Lollapalooza sticks with Chicago, as Lightfoot announces 10-year deal

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Sunday announced a new contract to keep Lollapalooza at Grant Park for another 10 years.

Lightfoot confirmed that the festival will continue to take place in Chicago for the next 10 years before J-Hope’s headlining act on the Bud Light stage on Sunday evening.

“People have been telling me, ‘Mayor, we love Lola. This is the best thing.’ I agree. And so I’m here to tell you by decree, we’re going to make sure that Lola continues in the future,” Lightfoot said as the four-day event concluded from a festive stage on Sunday night Said. He showed a scroll that showed that Lollapalooza would be in Chicago until 2032.

The contract will be for the 2023 festivities, and organizers C3 Presents and the Chicago Park District will have the option to extend the contract under similar terms for another five years.

The Park District will receive 5%-20% of revenue from the festival during that time, based on total revenue from admissions, goods and services at the festival, license sales, sponsorships and streaming deals. C3 will guarantee a payment of at least $2 million over the entire four-day festival; $1.5 million for three days; And $750,000 if the festival doesn’t happen.

The deal also set an attendance limit of 115,000 and formalized the festival organizer’s $2.2 million commitment to Chicago public schools for arts education and added funding for the renovation of Grant Park’s tennis courts.

The festival will continue to take place on the last weekend of July or the first weekend of August.

“Lollapalooza is not only a significant economic driver for our city, but a truly iconic Chicago summer festival,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “I am thrilled to come to an agreement that will ensure that Lollapalooza stays here for the next decade – bringing music, culture and joy to both residents and tourists for years to come.”

The announcement came days after the two sides hitched a truce, with C3 presenting officials pressuring the city for assurances that Chicago’s entertainment tax would not rise higher during a new settlement.

Fees for large-scale events increased from 5% to 9% during the current 10-year Lollapalooza contract.

Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, co-founder and co-creator of the festival, said in an interview Thursday that another decade-long deal is done. A representative for C3, which holds the festival, said talks were on.

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The current deal between Chicago Park District and C3 Presents was signed in 2012 and expired after last year’s festival. The parties opted for a one-year extension, and festival officials have since been making more sustainable investments in the city, which suggest they were here to stay: Texas-based C3 recently launched a program to support arts education. Celebrated the first of five years of commitment to Chicago Public Schools hosted an inaugural Lollapalooza Job Fair this spring and expanded its partnership with the non-profit organization After School Matters.

Following an announcement that Chicago would turn the streets around Grant Park into a NASCAR race course for a televised Cup Series event in 2023 and beyond, Lightfoot’s Lollapalooza announcement could help bolster the case for mayor’s re-election That the city of Chicago is recovering. It would also lessen the shock of the Chicago Bears’ potential damage to Arlington Heights.

Lollapalooza found its home in Grant Park in 2005 and is said to have local economic impact and generate millions in annual revenue for the Park District. The current contract was celebrated as a victory for Chicago’s taxpayers, hotels, restaurants, cultural communities and parks.

Under the current contract, festival organizers are on the hook for sales, alcohol, leasehold and entertainment taxes. After it was noted by the Chicago Office of the Inspector General that the festival began paying entertainment fees while other festivals were required to pay, Lollapalooza was waived. At the time, in 2011, the festival turned 10.25% of its profits into a foundation that raised private funds for the Chicago Park District.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel raised the entertainment tax from 5% to 9% as part of his 2018 budget. The festival also began paying Cook County’s 1.5% entertainment tax after the county board granted them an exemption in 2012. A source close to the festival’s organizers warned that any additional tax hikes would be passed on to ticket buyers.

Lollapalooza talks have historically taken place behind closed doors. In the days leading up to this year’s festival, the aldermen whose ward includes Park have said they have been kept out of any ongoing discussion. So was Friends of the Parks, one of the city’s most active parks advocacy groups. The one-year extension, signed in 2021, was done behind closed doors, without any public discussion or vote. The same was the case with the decision to increase the festival starting in 2016 from three days to four.

Since Lollapalooza returned in 2021, COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of the in-person festival in 2020, following years of concerns about C3 and city police activity and hospitalizations involving fans. are less transparent in comparison. In previous years, organizers publicized the number of arrests, citations and hospital transport daily. This year, as it did in 2021, a C3 official said they, led by the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, will share the total number after the event is over.

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