With great events comes great responsibility. Festival organizers and sponsors alike are familiar with the Field Of Dreams business model: if you build it, they will come, and once you have them there you can sell them whatever you want, provided it’s beer. It’s an opportunity for events to secure sponsorship and for sponsors to take advantage of a captive audience. Too often, that means a monopoly being purchased by the company with the deepest pockets, selling their disappointing fizzy rice water at inflated prices to people with no other options. Halifax Pop Explosion Music Festival and Conference (HPX) has found that there’s a better way.
Where many festivals claim to promote local—be it businesses, artists, musicians—the one place they often fail is their beer gardens. More often than not you’ll find a giant tent with several different beers available… but all from the same company and almost certainly not a craft brewer.
Not only is it a hypocrisy against their ethos of supporting local, it’s contrary to much of the appeal of any festival: variety. Festivals are great because they’re an opportunity to take in a bunch of different bands over the course of a weekend, yet we’re all expected to enjoy the same beer.
HPX is now boasting they’ve done something almost unheard of amongst east coast festivals; They’ve done away with the idea of having an exclusive alcohol sponsor.
“You choose which artists you see. You choose which venues you visit. And now, you choose which beverage you drink.”
This year HPX has made a sweeping change in an effort to focus on partnerships with local businesses. They’ve teamed up with Nova Scotia’s breweries, cider houses and distilleries to give festival-goers a better experience while continuing to grow bourgeoning regional economy. These partners include Good Robot Brewing Company, Garrison Brewing Company, Gahan, Sid’s Cider and the Nova Scotia Spirit Company. Also, because not everyone loves craft beer (yet), the festival have still made sure that the very respectable option of Grolsch is available.
Good Robot, who brew good beer and provide a good place to enjoy music, arts and entertainment in Halifax, took the initiative to pull it all together.
“We’ve always wanted to be a festival brewery – after all, Good Robot was partly conceived in the fields of Bonnaroo,” says Joshua Council, Co-Founder/Marketing Director at Good Robot Brewing Co. “We’re also grateful to our fellow sponsors for taking on this opportunity with us and to HPX for offering it. It’s awesome. We’re all jittery with excitement here.”
Further emphasizing how great these partnerships are, they’ve provided a fantastic number of incentives to spend time either drinking beer, listening to music, or some combination of both.
“Throughout the month of October, the Halifax-based partners—Good Robot, Garrison, and Gahan—will offer a 10% discount on Pop Explosion wristbands, available for purchase at each location. These breweries will also offer special in-house deals such as cheaper pints and discounted growler fill-ups to any patrons who have already purchased HPX 2017 wristbands or tickets.*”
The breweries will also be hosting pop-up events for the next two weeks, including a Charles Bradley tribute show at Good Robot on October 5th where donations will be accepted for local youth music programs. The festival has also announced the creation of the HPX Beer Club, which will be offering specials through these partners year round.
“We are very excited to work with these incredible local and experienced beverage partners to make the festival experience the best it can be,” says James Boyle, Executive Director of HPX. “Giving festivalgoers more choice and the opportunity to choose locally made products is the philosophy upon which Pop Explosion is built. We’re in for a great year!”
The Halifax Pop Explosion Music Festival & Conference takes place in Halifax, Nova Scotia from October 18-21, 2017.