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Sponsorship spending on music tours, festivals and venues in North America will grow by 4.8% this year to exceed $1.5 billion, according to ESP research. The projected growth rate for music exceeds that of the sports market (4.3%) and the sponsorship market overall (4.1%), much as it did last year.

Alcohol brands continue to be the engine behind music sponsorships: Wine & Spirits brands are 5.3 times more likely to sponsor music than the average of all sponsors, and Beer brands are 4 times more likely.

Retail is getting into the act more this year: retail brands are 3.5 times more likely than average to sponsor music.

The report highlights active sponsors of music festivals, with a familiar name topping the list: within the alcoholic beverage category, Annheuser-Busch is again a leader, as 51% of properties with a sponsor in this category report a partnership with an Annheuser-Busch brand.

Other active sponsors of music festivals include Uber, Brown-Forman, Fifth Generation and Miller Coors.

Research has shown that a slight majority of Americans’ spending on music goes to live events, with admission to live music concerts representing the largest individual share of music-related expenditures (32%).

Brands sponsoring music festivals are likely to find a young audience: music festivals are a particularly influential part of Millennials’ music-related spending, and past research indicates that Millennials comprise 44% of all festival goers.

Nielsen research has also demonstrated that a majority of music festival goers claim to view a brand more favorably if it sponsors an existing festival, and almost two-thirds say that product giveaways at live events make them view the sponsoring brand more favorably.

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