Type to search

Revolve Festival and Coachella: when a bad activation is still good


Revolve Festival and Coachella: when a bad activation is still good


It’s been a long two years for festival goers. As festivals around the world were one of the first corporate casualties of the pandemic, in 2022 they’re back. With a bang, and a corporate sponsorship.

Festival season has officially kicked off in America. The grandaddy, the most well-known festival around the world, Coachella, has happened. Well, the first weekend at least. The famous festival takes place in the Californian desert, and is a playground for the rich, famous and every wannabe Instagrammer. 

First taking place in 1999, Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival now hosts over 200,000 guests over two weekends in April. Revellers come from all over the world to see some of the current biggest live music acts, as well as take some of the most desirable content.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Coachella (@coachella)

But, what does that mean for businesses?

It’s the perfect place to come across as cool, trendy and “down” with the kids. Coachella isn’t just Coachella, it has become a playground for other mini festivals, pop ups and activations. Guests, and by default, those tuning into the livestreams, are being marketed to constantly by businesses paying big bucks to have logos plastered everywhere.

And so, attendees aren’t just blessed with the musical stylings of Harry Styles, but to a plethora of creative advertising.

Revolve Festival

Every year, fashion label Revolve hosts a party. Not just any party. The party. Every influencer, celeb and Kardashian attends. 2022 was no different. Revolve’s event has evolved over the years, and it is now known as Revolve Festival. A mini-festival away from the festival full of commoners. This is more exclusive, more star-studded.

Maybe it seems like an over the top activation. A festival away from a festival. A pre-festival for the festival itself. Whichever way you look at it, Revolve Festival is an excessive display. But, it’s a long running partnership that has as many loyal onlookers as Coachella itself. 

Interestingly, in the case of this year’s Revolve Festival, it was not a smooth ride for all attendees. Very VIPs (think Kardashians, Biebers, etc.) were, of course, rolled out the typical red carpet. Other lesser-known punters on the other hand experienced a much different day. Attendees took to social media to compare the event to the now infamous Fyre Festival. Long queues in the hot sun for buses that never came. Less than average food and limited water, which in the desert is not ideal.

However, it seems that not even the trending videos of what looked like a failed festival could deter the engagement. Whether it’s because it wasn’t as failed as some guests made out to be, or because the VIPs saw none of the disaster. Revolve Festival was, once again, a stellar social media success. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Georgina Mazzeo (@georginamazzeo)

The results

Traackr, an influencer marketing platform, analysed the data from the first weekend of Coachella. Revolve Festival, through the drama of what was going viral as a fail, still managed to succeed. The failed festival accrued more than 5,000 posts from 700-plus influencers.

These numbers translate into huge reach. More than 25 million engagements over the posts, including likes, comments, and shares. 

On Instagram, there are currently 5,000 posts with 13 million engagements. TikTok had 520 posts, accruing over 90 million video views.

@revolve what influencers are wearing at #REVOLVEfestival captured by our girl @Linoya ✨ shop their looks now! #REVOLVE ♬ Confidence – Lux-Inspira

The backlash

As it turns out, even disasters can mean dollars. The Revolve Festival is an interesting look at what some are calling a PR disaster. Although some of the guests had a less than ideal time, the public backlash won’t see a hit to the online fashion store. 


Because of influencers. That’s right. The guests themselves are the reason that Revolve won’t take a financial hit. In an incredible display of schadenfreude, “regular” non-influencer people have taken little sympathy on the invite-only guests. Our collective cynicism over influencers has meant that although the event might have been a flop, the business won’t suffer.

The proof of success lies in the amount of posts that were still engaged with. The rich and famous continued to party, and the onlookers were sold a lifestyle. A dress, a shirt, a pair of shorts. 

But the real winner here? Revolve.

@averiebishop I hope you made it to the festival @kate bartlett !! #revolvefestival @revolve ♬ original sound – Aves


We send love letters weekly

Get your inbox filled with best content.

Sign up now
Liv Croagh

Liv Croagh was the Managing Editor of Marketing Mag from September 2021 to September 2023.

  • 1

You Might also Like


Leave a Comment