Agency urges brands to ditch 'dead-end' festival sponsorships and join new venture

The Participation Agency has set up a model whereby brands stock luxury homes and artists stay for free on tour.

A network of luxury homes has been launched for emerging artists to stay in for free as part of a drive to completely overhaul the way brands market at music festivals.

The Participation Agency, behind award-winning activations like Timeshare Backyard and the Big Apple Circus, announced a number of new locations for a business venture called "For Those Who Tour" this week.

Brands including West Elm, Justin’s and Dirty Lemon stock the homes with goodies, sit back and watch the social media impressions.

"The traditional festival sponsorship and influencer marketing model is broken," said Ruthie Schulder, co-founder and CEO of The Participation Agency. "Brands throw money in the air and it means nothing to artists or their fans. With Outpost and Basecamp, we disrupt this model and provide real value to artists and genuine consumer engagement to brands. It's a win-win."

The network is split up into two hubs: Basecamp (with pads in Journal Square, New Jersey, and Hollywood, California) and Outpost (located in El paso, Texas, and Asbury Park, New Jersey). Basecamp locations have hosted the likes of Nothing But Thieves, Normani and Jessie Reyez. Artists are treated to lush recording studios and private performance spaces for fans.

Since 2017, artists’ social posts have organically generated more than 15 million impressions for the program and brand partners, according to the agency.

The latest network edition, set to open in July in L.A., is a sprawling 2,400 square foot townhouse, where up to seven musicians and guests can experience a lavish three-bedroom, 2.5-bath space complete with a recording studio and retractable glass wall garden terrace. Artists will be able to throw surprise concerts for up to 75 fans.

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