From Coachella to Stagecoach: Inside Beauty’s Big Bet on Festival Season

The golden era of “festival fashion” may be over, but beauty brands are finding ways to tap into music-event marketing as they look not just to Coachella but Stagecoach, Live Nation and beyond.

Beauty labels led influencer trips and promotions on Coachella’s first weekend, which ran from April 12 – 14, with both essential products like sunscreen and creative festival makeup represented. The weekend kicked off what’s set to be a season of music festival beauty activity as country music festival Stagecoach is emerging as the next big brand destination. A Beyoncé-driven Western obsession has E.l.f. Skin among those headed to Stagecoach for the first time, as the event is set to be invaded by an unprecedented level of influencers this year.

Hosts of Coachella influencer trips in 2024 were “primarily beauty brands,” apart from the fashion presence led by Revolve, said Megan Levy, head of talent acquisition at influencer-management agency Shine Talent Group.

Official Coachella beauty sponsors skewed to the practical side, offering products like body wash and shampoo for the festival’s camping area or SPF for the hot desert sun.

After partnering with Coachella in previous years, Method leveled up its sponsorship this year as it created a high-tech branded booth on site. Tapping into festival aesthetics, its two-weekend activation offered a glam station with hair tinsel and an aura photography station with an AI twist, texting people their AI-retouched aura photos. Brand representatives drove a golf cart around the festival grounds to hand out samples; in the camping area, Method featured another pop-up with a salon for blowouts and curated playlists in the camp showers.

A Method hair glam station inside the brand's lounge at Coachella 2024.
A Method hair glam station inside the brand’s lounge at Coachella 2024. (Method)

Neutrogena’s Coachella partnership, meanwhile, was all about the festival necessity of SPF, offering eight sunscreen dispenser stations throughout the grounds.

The hot desert was “such a contextually relevant place for us to be,” said Natasha Haubrich, Neutrogena head of equity and strategy. “We certainly believe that it’s still relevant and people still want to be here.”

Beauty Keeps the Influencer Trip Alive

As fashion companies like Revolve rethink their Coachella influencer marketing approach, beauty brands helped prop up a lagging rental market for Palm Springs mansions. Eos, K-beauty label Isntree and influencer-trip leader Tarte were among those that lured influencer-trip groups with pool parties, brunches and facials.

Meanwhile, Neutrogena’s sponsored group of around 30 influencers included TikToker Haley Kalil as well as skinfluencers like Dr. Dustin Portela. The campaign was supported by the brand’s influencer team, which includes both LA-based and remote members. After it was reported that Neutrogena is closing its LA office and eliminating roles, Haubrich declined to comment on what this means for its influencer strategy going forward.

Activating in creative ways outside the festival grounds was a key way for independent beauty to gain visibility without massive budgets for influencer trips or on-site booths. This included brands affiliated with Coachella acts. Gwen Stefani’s GXVE Beauty opted for a presence outside the festival for No Doubt’s performance. The singer’s makeup label offered makeup touchups at The Zoe Report’s Zoeasis party and drove influencers to and from events in a set of GXVE-branded ride-share cars stocked with gifted products. Stefani also wore a full face of GXVE Beauty for her festival performance that she applied herself.

Stagecoach’s Influencerization

Beyond Coachella, beauty brands are leaning into festival season for the rest of the spring and summer.

Halsey’s makeup label About-Face, which is displayed on endcaps at 1,220 Ulta Beauty locations, launched its festival-themed Energy Angel collection on April 17. The brand has also partnered with entertainment company Live Nation since 2022 to bring pop-ups to its music festivals, including Lollapalooza and Governors Ball. It is an official sponsor for both festivals again this year.

But perhaps the one festival most likely to be “influencerized” will be Stagecoach. Held on the Coachella grounds from April 26 – 28, the country music fest will include mainstream acts like Post Malone and Diplo. The event is not only seeing the first Revolve party held during the weekend but will also be sponsored by E.l.f. Beauty’s skincare brand.

E.l.f. Skin is hosting a “Glow & Go Motel” pop-up on the festival grounds, offering samples of its Suntouchable sunscreen and Holy Hydration skincare products. On the festival’s official Amazon livestream, the brand will be featuring sponsored segments and be unveiling its newly launched Bronzing Drops.

“I do think we will see a larger budget put toward Stagecoach,” said Levy, who shared she’s seen money allocated for the country music festival comparable to what brands typically spend for Coachella. “[It] will be a really interesting shift in the creator economy, seeing how well Stagecoach does this year.”

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