Levi’s Banned Some Music Fans From Free Show for Not Wearing Its Jeans

Reasonable or self-defeating?

Levi's has landed itself in a little hot water, after shutting music fans out of a free concert for failing to wear the brand's clothes to the show.

Last week, two popular bands, Haim, and Sleigh Bells, played at New York City's Brooklyn Bridge Park in an event sponsored by the jeans-wear company. Levi's stipulated ahead of time that the price for entry was to show up wearing a piece of the brand's denim. But apparently not everyone got the message. Dozens of people were turned away at the gate for failing to comply, the Daily News reports

It's an odd scenario: The rules seem clear enough, but also arguably unnecessary and ultimately self-defeating. If the idea of the brand footing the bill for the concert was to generate goodwill among its own fans, then it's pretty illogical to leave a bad taste in the mouths of target consumers by refusing them access (even if they hadn't shelled out cash for any of its denim, yet). Building a sense of community and exclusivity around a product can be a good thing. Coming across as excessively mercenary—or simply tacky—is definitely not, especially in an era where negative impressions can reverberate quickly online.

On the other hand, fans feeling entitled to gain access to a free concert doesn't really inspire much sympathy either. It's not like putting on a pair of pants is the hardest thing in the world to do … even for a millennial.

@GabrielBeltrone gabriel.beltrone@gmail.com Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.