How Pandora Transformed a City Block Into Its Largest Single-Day Event
The Internet radio brand brought a targeted list of fans for big-name musical acts and experiential sponsor activations—and kept them safe in a heatwave.
Continuing its tradition of targeted fan events filled with sponsor activations, Pandora hosted a free invitation-only bash on August 15 in Los Angeles known as Summer Crush, a version of the event the brand has produced in town for the past three years. But this year's installment at L.A. Live was on a new scale, making for the brand's largest single-day event ever.
For the concert event, organizers worked to create a summer lineup packed with six big-name artists: Jason Derulo, Steve Aoki, Fifth Harmony, Tori Kelly, Rachel Platten, and Who Is Fancy. The brand then directed invitations to listeners with any of those artists' stations added to their accounts. This gave "true fans of each artist a chance to see their favorites in a very nontraditional way, and experience something great,” said Pandora's senior director of events Nicole Carbone-Rogers.
Carbone-Rogers and the Pandora team worked with Stoelt Productions for production and sponsor integration. Crews worked overnight to build the massive city-block footprint inclusive of the perimeter with full street closure: Chick Hearn Square, from Georgia to Figueroa, and Microsoft Square. The City of Los Angeles mandated a heavy police presence due to the duration and lineup, so the whole team worked closely with the L.A.P.D.
In anticipation of extreme weather in town—a heatwave around 100 degrees—all parties worked with AEG and city planners to secure the L.A. Convention Center West Hall for offsite check-in and holding outside of the elements. Additionally, 18 self-contained misters and the equivalent of 18,000 16-ounce water bottles were deployed for distribution throughout the event's footprint, in the form of water towers, plus a water truck on standby.
Pandora also brought together nine different sponsors in the sponsor village. The activation from title sponsor Amazon Student featured a selfie-style social photo booth (with a view of the stage in the background), a charging station lounge, and a swag bag giveaway. Starbucks, L’Oréal Paris, Acuvue (which, appropriately, offered binoculars for a clear view of the stage), The Transporter Movie, and others also had a presence in the village.
For the main event, the large 30- by 34-foot stage had more than 80 moving lights, plus dozens of LED tiles, and confetti cannons. "Six artists shared the stage with just 30 minutes to change over each act, making this a mini festival with a lot of logistics to keep the show on schedule,” Carbone-Rogers said.
Wrapping up the event, Aoki’s performance included confetti cannons, an LED DJ booth, and 10 custom cakes thrown into the audience for his trademark performance.
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