World ofHeineken 40 - summer 2009
Ireland's weather might sometimes be
uncooperative, but a Hungarian Heineken
festival only narrowly missed one of the
biggest storms of the year last summer.
Defying predictions by local meteorologists,
torrential rains passed over Heineken Balaton
Sound only hours after the festival ended.
The episode was one of many highlights of
the 2008 edition, says Durgó Lajos, Marketing
Manager with Sziget Cultural Management,
which organised the festival. Another was the
moment when all 88,000 tickets were sold
out for the first time in the festival's history,
he says. For him personally, another highlight
was the Fatboy Slim show. "It was his first
performance in Hungary, and he absolutely
blew me away."
The Sziget Festival in Budapest was first held
in 1994 and now draws close to half a million
visitors. Thanks in part to its success, Hungary
now has one of the best-developed festival
cultures of Europe. With Sziget, Heineken has
been closely involved in the organisation of a
new festival on the shores of Lake Balaton, a
pristine resort area in the west of the country.
"Balaton Sound is a more premium festival
than Sziget," say Durgó. "This is reflected
in everything from the line-up to the
infrastructure, to the location." Situated on
a one-kilometre long beach, the location of
the festival offers a gorgeous view of the
northern shore of Lake Balaton, with a small
church tower piercing the blue skies nearby.
This year, over a 100,000
visitors are expected
to flock to the lake and
enjoy headlining acts like
Moby, Nouvelle Vague
and Guru's Jazzmatazz.
some pretty delicate
music," says Durgó.
"These are acts that
are appreciated by our
slightly older crowd, who
are mostly 25 and over."
Setting up the physical
infrastructure for the
festival is a massive
undertaking, in which
Heineken is also heavily
involved. Weeks before
the first visitors hit the
of technicians and
construction workers pour onto the festival
grounds. Meanwhile, Heineken brand and
event teams set up venues, a number
of stages and restaurants. The pièce de
résistance is a massive floating deck that
extends from the shore into the lake.
As in Spain and Ireland, Heineken is also
an important partner in the promotion
of the festival. "For one thing, Heineken's
brands are a perfect match for the music
we programme," says Durgó, "For another,
Heineken also has a lot of expertise in
marketing, which we benefit from. For
example, we jointly produce a number of TV
commercials with Heineken every year, and
they are always well appreciated."
Balaton Sound would not be what it is today
if it were not for Heineken's involvement,
says Durgó. "My guess is that this is true of
many festivals in Europe. Heineken is a great
partner because they bring so much to the
table: a platform for reaching out to fans,
decades of experience in the music business
and of course great beer."
The FIB Heineken festival, the Irish Oxegen
festival and Hungary's Balaton Sound are
just three of the many music festivals that
Heineken will be involved in this summer.
Europe, Heineken's native continent and one
with a long history of festivals, sees most
of the musical action. But from Bangkok to
Barbados, Heineken is one of the world's
biggest music sponsors, supporting over 140
music festivals and other events, and bringing
great beer to music lovers around the planet.
Promoting responsible consumption at
While we quench our consumers thirst
for great music and great beer through
our music festival sponsorships, we also
want them to consume our products
That is precisely why five actors turned up
at the gates of two Dutch music festivals
last summer, depicting characters from
Heineken's 'Know the Signs' internet-
based awareness campaign. 'Know
the Signs' showcases five characters
displaying typical behaviours after having
one drink too many: the Crier, the Groper,
the Fighter, the Exhibitionist and the
"Bringing 'Know the Signs' to Dutch
festivals was a great way to bring the
message of responsible consumption to
life and to keep it top of mind as festival
goers entered the venue. One actress
played the role of the Crier and she
really got people's attention," says Brand
Manager Rob van Griensven of Heineken
Netherlands, who was responsible for
activating the campaign at the Indian
Summer and Zand festivals.
The display was intended to make festival
goers stop and think about their own level
of alcohol consumption. Promotional
teams handed out flyers explaining the
campaign to visitors, along with an Enjoy
Heineken Responsibly bracelet.
The activation in the Netherlands is just
one example of Heineken's activities
to promote responsible consumption
at festivals worldwide. In Switzerland,
for instance, green-clad "E-teams"
promoted responsible consumption at
the Zurich Street Parade last summer. At
a number of our music festivals, including
the Spanish FIB, Heineken provides
complimentary bus services to ferry
customers to and from festival grounds.