The Chicago Park District received its biggest win ever last year from the organizers of Lollapalooza, who paid a $9.6 million fee to use Grant Park for the annual four-day music festival.
The Park District’s increased revenue was mostly expected: This was the first year under a new contract that allowed festival organizers C3 Presents to sell tickets to 15,000 additional attendees per day. Last year’s headliners included Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The agreement also implemented a new revenue-sharing agreement that gave the city a portion of total festival revenues on a sliding scale. In addition to ticket, food and beverage sales, for the first time the city’s disruptions also included merchandise sales, third-party licensing and streaming.
The 2023 total was an increase of nearly $2 million over the second-highest annual intake of $7.79 million in 2021.
The Park District received 5% of the first $30 million in festival revenue, 10% of revenue between $30 million and $50 million, and a 5% to 20% share of revenue above that.
Those revenues totaled more than $85 million, according to district documents obtained by the Tribune through an open records request. In total, C3 paid a total of $9,632,475 in venue fees.
Park District spokeswoman Michele Lemons said in a statement that the new contract provides a win-win: “The increased participation threshold has helped generate additional revenue that directly supports parks and programs citywide and allowed more people to attend the special summer music festival in Grant. ” Park.”
The permit fee payment does not include what supporters say is the knock-on economic impact of Lollapalooza: the extra business and tax revenue from attendees’ lodging, food and beverage expenses, and post-show visits to other entertainment venues. Economic impact report commissioned by C3 It was determined that the festival contributed 422 million dollars to the local economy in 2023. a necessary increase for area hotels and restaurants are still trying to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
There were opponents of last year’s contract renewal and they criticized the city’s contract behind closed doors We are interested in C3.
Amid increasing scrutiny of private establishments that occupy public space for days or weeks at a time, some city council members and park advocates The city wanted more transparency about the park preservation process and safeguards before being locked down for another decade. In response to criticism, the district made new rules Requiring public hearings before the district approves large-scale events.
This past summer saw other blockbuster events downtown: Soldier Field hosted Taylor Swift and Beyonce, and Chicago hosted the first-ever NASCAR Chicago Street Race, which will return this summer.
NASCAR racing Net $620,000 generated from permit fees last year included cuts to food, beverage and merchandise sales to the city. The race was shortened due to heavy rain fell slightly behind expectations on participation and economic impact. It drew just over 79,000 attendees, below NASCAR’s estimate of 100,000 attendees, and just under $8.3 million in estimated state and local taxes, below the projected $8.9 million.
The city also covered expenses for the race, such as overtime and road improvements. NASCAR officials and Mayor Brandon Johnson agreed to reimburse the city for the costs of police, fire and emergency management personnel.
Lollapalooza is already covering those costs, as well as the cost of returning Grant Park to its original state.
Last year, C3 co-founder Charlie Walker announced that the company would also fund a $500,000 renovation of Grant Park’s tennis courts and the addition of new pickleball courts where festival vehicles often park. Renovated courts It opened in September.
The company spent just under $400,000 on park restoration, including turf, mulch removal and irrigation, according to a C3 spokesman.
NASCAR, Lollapalooza and C3’s other local music festival, Sueños, occupied Chicago’s front yard for 84 days last summer. According to the Block Club Chicago report.