The Sundance Film Festival 2013 officially kicks off tomorrow, Thursday, January 17th and although the spotlight is on the film buffs and entertainment industry insiders, there is never a shortage of brands looking for exposure in the form of the hottest swag and most buzzed about party.
Chris Ryan, Founder of Oceanside Entertainment, provides experiential marketing opportunities for brands at the festival and completes the exclusive, invite-only unofficial Sundance Film Festival events master list each year. He has the inside scoop on the brands, parties and free stuff those embarking at Sundance will be lusting after this year.
Ryan explains that the hottest tickets are the ones least advertised - post premiere cast dinners. "Intimate cast dinners are becoming really important. These dinners serve as an opportunity for filmmakers and their cast to talk shop directly with potential film buyers and high profile media outlets. Besides being picked up by a distribution company, the goal of showing at Sundance is also to create a strong mainstream and industry buzz so the public will say, 'I heard about that film lets go see it,.' ” said Ryan.
There will also be an increase in nationally known nightclub pop-up venues in addition to the annual TAO night club at Sundance who remains the most exclusive and impossible to get in to night out destination on Main St. during the festival. In addition, nightclubs Hyde and Nikki Beach will host nightly parties as will Wynn Las Vegas.
Never to be overlooked is the allure of the annual gifting suites. Among the most anticipated each year is the Miami Lounge which, this year, will feature a number of sponsors such as the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau,Carlos Pazolini shoes and accessories, Disaronno, Rudsak leather outerwear and accessories, Johnny Was BoHo Chic style clothing and accessories, Sabra Hummus, Lifeway Foods and HINT water. Other suites slated to return include the Village at the Lift, Talent Resources Suite and the CW3 Skylodge re: TREAT. A list of brands set to make appearances in these suites include Oakley, UGG, Samsung, Skull Candy, Stella Artois and many, many more.
Music performances are also taking more of a role during the festival each year featuring performances at activations such as the ASCAP Music Cafe, Fender Music Lodge and Koffeehouse Chateau. Chris explained that these opportunities are crucial for both established and emerging artists as it "offers direct exposure to film soundtrack opportunities, an important part of their business." This year much buzz has surrounded the announcement of Dave Grohl's new band Sound City Players who will perform at Park City Live as part of the promotion of Grohl's documentary on the famed Sound City recording studio making its debut at Sundance.
More brands are also popping up to provide support for the tired film and party goer such as the pop-up McCafe providing free coffee and the growing Uber car service which is bringing operations to Park City for the festival.