Digital Media platform PopSugar is getting in on the live-event frenzy by throwing its own weekend-long festival. PopSugar Play/Ground, which will take place in New York on June 9 and 10, is engineered to create an experience out of the PopSugar brand.
“We know our audience loves events, and we wanted to do an event that has all different elements of our site coming to life,” said PopSugar founder and president Lisa Sugar. “It’s a lot of that playful, positive attitude that’s very celebrity-based and has a lot of shopping.”
The lineup includes panels on happiness, activism, digital detox and fitness, and features celebrities popular with the PopSugar demographic such as Mindy Kaling, Yara Shahidi and Kate Hudson.
The festival, which is being organized with event partner Reed Exhibitions, will include a retail hall with more than 50 brands with items selected by PopSugar editors, including Solid & Striped, Elizabeth & James, Malin + Goetz, Stony Clover Lane, Westward Leaning and exclusive items made for the event from brands such as Rothy’s shoes and Kule.
“We wanted the retail hall to have different things than what you can get in a cute neighborhood or at the mall,” Sugar said.
Play/Ground represents PopSugar’s first large-scale foray into the events business. Prior to this, PopSugar has created experiential events as part of larger festivals like Coachella, but has not had a stand-alone festival of its own.
At a time when media companies are looking to expand their business, it’s not surprising that this is one part of PopSugar’s larger strategy to diversify its revenue stream — an effort that has, thus far, largely centered on beauty.
“Play/Ground is another natural extension for us to have a consumer moment and extend our brand into other places,” Sugar said.