KFC has offered a glimpse into the future of music sponsorship by buying a spot for its mascot and founder Colonel Sanders to DJ at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami last weekend.
In a stunt (which could have been the best April Fool’s Day prank, if it was indeed a prank), the fried chicken brand modelled Sanders as in the style of Deadmau5, with a big foam head finishing off the costume.
An electric dance mix battered chicken references like “any of y’all hungry for some beats?” into the audience before the sets of Tiësto and Marshmello, reports Consequence of Sound.
Promoting the gig KFC tweeted: "One thing a lot of people don’t know about me is that I have been a huge fan of electronic music for the last few days, and I can’t wait to show off the DJ skills I’ve developed in that time."
The festival was dubbed Fyre Festival 2 by some after a trouble opening. The set added to these complaints.
Sanders' set wasn’t particularly warmly received by his DJ peers. DJ Marshmello, who is also ccustomed to shaking up music conventions by performing a live gig in multiplayer shooter Fortnite tweeted, and then deleted, that it was “lame”, adding: “I can think of a lot of other artists that actually deserve to be on that stage instead".
Alison Wonderland suggested the festival “could have found a better way that doesn’t cheapen what we do”.
Watch some fan footage of the gig below.
— Festive Owl (@TheFestiveOwl) March 29, 2019
You can see some of the responses to the stunt following Sanders' set.
Many saw the inclusion of a brand on the main stage as an interruption or disrespectful to the artists at the festival.