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Denim Brands Bet Big on Music Festivals

Wrangler isn’t just stepping into festival season. The 75-year-old brand is stage diving into it with three unique partnerships.

The Kontoor Brands-owned denim stalwart on Monday announced plans to host activations at Lollapalooza in Chicago (July 28-31) and Berlin (Sept. 24-25) and at Austin City Limits Music Festival (Oct. 7-16).

As the exclusive denim sponsor of each festival, Wrangler will have onsite interactive customer spaces that showcase its heritage to music fans in a variety of ways. In the Wrangler booth, festivalgoers can personalize their exclusive denim festival merchandise purchases with free laser customization specific to the festival. The brand will also offer enhanced personalization options for select artists and VIPs behind the scenes.

A complete line of Wrangler x Lollapalooza apparel, including tees and denim, will also be available on Wrangler’s website.

Wrangler will be the official denim sponsor of Lollapalooza in Chicago and Berlin and at Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Wrangler Courtesy

Music has been fundamental to Wrangler’s story of self-expression. From rock legend Freddie Mercury to country music star Garth Brooks to current chart-toppers like Leon Bridges, Wrangler has long had a place under the bright lights of the main stage. It recently collaborated with legendary guitar maker Fender for a collection of men’s and women’s denim staples and graphic T-shirts infused with rock ‘n’ roll and Western elements.

Previous musical partnerships have included products with MSCHF’s Satan Shoes collaborator Lil Nas X and Jamaican legend Bob Marley.

“Fans are thrilled to be back to experiencing music and showcasing festival fashion in real life,” said Holly Wheeler, Wrangler vice president, global marketing. “At a time when western influence continues to surge in the world of fashion, festivals are combining different genres, fan bases, lifestyles and experiences across the globe.”

The three events have diverse lineups. Lollapalooza Chicago headliners span Metallica, Dua Lipa, J. Cole and Greenday. Machine Gun Kelly, Kraftklub and Tiesto are headlining Lollapalooza Berlin. Austin City Limits Music Festival will feature Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink, Sza and Kacey Musgraves.

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Wrangler will be the official denim sponsor of Lollapalooza in Chicago and Berlin and at Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Wrangler Courtesy

Festival fashion is in a state of transition. Data from retail analytics firm Edited revealed how the millennial-born genre that had ballooned to encompass everything from boho chic to rave style in pre-pandemic years had less of an impact on retail this spring. Gen Z concertgoers are favoring more minimalist and individualistic looks over traditional festival garb like crochet tops and fringe.

Denim, however, was an outlier with Western trends driving demand. “Denim’s post-lockdown resurgence lent itself to the shorts category,” Edited stated.

Denim brands are throwing their support behind festivals and their reach despite this shift.

Wrangler’s sister brand Lee is sponsoring Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn. from June 16-19. A custom patch station in the backstage area will offer artists and performers unique apparel. Festivalgoers will also help build the Original Lee Tree, an installation made with more than 900 square feet of scrap denim. A special Lee x Bonnaroo T-shirt will also be available.

Women’s fashion retailer Maurices is partnering with country musician Lauren Alaina to gift attendees of Nashville’s CMA Fest a pair of jeans. For a limited time following the four-day affair that ran June 9-12, attendees can show their festival ticket at any of Maurices’ 900 stores across the U.S. and Canada between June 18-24 for a free pair of m jeans by Maurices. Earlier this year, Maurices named Alaina as the brand’s first-ever year-long celebrity brand ambassador and joined her 2022 “Top of the World” tour as headlining sponsor.

“Music festivals have always acted as launchpads for the latest and most creative fashion trends,” said Stephanie Adamson, senior merchandise manager at C3 Presents, the production company behind Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival. “Festivals invite a spirit of individuality, and the creative possibilities are endless at the intersection of fashion and music.”