in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco—was the Dutch brew's signature 10-seater beer bike, though restrictions prevented riders from actually imbibing.

To separate itself from competing brands, Amstel Light's marketing and events agenda recently has been defined by the brand's connection to its native Amsterdam and the city's devil-may-care attitude. “It’s a point of difference that the brand can own, and is something that we’ve had all along,” said the aptly named Amstel Light vice president of marketing, Kheri Holland Tillman. “Amsterdam Live captured Amstel’s Amsterdam in an authentic environment that [aimed to] include unconventional experiences and interactive activities.”

Amstel Light worked with experiential marketing agency Mirrorball to produce the event, and tapped Spring L.L.C. to book the talent for the seven different shows. The Bravery, Morningwood, and Shiny Toy Guns were among the headlining acts Spring secured to performed in the different cities, alongside DJs such as Steve Aoki, Joe Maz, and Clinton Sparks.

Each event also showcased local break-dancers during lulls in the lineup. And near the entrance to the venues, artists from Ad Hoc Art silk screened custom T-shirts. Outside, the brand's signature beer bike sat under venue marquees, telling guests where to enter.

The bike was pedaled around different high-traffic areas in each of the markets to raise brand awareness and promote the concerts. “Beer bikes are big tourist attractions in Amsterdam,” Holland Tillman said. “By bringing our bike to the various local markets, we strengthen Amstel Light’s connection to Amsterdam.”

What they didn't strengthen was anyone's buzz. Although Amstel Light flowed freely inside the venues, zoning kept the kegs normally housed inside the beer bike bone dry during the events.