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Pitchfork Music Festival: 15 Ideas for Throwback-Style Brand Activations

At the independent music festival in Chicago, brands engaged fans with whimsical, low-tech attractions.

By Jenny Berg July 20, 2016, 7:15 AM EDT

Photo: Barry Brecheisen for BizBash

The Pitchfork Music Festival had its 11th run at Chicago's Union Park from July 15 to 17. Featuring 43 acts—including Brian Wilson, Carly Rae Jepsen, and FKA Twigs—the festival had more family-friendly elements this year. At the new Old Town School of Music Kid's Stage, little ones could experiment with drums and other musical instruments and also pick up some festival swag.

Brands also used tactics that appealed to all ages. Bai and Clif Bar both brought a summer-camp vibe to their activations, offering everything from a coloring station to a braid bar and bean-bag games between the two of them. Perrier's whimsical tent had the bright colors of a storybook, and was filled with floating bubbles. And though most brands had photo ops and hashtags that encouraged guests to share pictures from their experiences on social media, companies remained mostly low tech—even referencing the old days of vinyl records, Atari-style video games, and vintage turntables. Here's a look inside the festival's throwback-style highlights.

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