October 31, 2019
British automaker Land Rover is making an experiential push for its newly redesigned Defender in the United States with an upcoming music festival centered on the model.
Dubbed 4xFar, the event will be held next January in Southern California, with music performances, culinary pop-ups and adventurous activations. Along with debuting the Defender to an American audience in a lifestyle context, the festival offers a chance for Land Rover to engage enthusiasts and new consumers about its heritage in an immersive experience.
"Land Rover created the 4xFar festival to celebrate the launch of the New Defender in the U.S. in a unique way by bringing together a unique experience combining adventure, culinary arts, and music in an unforgettable weekend," said Stuart Schorr, vice president, communications at Jaguar Land Rover North America.
"With the introduction of the new Defender, the brand’s goal is to is to establish Land Rover as a more visible brand in the U.S. Market," he said. "The 4xFar festival was created to celebrate the new 2020 Land Rover Defender coming to the U.S., and is an opportunity to engage with American pop culture in a relevant and engaging way to raise overall brand awareness."
Scheduled for Jan. 18 to 19, 4xFar is being hosted at the Empire Grand Oasis in the Coachella Valley, the location of choice for Coachella and Stagecoach.
The two-day event will blend music performances by an eclectic group of artists including Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Marc Ronson and Q-Tip, Sofi Tukker and Young the Giant with adventure experiences curated by Outside magazine.
Attendees can take part in wilderness survival exercises such as foraging for food. Other experiences include the chance to go slacklining or watch a fly fishing demonstration.
Venue for Land Rover's 4xFar festival. Image courtesy of Land Rover
Crafty and artistic types can take a nature photography workshop or personalize a reusable water bottle.
Promoting wellness, activities also include the chance to relax and stretch in a hammock or take part in a yoga class.
The festival will also give attendees the chance to hear from personalities in the sporting and adventure worlds. Panels and discussions will feature Olympic volleyball player Gabby Reece and surfer Laird Hamilton, among others.
"4xFar is set to be the first experience of its kind in lifestyle focused entertainment - an intimate, celebratory adventure where guests can taste the cross pollinated nectar of music, art, adventure and culture in a gorgeous oasis under the desert sky," said DJ Garth Trinidad, KCRW host and music curator for 4xFar, in a statement.
Attendees can get behind the wheel of a Defender for an off-roading drive on a 15-acre course. This festival is timed ahead of the car’s U.S. retail launch next spring, when the 90 and 110 versions of the model will become available.
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We’re excited to announce #4xFAR, a festival celebrating the New Land Rover Defender’s arrival in the US. On 1/18-19 in the Coachella Valley, attendees will be amongst the first to experience the vehicle along with epic performances from a lineup that includes @anderson._paak, @iammarkronson and more. Learn more at the link in bio. #Defender2020
Instagram post from Land Rover USA
Along with ushering in the new Defender, Land Rover will also be showcasing heritage models from throughout its 71-year history.
Ticket sales are open, with general admission for the festival starting at $185.
Other luxury brands have hosted their own music festivals as a means to reach emerging generations of luxury consumers.
In 2017, Italian fashion house Gucci invited the contemporary electronic music scene to its then newly opened headquarters for a festival.
Gucci opened the doors to The Hub for #C2CMLN, a satellite event of the popular Club to Club Festival. Gucci has been leveraging its new aesthetic to speak to millennial consumers, a demographic that listens to EDM-style music more so than their older peers (see story).
Balmain also turned a recent runway show into a music festival in support of (RED).
After months of anticipation, the new Defender was revealed on Sept. 10 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The updated off-roading model encapsulates the Land Rover brand by bringing together exploration and forward-thinking technology
Land Rover unveiled its redesigned Defender along with a campaign touting its adventurous use of technology (see story).
The Defender has not been sold in the U.S. market since 1997, and the model has been out of production since 2016.
The United States has been a growing market for Land Rover. The marque sold 92,000 units to American customers in 2018, compared to just 26,000 in 2009.
In November, the Defender will make its first U.S. appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Starting at $49,900, the Defender is priced to potentially reach an entry-level luxury audience.
A recent report found that about half of luxury car sales in the U.S. are SUVs (see story), making the nation a prime target for Land Rover.
"With the return of Defender, Land Rover will now have three families of distinct, capable premium SUVs, a truly unique place in the market," Mr. Schorr said. "The reintroduction of the Defender will further raise the brand’s platform in the U.S. market."