A Supersized Photo Tour: Inside 18 Brand Activations from Gov Ball 2024


Roughly 150,000 fans attended Gov Ball 2024.

The joy of experiencing a premier music festival on a warm June weekend might seem straightforward to fans, but the behind-the-scenes grind it takes to pull off such an endeavor is anything but. That much was evident when we arrived at New York’s Flushing Meadows Corona Park on June 7 for Live Nation’s three-day Governors Ball festival. Founded in 2011, the annual multigenre affair this year spanned more than 60 artists performing across three stages, plus a top-tier lineup of activating brands, all embedded into a meticulously structured event ecosystem.

While touring the grounds at Corona Park, it seemed the devil was in the details. A giant Lady Liberty installation was a great photo moment, but more importantly, served as a wayfinding tool. Tree trunks wrapped in hot pink feathers and other festive designs returned after fans showed love for the décor last year, and once again spread good vibes and prompted photo ops. And, due to New York liquor laws, activating spirits brands were combined into four cohesive 21-plus zones that all offered great views of their neighboring stages, despite being gated.

Indeed, the festival has become a well-oiled machine that delivers for fans (yes, we’re still reeling after seeing Post Malone perform live) and sponsors. So, grab your wristband and join us for a tour through some of the best brand activations at Gov Ball 2024.

pinterest-manifest-station-coachella-2024-credit-kelly-puleio-teaser2024 Festival Trends:


The American Apparel Tee Lab was a giant tented structure that lured festivalgoers in with a “Craft the Culture” theme and the chance to snag a festival-exclusive t-shirt from the brand’s most sustainable collection (while supplies lasted), and embellish it with a custom-printed, New York-inspired design and a range of patches. The VIP “cabana” on the upper deck offered prime views of the stage and lots of room for R&R with a variety of couches and other cushy seating.

Gov Ball 2024_American Apparel Tee Lab



The whimsical, bright orange Aperol Spritz Piazza returned to Gov Ball with Italian-inspired engagements and experience design touches, like a bar designed to look like an Italian tram car and orange grove-themed photo ops. Even the tabletops replicated orange slices.

Gov Ball 2024_Aperol Spritz Piazza (2)



The Bud Light Backyard once again arrived at the festival with plenty of cold beers, live dj sets, branded lawn games, ample room for dancing, and photo moments, including one on a swing set, all set against a backdrop designed to replicate a quintessential backyard party.



The Cabot Cruiser Cheese Truck parked at the festival to deliver free gooey treats and the “seriously cheesy bites” campaign messaging that is currently powering its multimarket mobile tour. During the day, aged grilled cheese bites were served, then in the evening, dessert came in the form of s’mores made with Cabot cheddar. The recipe may sound bizarre, but damn. It’s one of the best things we’ve tasted in a very long time.



The Chateau Ste. Michelle activation served as one of our favorite event builds at Gov Ball thanks to an elegant, wood-slatted exterior that replicated a castle. The footprint featured a range of Washington wines (the cold Sauvignon Blanc was refreshing on a warm evening) and frosé for purchase, plus indoor and outdoor seating areas, and the chance to snag swag from a prize wall. What’s more, to celebrate National Rosé Day (June 8), the brand hosted a special happy hour event that included complimentary wine samples.

Gov Ball 2024_Chateau Ste. Michelle



Coca-Cola made headlines last year with the Coke AI Studio, the brand’s trailblazing, genAI-powered festival activation. This year, the studio returned to once again provide fans with a chance to create their own personalized, shareable music video. While on-site, they could also charge their phones and sip on a cold Coke Zero Sugar.

Gov Ball 2024_Coke Studio 2



Dunkin’ made its way back to the fest with a two-story, fully shaded House of Dunkin’ experience that fueled up fans with iced coffee, including new flavors, munchkins and brand giveaways like bucket hats. The activation also included a donut-themed “aura flavor” photo booth, airbrush tattoos and designated spaces to chill.

Gov Ball 2024_House of Dunkin' 2



Espolòn Tequila made its Gov Ball debut with its version of a modern Mexican market, complete with street signs pointing to different experiences, custom merch, dominos and other goodies to peruse. Live Nation’s Alex Joffe, head of global partnerships for Gov Ball, told us the line was long and consistent for this one, which could mean we’ll see Espolòn pop up at other Live Nation festivals in the future.

