HP and American Express Created Digital Edens and Cabana Getaways at NY’s Panorama Music Festival

After a rainy start, brands came out in full force

Take a look at how brands activated at music festival Panorama.
Getty for American Express

Music festival Panorama had a bleak start to its three-day event—held each year on Randall’s Island in New York since its inception in 2016—thanks to some severe thunderstorms in the area. Those storms eventually led to an evacuation of the festival early Friday evening and cancellations from artists like Lil Wayne (who was set to perform the following day) due to travel delays. Even with the minor chaos—including that wonderful reminder to attendees as they were leaving the island Friday to stay away from all metal structures, including the metal ramp leading up to the ferry—brands still came out in full force to entertain attendees.

American Express, HP, JBL, Bud Light, Zenni and others occupied the grounds for the weekend providing everything from free glasses from Zenni to a chance to win some new headphones courtesy of JBL. Those booths also provided some solace from the downpour on Friday.

HP, however, stole the show this year with its massive tech-powered playground, or Digital Eden as the brand called it, for attendees to explore. First up, the brand created a special lounge perfect for escaping the heat, or rain.

Inside the oasis, attendees could design a custom water bottle using the HP Spectre laptop, and print and fill them on site. There was also an interactive photo booth where users could draw their own text on the image. The star of the show, at least inside the lounge, was a magnificent flower installation hanging from the ceiling. Attendees could use HP’s technology and products to program their own light show, selecting different colors for the lights to display as the flowers bloomed.

“These activations are designed to bring our technology to life but also celebrate creativity, which is what this festival is all about,” said Emily Ketchen, regional head of Americas marketing at HP.

Outside of HP’s lounge, the brand had an additional eight activations to explore on the grounds including Visage, an experience designed with artist Jonathan Zawada that projects a selected graphic onto a person’s face that can then be turned into a GIF for sharing on social media (or keeping for yourself). Five of the activations were done in partnership with Panorama. Together the two selected five artists and allowed them to build their own art installations, powered by HP. Those included, “The Portal to Flatland,” by Magenta Field, which invited guests into HP’s dome experience and a solar-powered installation complete with 60,000 dangling LEDs by Smooth Technology, called “Infinite Wind.”

Of course, what experience would be complete without a spin with some virtual reality? HP provided fans with a chance to slip on some VR goggles and experience a performance from any of their favorite artists on stage as it was happening live, powered by HP technology.

“This is all about reinventing the festival experience and just reinventing experience,” Ketchen said. “The idea here is that we have a very unique opportunity to have some cameras on the main stage and side stages. Those cameras will feedback to our Omen VR experience. You put on the goggles and you are immersed in the setting that the artists are in, live.”

A returning experience from HP was the brand’s signature dome, which has toured to other festivals including Coachella, but got its start at Panorama. Inside the dome, the brand puts out a bunch of beanbag chairs for people to sit on and then you simply look up to take in the incredible 360-degree virtual reality experience. Think movie theater but so much cooler.

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