Mercado Espolon Tequila governors ball 24



Fashionistas could visit the Forever 21 Style Stop to score items from the exclusive, NYC-themed Forever 21 x Gov Ball collection. While on-site, they could also elevate their looks at a customization station, partake in photo ops and win brand giveaways.



Gov Ball newcomer imPRESS was on hand offering free, speedy manicures at the imPRESS Salon. Fans could stop by for press-on nail and lash applications that required no glue and minimal time in comparison to traditional manicures and lash extensions. As Joffe explained, Gen Z is the target for many brands at festivals like Gov Ball, and the demo is looking to consume brand experiences the way it consumes media—in quick, impactful snippets.

Governors 24_imPRESS Salon 2



As the official powdered hydration sponsor of Gov Ball 2024, Liquid I.V. promoted its “Tear. Pour. Live. More.” summer campaign with a two-story Hydration Haven. The activation featured samples, including new flavors, plus a specialty slushie bar and branded water bottles. The activation also hit Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in June and will make its way to Lollapalooza in July.

Governors 24_LiquidIV Hydration Haven



The M&M’s Sweet Tour made a stop in NYC, and the activation, which focused on M&M’s Peanut Butter, was just as playful as you’d imagine, given the brand. The colorful footprint included an installation of M&M’s spokescandies on the exterior that made for a prime photo op, in addition to offering temporary spokescandies tattoos, an interior photo op that was showcased on various screens within the space, samples galore and brand swag, like Sweet Tour bucket hats. Shoutout to the brand ambassadors dishing out M&M’s all across the festival grounds, which we snagged right before leaving, and came in handy on our midnight train ride home.

Gov Ball 2024_M&Ms Sweet Tour interior

Governors 24_M&Ms Sweet Tour



Gaming fans of all stripes were invited to hit the claw machine and other classic games at the Rakuten R-cade for a chance to win prizes from multiple brands. The purple-drenched footprint featured two oversized Adirondack chairs for photo ops, while attendees who purchased festival essentials scored more with free premiums and even VIP upgrades.

Gov 24_Rakuten -R- Cade



Red Bull Unforeseen: The Wherehouse was unlike any other activation at Gov Ball 2024. The tagline said it all: Find the Hidden Party. Upon stepping inside the expansive footprint, we went from Gov Ball’s chill festival atmosphere into a bumping underground club surrounded by flashing lights in a matter of seconds. And after a quick chat with the brand’s tour manager, the strategy was confirmed: The Wherehouse was meant to be a mini escape of sorts into Red Bull’s world. Micro-engagements housed in shipping containers were spread throughout the edges of the space, but surprise guest appearances, live djs and plenty of room to dance were at the heart of the activation.

Gov Ball 2024_Red Bull Unforeseen club(2)



We first spotted Sharpie activating at SXSW earlier this year, and the activation has continued to make its way to major festivals. At Gov Ball, The Sharpie Creation Station experience was anchored by a colorful mobile unit with an oversized marker perched on top, which was home to various creativity stations stocked with Sharpie Creative Markers, which promise “paint-like ink.” After tapping into their inner artist, fans were invited to take samples home.

Governors 24_Sharpie Creation Station (2)



Stella Artois teamed up with First We Feast’s streaming series and pop culture sensation, “Hot Ones,” for Gov Ball 2024 as part of the brands’ summer-long partnership. With a sleek Airstream trailer at the center of the activation, Stella offered festivalgoers a chance to win limited-edition swag at the Stella Drop Shop, dared them to try exclusive “Hot Ones” bites, and, of course, served plenty of cold brews that could be enjoyed on-site at high-top tables.

Gov Ball 2024_Stella Artois x Hot Ones (2)



Espresso martini fans could hit up the New York subway-themed Underground with Tito’s experience for a fix, in addition to grabbing giveaways and temporary tattoos. Ample seating and tables gave festivalgoers a place to have a cocktail and take a break.



If you wanted great stage views at Gov Ball, the Verizon lounge was the place to be. Fans could stop by the double-deck structure to charge their devices, relax and take in the premium views of the GovBallNYC Stage, presented by Verizon. Plus, current customers could skip the lines by entering through the Verizon Lane, and score free swag for themselves and their crew once inside.

Photos: Courtesy of Live Nation

Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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